Erik ten Hag delivered a belated Christmas gift to Manchester United fans with a remarkable second-half comeback against Unai Emery’s Aston Villa.
Alejandro Garnacho’s two goals and Rasmus Hojlund’s long-awaited Premier League goal overturned the first-half strikes from John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker.
Despite conceding twice, United displayed defensive astuteness, and one player proved he’s more than up to the challenge at Old Trafford.
Jonny Evans, the Unsung Hero
A round of applause for Jonny Evans.
The Red Devils have faced a severe crisis in the center-back position this season, with Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and Harry Maguire still sidelined.
Willy Kambwala has been drafted into the first-team squad due to these absences.
While Raphael Varane’s return made a significant impact, it was the 35-year-old Northern Irishman who deserves defensive credit.
His standout moment came with a crucial block from John McGinn’s shot in the 73rd minute at 2-2—a moment equivalent to scoring a goal at the other end and a pivotal contribution to United’s victory.
It was a game-saving intervention.
His overall performance was commanding. Check out these stats:
– 90 minutes played
– 1 clearance
– 3 blocked shots
– 4 interceptions
– 0 tackles
– 1 dribbled past
– 1 clearance off the line
– 4 times possession lost
– 3/3 aerial duels won
Class. But he’s been here before.
A post gaining traction after the game highlighted that Evans has been in a similar situation for Manchester United before. The post read:
‘Rasmus Hojlund and Federico Macheda both scored their first Premier League goals as the winner in a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa for a Man Utd team including Jonny Evans.’
Like clockwork. Evans witnessed Italian striker Macheda’s wondergoal securing a 3-2 comeback win against Villa years ago and has now seen Hojlund replicate the feat.
Patrice Evra, who shared the pitch with Evans in 2009, sent a social media message to him today.
Evans also played a part in a 3-2 comeback win for the Red Devils on Boxing Day in 2013 against Hull City.
Manchester United simply doesn’t give up.
Thank goodness Ten Hag brought Evans back to Old Trafford. He’s becoming a crucial part of the United first-team squad.