Manchester United twice came from behind to beat Aston Villa 4-2 with Marcus Rashford the shining light for Erik ten Hag’s side after a thrilling second half at Old Trafford. Erik ten Hag chose a strong lineup in response to their 3-1 defeat by the same opponents on Sunday, but a drab first half saw no shots land on target between the two teams, with Douglas Luiz coming closest after nearly scoring directly from a corner.
Ollie Watkins then put the hosts to the sword with an incisive dink over debuatant Martin Dubravka, but only 19 seconds after the restart, Anthony Martial marked his return from injury with a tap-in to level the score at 1-1.
Villa retook the lead after Diogo Dalot diverted Leon Bailey’s header into his own net, but Rashford brought his side back to all square with a fine solo goal, skipping two challenges before striking home. And it took a deflected strike from Bruno Fernandes and a late Scott McTominay strike to win it to send United through to the fourth round after a battling display.
Express Sport looks at which United players impressed and those who failed to shine at Old Trafford.
Martin Dubravka: 6
Didn’t have a great deal to cope with in the first half of his debut but looked understandably unnerved when receiving a bouncing back-pass. Could do little to deny Watkins after rushing off his line, only to see the ball lobbed over him.
Diogo Dalot: 4
The full-back has an incredible supply of energy, bombing forward down the right flank on several occasions. However, he was found wanting when Watkins burst through on goal and lost his man as he bundled Bailey’s knockdown into his own goal. A night to forget.
Victor Lindelof: 6
Had little to do but the Swede looked confident in dealing with aerial duels and passing out from the back. Was left woefully short of defensive support for the second goal despite his best efforts to nullify the attack.
Harry Maguire: 5
Fresh from his call-up to England’s World Cup squad, Maguire would have appreciated an incident-free game and the captain was largely untroubled in the first half from a rash challenge on Ramsey. Struggled to match Watkins’ pace for Villa’s opener and looked burdened with the expectation in the second half. Booked.
Tyrell Malacia: 5
Put in a real shift to help add more numbers to the United attack but deserted his defensive duties for the second Villa goal when Lindelof was left two against one.
Scott McTominay: 7
Looked eager to cut passing lanes in the centre of the park in the Casemiro role, sitting deeper than he perhaps normally would. Made a crucial clearance off the line to deny Douglas Luiz straight from a corner. Unlucky to hit the bar late on before making sure of the win. Booked.
Fred: 5 (off 61′)
Looked jaded in the midfield as John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey toyed with the ball in front of him. Passing was sloppy and it is no surprise he plays a bit-part role under Ten Hag if this is his current level. Replaced by Eriksen.
Donny van de Beek: 4 (off 61′)
Dreadful display. Only his third start of the season, Van de Beek had a point to prove and he carried out his off-the-ball instructions to a tee. But he didn’t do anywhere near enough on the ball to create opportunities and had just 11 touches in the first half. Hooked on the hour.
Bruno Fernandes: 7
Starting on the right side of the front three in a makeshift role, the Portuguese looked uncomfortable and rarely got involved in the build-up in the first half. But he made his mark with a clever run in behind to Chambers to set up Martial’s equaliser and looked more effective in a central role late on as he scored the winner. Booked.
Anthony Martial: 6
The Frenchman would have been desperate to come through this tie unscathed after an injury-hit campaign but was anonymous in the first half. However, he got the all important touch when sweeping home from Fernandes’ cross to put United level.
Marcus Rashford: 8 (MAN OF THE MATCH)
Compare this version of Marcus Rashford to the one who refused to run last season and the transformation is astounding. He chased every ball, made overlapping runs and it is only a shame his team-mates didn’t match his work rate. His solo goal was nothing short of sensational as he spared United’s blushes.
Alejandro Garnacho: 8 (for Martial 61′)
Provided bags of excitement from the left flank with his trickery and confident running on the ball, and got two assists for Fernandes’ and McTominay’s goal. Another impressive impact from the bench.
Christian Eriksen: 7 (for Fred 61′)
Had a role to play in the second leveller just by being present in the box as Villa made a mess at the back and showed his quality late on.
Anthony Elanga: 5 (for Van de Beek 61′)
Barely involved and the young Swede looks a shadow of the player who broke through under Ralf Rangnick last season.
Casemiro: N/A (for Rashford 82′)
Lisandro Martinez: N/A (for Lindelof 86′)