Five key talking points as Villa fight back to earn draw vs Man Utd

Aston Villa showed great character and spirit on Saturday evening as we battled back from 2-0 down to secure a share of the spoils with Man Utd.

Two goals from Bruno Fernandes ensured Villa Park fell flat with just over 20 minutes to go, with the visitors on top in the first half as Villa struggled to get going.

READ MORE: Villa player ratings vs Man Utd: Ramsey, Coutinho lead superb comeback

However, things improved after the half-time break in terms of our performance, and while the second goal was a major setback, the introduction of Philippe Coutinho and the mentality of the Villa players ensured that we continued to battle for a way back and eventually were rewarded.

Goals from Jacob Ramsey and Coutinho secured a 2-2 draw, and that will hopefully now be a result that we can build on and really kick on from in the coming weeks.

Gerrard half-time team talk decisive

As the Villa boss stated in his post-match interview, we were too passive in the first half and almost allowed Utd to settle and take control of the game.

In turn, his words at half-time certainly made a big difference as we looked a different side after the break, both individually and collectively, as we started to put pressure on them both in and out of possession.

Naturally, he’ll want his side to play with that level of intensity and urgency for a full 90 minutes and we’ll be a problem for any side, but it’s important that he’s saying the right things to the players and they’re responding.

Watkins/Ings together doesn’t work

Once again both Watkins and Ings were played together and given a chance to show that they can be an effective duo, and once again it didn’t work.

Aside from the lack of link up play between the pair themselves, they aren’t as effective when they both play as they end up lacking service, become isolated and it almost confuses the direction of our play.

Gerrard has a big decision to make now as they look better as the lone striker through the middle, and with Coutinho and Buendia looking good behind them, it surely needs a tweak to the system and/or personnel.

Ramsey comes of age at Villa Park

Ramsey has made no secret that he has been itching to open his account at Villa Park in the Premier League, especially after he had one ruled out against Leicester City earlier in the season.

Finally his long wait ended, as he produced a brilliant finish to drag us back into the game and then set up Coutinho’s goal with a top first-time ball across the box for the Brazilian to tap home.

Gerrard clearly said the right things to him at half-time, as he came out and looked much braver and more confident in terms of getting on the ball and providing a real threat.

Buendia starting to shine

Although he’s still lacking a decisiveness in the final third in terms of goals and assist, there is absolutely no denying that Buendia is improving every game now and starting to make things happen.

His touches, vision, threaded balls through to teammates and the work-rate off the ball to put pressure on the opposition are all impressive, and he’s growing into a big role for us.

He also has that flair and inventiveness to pull off bits of skill to unlock sides and get Villa fans on the edge of our seats, and it’s great to see him play at this level after struggling early on this year.

Coutinho makes dream debut

What an impact. Paraded in front of the fans before kick-off, there was an air of excitement about seeing the Brazilian international make his debut.

It seemed set up for him at 1-0 down to come on and make the difference, but Villa Park fell flat after Fernandes doubled Utd’s lead and it felt as though the game had probably gotten away from us.

However, Coutinho had other ideas as he looked bright when picking the ball up in dangerous areas and then bagged the all-important equaliser after making a brilliant run into the box to set up his tap-in finish.