- Manchester United came from two goals behind to complete a stunning comeback against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Boxing Day
- Garnacho scored two goals for the Red Devils within eleven minutes in the second half before Rasmus Hojlund added the third in the 82nd minute
Manchester United came from two goals behind to complete a stunning comeback against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Boxing Day. In a game of two halves, Aston Villa went 2-0 up in the first half through John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker before Alejandro Garnacho led the hosts in pulling a 3-2 comeback.
Garnacho scored two goals for the Red Devils within eleven minutes in the second half before Rasmus Hojlund added the third in the 82nd minute. It was Hojlund’s first Premier League goal and it came at a time when United needed it the most.
The relief on Hojlund and his teammates was clear, with Andre Onana running from his goal post to join in celebrations. On the touchline, Erik ten Hag bounced in delight. His players had just given him a night to remember and he will hope that things work out for them again in their next fixture.
Speaking after the match, ten Hag praised Hojlund describing him as a player with strong character.
“I have had several talks with him, I pointed out that he scored for Denmark a lot, that he scored in the Champions League, so believe in it and it will come. Of course, when strikers don’t score it is a problem but he has a strong character and is always determined. He has a big personality. And the goal will come.” Sky Sports quotes Erik ten Hag.
How Garnacho Inspired Manchester United To A Comeback Win
In Manchester United’s first game since Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% purchase of the club, it seemed as though things were going south when John McGinn put Aston Villa in front after 21 minutes with a direct free kick. United’s theme of conceding twice in quick succession then continued against Villa as Leander Dendoncker doubled his visitors’ lead in the 25th minute.
Erik ten Hag’s side had previously conceded twice in quick succession against Bournemouth and West Ham. But unlike in those games where they ended up losing, the Red Devils somehow completed a comeback against Villa at Old Trafford.
Alejandro Garnacho thought he had pulled one back for Manchester United shortly after the break but his goal was ruled out for offside following a lengthy VAR check. United started dominating the game afterwards and created chances.
Their efforts eventually paid off just before the hour mark when Marcus Rashford’s pass into the box was tapped in by Garnacho. The 19-year-old then found the back of the net again in the 71st minute, this time pouncing on a poorly cleared ball in the box.
Manchester United continued to attack and eventually had the winning goal in the 82nd minute scored by Hojlund. The Dane’s goal helped ease pressure on Erik ten Hag and his players as they wait to face Nottingham Forest this coming weekend.
Unai Emery is yet to secure victory at Old Trafford in his seven visits. He came close to winning on Boxing Day but his side failed to walk away with three points despite controlling the first half and being 2-0 up until the 59th minute. Speaking after the match, the Spanish manager spoke about the impact of the fans at Old Trafford to the shifting of the momentum.
“How we conceded, with the mistake in the middle, after it the crowd changes, the atmosphere is so much better for them, pushing them, the crowd go up. They have very good players and the reaction after the first goal was brilliant for them. Even then we reacted, very good chances for John McGinn and Leon Bailey. Those were key moments as well.” Unai Emery told Sky Sports.