Rasmus Hojlund run rolls on
Hojlund has well and truly found his feet at United and produced the ultimate poacher’s finish to reward the visitors’ strong start in the 17th minute.
The 21-year-old striker has scored six goals and provided two assists in his last seven appearances in all competitions, cementing his status as the spearhead of Ten Hag’s attack.
Aged 21 years and seven days, Hojlund is the second-youngest-ever player to find the net in five successive Premier League games after Nicolas Anelka in November 1998 (19 years and 239 days).
He will fancy continuing this run with favourable fixtures against Luton Town and Fulham on the horizon before the FA Cup fifth-round trip to Nottingham Forest.
Scott McTominay, Super Sub
McTominay has often been criticised for his performances this season, but his collection of clutch United goals continues to grow.
The 27-year-old has scored eight goals this season, a tally only bettered by Hojlund’s 11. He has lost his status as a regular starter but is proving to be a valuable weapon off the bench.
McTominay has seven goals in his last 17 Premier League games, having netted just twice in the 20 appearances that came before.
Time up for Luke Shaw?
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has reportedly repeated his intention to get “ruthless” in his rebuild of United once the Premier League ratifies his 29 per cent stake in the club.
Luke Shaw is one of Europe’s top left-backs when fit, but there lies the problem. United had to bring Victor Lindelof on at half-time to fill in for Shaw, who withdrew at half-time.
If the 28-year-old has suffered his latest injury setback, Ten Hag would be wise to consider the future of the left-back position if he wants to keep a core team fit for the duration of a season.
For now, the Red Devils have again been left with Diogo Dalot as their only fit full-back in a season that has been full of one step forward and two steps back.
Man Utd end torrid away curse
Around 28 months since United’s last win away at a side starting the day in the Premier League‘s top eight, McTominay ensured that torrid run is no more.
United had failed to win their last 15 such games, losing 11, since a 3-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur in Nuno Espirito Santo’s final game in charge in October 2021.
They also hadn’t won any of their 13 away games at the Premier League‘s top nine since Ten Hag took charge, losing 11 of them.
Sunday’s triumph at Villa Park was huge for the Dutchman for more reasons than one.