Roy Keane suggested Gary Neville was wrong to choose a defender as his man of the match for Manchester United against Aston Villa, as the “problems are still there” and they’re being dug out of trouble by the attack.
United won their third Premier League game on the spin when they beat Aston Villa 2-1 last time out, in turn cutting the gap to the fifth-placed Villans to five points.
Villa had more of the ball, had 23 attempts to United’s 17 and their shots on target were double that of the visitors’. With Villa still getting through on goal often despite losing, former United man Keane suggested Neville picking a defender, Harry Maguire, as man of the match was the wrong decision.
“I thought he did alright today, obviously some lads give defenders man of the match because they’ve been defenders themselves – that type of scenario. It was definitely going to be a defender,” Keane said on Sky Sports.
“No big deal about that but we’ve praised the defenders considered the amount of chances Villa had.”
Indeed, Villa still managed to have 10 shots on target and scored once. The defence was bailed out by United’s attack in Keane’s opinion.
“The problems are still there for Man United, they got away with it today because the attacking players are scoring goals,” Keane added.
That’s been a feature of United performances over the past few weeks. Indeed, in their last four league games, the Red Devils have scored 11 goals, but have also conceded six.
The win over Wolves saw Erik ten Hag’s side score four goals, yet they only won courtesy of a goal deep into added time, and it was a similar situation against Villa, where the winner came in the 86th minute.
The defence remains leaky, but it’s not costing United given the attack is in good form, if that was not the case, things would crumble.
As such, the defensive assets need to begin pulling their weight, and Keane believes it’s important for Maguire, deserving of man of the match or not, to continue getting back towards his best after an injury this season, which came after some poor performances over the last couple of campaigns.
“Winning man of the match, the bottom line is it’s no big deal, what’s important for Maguire is he’s getting games under his belt and he’s getting back up to speed. He’s a good, solid, experienced defender,” Keane said.