Scott McTominay Strikes Late As Manchester United Sink Aston Villa To Boost Top Four Bid
Scott McTominay kept alive Manchester United's hopes of finishing in the Premier League's top four as the midfielder's late goal clinched a vital 2-1 win against Aston Villa on Sunday. Erik ten Hag's side desperately needed a victory at Villa Park to close the gap in the race to qualify for next season's Champions League. United took an early lead through in-form Rasmus Hojlund before Douglas Luiz levelled in the second half. That set the stage for United's second late winner against Villa this term as McTominay came off the bench to head home with just four minutes left.
United remain in sixth place after their fourth successive victory in all competitions, but they are now just five points behind fifth-placed Villa and six adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham.
While a top four place is still a tough ask for United, they have at least given themselves a chance with their gritty success in the West Midlands.
Significantly, they are finally flourishing in attack after misfiring for much of the campaign.
Hojlund's winner against Villa on Boxing Day has kick-started a run of six goals in seven games for the Denmark striker.
After failing to score in any of his first 14 games in the Premier League, the 21-year-old has become the second youngest player to net in five successive appearances in the competition, behind Nicolas Anelka for Arsenal in 1998.
Hojlund now has 11 goals in 29 matches in all competitions in his debut season after signing from Atalanta.
Inspired by the dazzling form of Hojlund and Alejandro Garnacho, United had scored 15 goals in their previous five games in all competitions.
Garnacho was inches away from an early opener with a long-range drive that whistled past the post.
Villa failed to heed the warning