Man Utd attempted to ‘mimic’ Aston Villa’s free-kick routine but it failed miserably

Manchester United failed in their attempts to recreate Aston Villa’s clever set-piece routine during their Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Unai Emery’s side silenced Old Trafford in the early stages of Tuesday night’s Premier League clash when John McGinn’s inswinging free-kick from the right-hand side beat goalkeeper Andre Onana.

Upon further inspection, however, it appears Villa winger Leon Bailey played a key role in the goal.

The Jamaica international positioned himself behind Onana and appeared to shout something in the goalkeeper’s ear before sprinting back towards his teammates, meaning he could not be offside.

McGinn’s cross-turned-shot soon nestled into the back of the net, with VAR deeming that Ollie Watkins, who was in an offside position, did not get a touch on the ball.

Leander Dendoncker soon doubled Villa’s lead in the 26th minute and the game looked all-but-over as Erik ten Hag’s men struggled to create any real chances.

In fact, five minutes later, a poor set-piece routine summed up their dismal first-half efforts.

Bruno Fernandes made an attempt to distract Emiliano Martinez in the Villa goal, although referee Craig Pawson was far from pleased with his intentions.

The Portuguese midfielder then appeared to make a gesture as if to point at Bailey’s actions before McGinn’s opener but moments later, Christian Eriksen failed to beat the wall.

In fact, Eriksen proceeded to slip as the attack fizzled out in seconds.

Man United try to mimic Aston Villa’s set piece and it does not work at all 33’
byu/Chelseatilidie insoccer

Despite their far-from-convincing efforts in the opening stages, United managed to bounce back in the second period as goals from Alejandro Garnacho [2] and Rasmus Hojlund sealed all three points.

In his post-match interview, Erik ten Hag said he was optimistic about the future after being asked about the INEOS takeover.

“We are optimists,” he said. “We were kept informed during the whole process so we knew what was going on. It’s very good and I’m looking forward to working with them. It’s very positive for Manchester United, I know. For now, we were focusing on the game and to get the win. For our season, it was so important that we bounced back and showed character.

“That’s very important for this team to get a base we can build on.”

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