RESERVES MATCH RATINGS: Manchester United 3-1 Aston Villa

by Sam Peoples

Sam Johnstone (6): Sam was largely untested during the course of this game. Did not have to make any meaningful saves. Was given absolutely no chance with Villa’s cracking goal.

Ritchie De Laet (7): Was the best I have seen him play since his return from Norwich. Was constantly marauding down the right flank, causing Villa numerous problems. Got his rewards when he delivered a fine cross for United’s second.

Chris Smalling (7): Chris, as with the whole United defence, had little to do defensively. But his fine passing and composure on the ball meant that he was always able to pick out a midfielder and start up an attack.

 Phil Jones (7): Phil was very quiet in this game, although through no fault of his own. Phil, like his centre back partner, too used his fine ability on the ball to pick out our midfielders with ease.

Fabio Da Silva (8): A fantastic performance from the little Brazilian. Got forward at every opportunity to support Lingard. Never stopped running and almost capped off a marvellous performance with a stunning goal, only to be denied by the wood work.

 Paul Pogba (7): Paul was as impressive as always, although playing out of position on the right wing. Worked tirelessly and showed glimpses of his magnificent footwork. Although not always opting to take on the full back, he held up the ball well, was able to pick out some fine passes and was unfortunate not to be on the score sheet.

Tom Cleverley (8): After a rather ineffective first half, Tom really grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the second. He drifted into some great positions and used his exceptional vision to set us off on attacks. Everything United did went through him and he showed that first team level is a cut above reserve level.

 Matty James (7): A good performance from James who is being eased into things after returning from injury. Always made himself available and rarely gave the ball away. I was very impressed with the tidiness of his passing. Played a huge part in United’s second, spraying a wonderful pass to De Laet on the right flank who set up Lingard.

 Jesse Lingard (7): A constant thorn in Villa’s side. Worked tirelessly as usual. Always willing to run at the full back and Villa had no answer to the double team of himself and Fabio tearing down the flank. Was denied a stunning goal by the woodwork, which would have capped a great performance from the always-improving Lingard.

 Davide Petrucci (7): Playing in a more advanced position, this was one of Davide’s quieter games. His passing was as magnificent as ever, but he couldn’t influence the game as much as he does when he plays in the deep lying playmaker role.

Will Keane (8)(MOTM): Another great performance from Will. Used his brilliant footwork and close control to hold the ball up and combined it with running in behind the defence. He worked very hard, never giving centre backs time to settle on the ball and capped a great all round performance with a very well taken goal.


Although we should not be getting carried away as it was an extremely strong United side against a very young and inexperienced Villa, every player was great and each and every one of them contributed to this fantastic performance. Will Keane just edged Fabio and Tom Cleverley for my man of the match award. Will is improving at a rapid rate and his goal scoring record speaks for itself. A top performance from a highly talented player.

One to Watch: I would like to take this opportunity to praise one player who has really impressed my over the course of the reserve season. Since his return from his long term injury, Davide Petrucci has without doubt been the stand out player for the reserves. He is a deep lying play maker who makes the reserves tick. He has amazing vision and he can hit cross field passes for fun. I love watching this lad play,he rarely gives the ball away and when he has the ball at his feet, I as a spectator,can breathe easy,knowing that he will find a team mate. Davide is player whose career did stall with his long term injury,but he is well and truly back on track and without doubt has the talent to succeed at Manchester United

Written by @19Steve19

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