Fernandes, Pogba, Greenwood Heroes in United Rout at Villa


Tonight saw Manchester United become the first team in Premier League history to win by three or more goals in four consecutive games as they routed Aston Villa in Villa Park 3-0. The victory saw United extend their unbeaten run to 17 straight.

The Red Devils now move six points ahead of sixth-place Wolves and within a point of fourth-place Leicester City. Three players got on the score sheet tonight as Bruno Fernandes had a goal and an assist. Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba also scored as United kept the positive momentum rolling.

Bruno Fernandes 

Let’s take a closer look now at the three main stars.

Bruno Fernandes didn’t have his best game, but it was still enough to be man of the match here. The Portugal international became the first United player to be involved in 12 goals in his first ten Premier League games.

United didn’t put in their best overall outing tonight since the restart, but it was plenty enough to throttle a side that looks destined for the drop.

Pehaps most important is that we’re seeing United no longer lose to the lower table sides while also getting results against the big boys.

That mind-perplexing, maddening inconsistency defined the season prior to the February and beyond run of form.

Paul Pogba

If getting consistent results, regardless of opponent was the most important priority, then getting Pogba and Fernandes to truly coalesce is priority number two.

Pogba got his first goal since the restart tonight and that now means he’s been directly involved in 20 goals (11 goals and  nine assists ) in 33 Premier League appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Pogba told the club’s official magazine, heading into this one that he’s happy at Old Trafford, and he certainly conveys that via his play.

Pogba also had high praise for Greenwood today, in post game media availability.

“I enjoy this kid in training and in the games, and I will keep pushing him to be at the top. He has so much to do again,” Pogba said.

“He can do even more. What he’s doing right now is just his talent. He shows he can play in this team.”

Mason Greenwood

Speaking of the kid, Greenwood today became the fourth player aged 18 or younger to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances.

Perhaps United club legend Patrice Evra, said it best about Greenwood: “Every ball he touches is aggressive. He doesn’t even think. He will destroy you. People start saying, ‘Maybe not playing right position.’

Even if United asks you to clean the toilet you should do when you’re 18-years-old.”

Said manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær: “I’m doing my bit to help him [Greenwood] but he’s got to do it. He has to turn up in training sessions, in the games, live his life properly. It’s all down to him. He can go as far as he wants to. How far can he go? Very.”

The Norwegian has certainly found his lineup now! The winning hand to play in the starting XI consists of Anthony Martial up top, with Marcus Rashford on the left, Fernandes in the middle of the attacking midfield as a No. 10, Greenwood on the right with Pogba providing service behind them as a No. 8

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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