Five key talking points as Aston Villa surrender lead in defeat to Man Utd

Aston Villa fell to a 3-1 defeat to Man Utd at Villa Park on Sunday, with the visitors scoring three second-half goals to turn the game around in their favour.

It turned out to be a frustrating day for Dean Smith and the players, with a Utd penalty early in the second half turning the game on its head.

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Ollie Watkins was sent off late on too as he’ll now miss the clash with Everton on Thursday evening, with Villa now continuing to battle to secure a top half finish in the Premier League this season.

With our last league win at home against Man Utd coming in 1995, the wait to end that awful run continues for another season as we simply can’t get the better of them at Villa Park.

Beauty of goal from Traore

While he’s been far too inconsistent this season, Traore is capable of producing magic and this goal was a perfect example of that as he produced a stunning strike to break the deadlock.

It was a brilliant effort from a tight angle that arrowed into the corner of the net, and it was a big moment in the first half as we capitalised after battling our way back into the encounter.

Although it didn’t end up counting for much, Traore will be pleased with it and it’s hoped that he can produce consistently in the remaining games as we need more of this level of quality from him on a weekly basis.

Errors, lapses in concentration cost Villa

From the silly foul from Douglas Luiz which led to the penalty, albeit it was still a dubious decision, to Tyrone Mings allowing Mason Greenwood to cut inside on his left foot for the second, it was an error-strewn start to the second half.

That’s all that Man Utd needed to flip the game in their favour, and so we need to cut these naive and poor moments of play out of our game if we want to compete at the top level.

Inconsistency still a major problem

From the excellent performance against Everton to the slow start in this one before wrestling our way back into the clash, it was exactly the type of inconsistency that has blighted us in the second half of the campaign.

Villa improved as the first half went on as we pressed higher up the pitch and put pressure on Utd which in turn led to our goal and gaining some sense of control over proceedings.

However, after the quick-fire double from the visitors we lost our way and although we continued to push for a way back, the quality wasn’t there and so the inconsistency from game to game and in game is still an issue that must be ironed out.

Barren run at home vs Man Utd continues

The last time we beat the Red Devils at Villa Park was back on August 19, 1995. That is a horrible run and it seems nothing can be done to bring it to an end.

Lessons will hopefully be learned from this game and as we continue to look to add quality to the squad and become more competitive in our pursuit of being a contender for Europe, it’s hoped that a win at home over Man Utd isn’t too far away.

Still learning and developing

In the bigger picture, we’re still learning and looking to close the gap on sides like this. While we were competitive throughout, it’s the moments of quality that make the difference and we’re still lacking that.

It’s easy to say that we miss Jack Grealish and while that is absolutely true, there isn’t enough class in the rest of the squad to offer us consistent quality, especially against the top sides in the league.

Smith and the management will hopefully continue to identify the right areas in which we need more, and while it’s tough to take especially after the high of winning at Everton last time out, it’s part of the journey as we look to continue to improve year on year.