Manchester United kept alive their hopes of Champions League football after scoring late to beat top-four rivals Aston Villa.
Scott McTominay came off the bench to decide the game, arriving into the box to meet Diogo Dalot’s 86th-minute cross and head home the winner. Erik ten Hag’s team began the afternoon eight points behind Aston Villa in the table and got off to a dream start as Rasmus Hojlund fired in his fifth goal in five Premier League games.
Villa grew into the game and found an equaliser in the 67th minute, as Douglas Luiz steered in his seventh goal of the league campaign. The home side had had the better chances with Andre Onana making a number of good saves, including a point-blank stop from Ollie Watkins.
It was the Red Devils who snatched the points late on, however, with McTominay getting ahead of Matty Cash to meet Dalot’s right-wing cross.
“We started really well, but they are a really good team and came back into it and caused us problems. The guys at the back were immense, particularly Harry [Maguire] and Raphael [Varane]. It was a top-level performance and a deserved win in the end,” McTominay reflected to Sky Sports.
“I feel like as long as I’m fit and healthy I can come onto the pitch and perform. I don’t take it personally, I just want to come in and try and do the best I can for this. Long may it continue.
“It was an unbelievable cross to be fair, whipped with a lot of pace. I just needed it to hit my head and get it on target. Full credit to the boys, we created a lot of good chances which may go unnoticed.
“Every game you win is massive for taking a step forward and confidence for the boys. It is all positive but it is about repeating it and not getting too far ahead of ourselves when we win a few. We’ve got to repeat it now.”
Harry Maguire discussed McTominay’s impact at full-time, with no Premier League player having scored more goals as a substitute (4) this season.
“I think we started well, scored to deservedly lead and then the tempo of our pressing dropped off and we weren’t aggressive enough. We allowed them back in and we conceded from a set-play which really disappointing at a place like this,” Maguire said.
“Great spirit and fight to come back and Scott [McTominay] is the match-winner again. It’s an amazing feeling but we’d like to make it a little more easy for ourselves.
“Scott has come on in numerous games this year and made the difference for us. We had to dig deep in the second half think we did in the end and deserved the win.”