Dave Woodhall on Villa’s unsurprisingly unsuccessful Mancunian adventure.
Villa lost at Old Trafford on Saturday. That result was about as predictable as the sight of two new additions to the casualty list – Scott Sinclair in training and Alan Hutton during the match.
Nobody really expected anything from the game, and we weren’t disappointed. Tim Sherwood put out a side that was notable for a couple of (continued) absences but whatever his selection, it’s hard to see how any permutation of eleven Villa players could have done any better.
United are in good form and when you’re like that against a side who man for man are clearly your inferiors you don’t have to play particularly well. Just do the simple stuff, don’t make any horrendous mistakes and eventually the chances will come. The outcome was the same as when, barring a freak set of circumstances, any bunch of relegation candidates turn up at the home of one of the top sides.
Villa did, briefly, threaten to make a game of it when Christian Benteke scored from a corner late on, but yet another late goal conceded killed off any lingering hopes of a shock result. It was an afternoon to endure, and to hope you can get over as quickly as possible without too much damage.
Ther days have gone when attempting to match Manchester United was how Villa define themselves. Of far more importance these days is Tuesday night’s game at home to QPR, whose impressive win at the Hawthorns put them within touching distance of us. It isn’t a winner-take-all must-win, but after the weekend’s results in MAnchester and elsewhere three points are as vital here as they have been for along time.
Villa have got the players to win this game in the same routine fashion they lost on Saturday, but you could look up the table and say the same about a lot of clubs we’ve managed to lose to. Looking at the rest of the fixtures, our fate is in our own hands and given the standard of opposiiton, as I seem to say at this time every year, if we can’t get enough points from them then we deserve to go down.