Marcus Rashford power shift grew in Manchester United win over Aston Villa
Manchester United battled their way to a vital win against Aston Villa, keeping their chances of qualifying for the Champions League alive. While the home side were on top for much of the encounter, it was United who found a way to take the three points.
Rasmus Hojlund was on hand to slide home Harry Maguire's nod-back from a corner and give United an early lead, with Andre Onana keeping the Villans out with some good saves.
After Luke Shaw was taken off at half-time - as a precaution according to Erik ten Hag - Villa kept up the pressure in the second half and eventually drew level through Douglas Luiz. But Diogo Dalot's superb cross was powerfully headed in by substitute Scott McTominay with just a few minutes remaining to settle the match.
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Here are the main talking points from the match:
It was certain Manchester United would make one change for their trip to Villa Park; the only question was who would come into the side for the injured Lisandro Martinez. Raphael Varane was overlooked earlier in the campaign in favour of players better suited to playing on the left side of defence. The solution was to play Harry Maguire there instead.
Varane is still a world-class defender, though it is clear he is on the decline. The best ability is availability, and Varane is still unable to play two games in a week. That won't be such a problem for the rest of the season, but it is clearly a concern with regard to his long-term future.
At Villa Park, it was Maguire who shone the most in central defence with Varane looking a little off-pace as part of a defensive line that was stretched throughout the evening. United's