Football Features

“Grealish shows Solskjaer’s midfield how it’s done” – Every player rated from Man Utd 2-2 Aston Villa

By Ben Green

Published: 18:39, 1 December 2019

Manchester United were held to a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.

Dean Smith’s men got off to a flyer after club captain Jack Grealish scored a delectable curling effort with only 11 minutes on the clock. The Villans continued to knock on the door and ask questions of Man Utd’s backline, but it would be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side who would strike next, with Marcus Rashford heading the ball off the post and onto the back of Tom Heaton for an unwanted own goal just before half-time. 

After the restart Man Utd came out with more zest and soon took control of the game through Victor Lindelof, but Villa refused to yield and soon replied within minutes via a thumping Tyrone Mings goal to share the spoils.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:

Manchester United

David De Gea – 6 – Could do little for either Aston Villa goal as Grealish curled a pinpoint effort into the top corner and Mings rifled home from close range.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 5 – Looked to get forward where possible but the young full-back will certainly have to improve his end product. Grealish also had a lot of success on the left where Wan-Bissaka was stationed.

Victor Lindelof – 6 – Scored a vital goal to get Man Utd in front for the first-time and largely stood up to the task of dealing with Wesley well, but unable to keep Villa from breaching De Gea’s net twice.

Harry Maguire – 5 – Picked up an early booking after a reckless pull back, but certainly did well to not be lulled into another yellow card. Maguire pushed forward looking to start attacks but proved susceptible at the back as Villa struck twice.

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Brandon Williams – 4 – Looked shaky at times and a little out of his depth, particularly for Villa’s second as he was slow to react and push out of the box, allowing Mings to break the offside line and net an equaliser.

Andreas Pereira – 5 – The Brazilian was having a shocking game in the first-half, running around without much direction and crunching into unnecessary challenges, but he did produce a moment of quality just on the stroke of the interval with his exquisite delivery picking out Rashford perfectly.

Fred – 6 – He came in for a lot of flak at the start of the season, but Fred is looking more assured and comfortable in the middle of the park. Villa dominated the midfield during the first 45 minutes, but Fred asserted greater authority in the second half.

Daniel James – 6 – The Welshman got himself into very dangerous areas of the pitch, but was not always in sync with his teammates, either playing the ball too early or not early enough.

Juan Mata – 5 – A tame game from this once majestic playmaker. The diminutive Spaniard showed glimmers of quality, but struggled to significantly influence proceedings.

Marcus Rashford – 6 – A very inconsistent performance from the man in form, but still one of Man Utd’s better performers. The England international played a key part in his side’s opening goal, finding ample space to head onto Heaton for the opener.

Anthony Martial – 5 – Isolated up-top for large parts of the game, but did demonstrate flashing moments of quality. Should have tucked home the winner in the latter stages of the second half as well.


Jesse Lingard (for Mata 74) – 5 – Came on with 15 minutes left to inject fresh pace, but was unable to influence the game as Solskjaer would have hoped.

Luke Shaw (for Williams 80) – 5 – Brought on in the final 10 minutes to see the game out and add new energy on the left.

Mason Greenwood (for Martial 82) – N/A – Substituted on for the closing stages.

Aston Villa

Tom Heaton – 5 – Held his own between the sticks, and could do little as Rashford’s header deflected off him into the net.

Frederic Guilbert – 5 – His link-up play with Trezeguet was effective enough, but made a hot-headed challenge just before half-time, while he also allowed James to get beyond him at times.

Ezri Konsa Ngoyo – 6 – Looked competent alongside Mings, the summer recruit has had little playing time this season, but looked comfortable playing on the big stage.

Tyrone Mings – 8 – An authoritative showing from the England international. Mings was imperious at the back and scored a bullet goal to rescue a point for his side.

Matt Targett – 6 – Never shied away from surging forward and helping out in the final third, while he also stood up to the ominous task of handling pace-merchant James well enough.

John McGinn – 6 – Industrious and tenacious in the first-half, but tired after the restart as Man Utd picked up their own performance and began to influence in the middle of the park.

Douglas Luiz – 6 – A comfortable performance from the Brazilian, who looked to sit in front of his backline and dictate the tempo.

Conor Hourihane – 6 – Played with his heart on his sleeve, and looked to bring the game to Man Utd, which he certainly did for large parts, but he was another who began to wane as the match progressed.

Anwar El Ghazi – 5 – Came off injured in the 18th minute but not before having a hand in Villa’s opener, with his cross eventually finding its way to Grealish who broke the deadlock.

Jack Grealish – 8 – A captain’s performance. Grealish kicked the afternoon off with an outrageous curling effort, collecting the ball out wide before cutting in and bending past a hapless De Gea. The skipper was simply unplayable today, showing Solskjaer’s midfield how it’s done, and must surely be in line for an England call-up soon.

Wesley – 6 – Looked to ruffle a few feathers in the final third but waned significantly as the game went on.


Trezeguet (for Anwar El Ghazi 18) – 7 – A real nuisance on the flank, Trezeguet added fresh impetus on the byline and caused numerous problems.

Henri Lansbury (for Hourihane 81) – N/A – Came on for the final 10 minutes.