“It was definitely going to be a defender” – Manchester United legend takes dig at Gary Neville for giving Harry Maguire the MOTM award

Manchester United legend Roy Keane took a dig at Gary Neville for picking Harry Maguire as the Man of the Match in United’s win over Aston Villa.

The Red Devils beat Villa 2-1 at Villa Park in the Premier League on Sunday, February 11. They opened the scoring in the 17th minute as Maguire won a header from a corner, which fell kindly for Rasmus Hojlund to finish.

Aston Villa restored parity in the 67th minute via Douglas Luiz, who finished from close range. However, Scott McTominay scored in the 86th minute, heading in from an excellent Diogo Dalot cross, to seal a big win for Manchester United.

Maguire, who started the game due to Lisandro Martinez’s injury, was adjudged the Man of the Match against Villa. Along with his assist, he made five clearances, four tackles, and one block. He won 11/12 duels, completed 47/59 passes, and created one big chance.

Former United defender Gary Neville picked Maguire as the Man of the Match. About the decision, Keane said (via Caught Offside):

“I thought he did alright today, obviously some lads give defenders Man of the Match because they’ve been defenders themselves – that type of scenario. It was definitely going to be a defender.”

Maguire has made 21 appearances across competitions for Manchester United this season. He returned to action last month after an injury and has started two games since.

Harry Maguire shares his thoughts on Manchester United’s win over Aston Villa

Manchester United displayed their resilience against Aston Villa on Sunday. Villa had 56% possession and 10/23 of their attempted shots were on target as compared to United’s 5/17. However, they failed to capitalise on them and the Red Devils bounced back to secure a winner.

Reflecting on the game, Maguire said in an interview with MUTV:

“[We] started well and finished well and managed to get three points. It’s a big three points. We aren’t where we are [wanting to be] in the league and still need to improve from now to the end of the season to make sure we are in the mix.

“You need the energy within the squad and the intensity that you work, and especially when you defend. The intensity has got to be there. It comes from energy and you feed off each other. It’s important when you are under the cosh like we were in the second half, we created a lot of chances ourselves.”

It was Manchester United’s fifth win in their last six games across competitions, having drawn the other. They are sixth in the Premier League standings, five points behind Aston Villa.

Erik ten Hag’s side will next face Luton Town away on February 18.

Edited by Aditya Singh

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