Manchester United defeated Aston Villa 4-2 at Old Trafford to advance to the Carabao Cup fourth round. After being defeated 3-1 by Villa in the Premier League on Sunday, United struck back at Unai Emery's team by twice coming from behind to win.
After a boring first half, the visitors took a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Ollie Watkins and a Diogo Dalot own goal, but they were matched by goals from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who also scored his eighth goal of the season to mark his selection for the England World Cup. For top sports betting venues check out CasinoDaddy!
In the final 12 minutes, Bruno Fernandes gave United the lead before Scott McTominay added a fourth as Erik ten Hag's team maintained their hopes of lifting the title for the first time since 2017.
Erik ten Hag stated that getting United back into the top four and into the Champions League is his top priority this season in a press conference prior to the game. The Dutchman, however, is also aware of the significance of swiftly ending the club's five-year trophy drought, so even with the World Cup only a few days away, his star players didn't take any vacation days.
Progress in the Carabao Cup means that Ten Hag will have to play again just a few days after the World Cup final in December, but as long as he has the chance to take home some hardware, he won't care. He clearly wants to win this prize, as evidenced by his excitement after the last buzzer.
During United's preseason tour of Thailand and Australia, Martial stood out as one of the team's best players, but his season has been hampered by three different injuries. He started against Villa while healthy and having Cristiano Ronaldo sit out due to illness. In just his sixth game of the season, he scored his fourth goal. For the Frenchman this season, scoring goals hasn't been a problem; staying fit has been.
Martial might play a significant role for United in the second half of the season now that he is actively participating. He wasn't selected for the France World Cup squad, but Ten Hag is hoping that having him back will help United fix their goal-scoring issue when the Premier League resumes after Christmas. One of the best casinos that are currently offered is – Casino Win Big!
In Ten Hag's center forward position, he fits more naturally than Ronaldo, and during the summer, United appeared more cohesive with him in that position. He was taken off early in this game, probably as a safety measure as he improves his match fitness, but he will be crucial when the season returns after the World Cup. Ten Hag can only pray that he avoids getting hurt.
Villa lost in the Carabao Cup, but Emery will have gained valuable insight into his team. Just days before the World Cup break, Villa's new manager could have stuck with the same team after Sunday's convincing victory over United, but he chose to shuffle his squad and give some of his fringe players a chance.
Only Ezri Konsa, Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey, and Watkins remained on the team that won 3-1 at Villa Park after the Spaniard made seven changes. Due to the tournament in Qatar, Villa doesn't play again until after Christmas. The trip to United was the only real opportunity to get a closer look at players like John McGinn, Boubacar Kamara, and Danny Ings before the second half of the season.
While fans will undoubtedly be disappointed that Villa's one real chance to win a trophy this season has passed, Emery will probably feel that the risk of rotating his team was worthwhile because he wants to get to know his new players as soon as possible. Villa hasn't won a major trophy since 1996 when they defeated United in the League Cup final.