Sports Desk, Feb 12 (EFE).- Scott McTominay’s late header secured Manchester United their third consecutive Premier League win as the Red Devils edged Aston Villa 2-1 in a crucial game to close the gap with the fifth-placed side on Sunday.
United came into the match at Villa Park knowing that anything but a win would significantly damage their Champions League hopes and took a lead through Rasmus Hojlund in the 17th minute of the contest.
Defender Harry Maguire set up the goal for Hojlund, who at 21 became the second-youngest player to ever score in five successive Premier League appearances, only behind Nicolas Anelka for Arsenal.
Douglas Luiz equalized for Villa with a quarter of the game left, leaving United tense before Scott McTominay stepped in to secure three points for the visitors with his eighth goal of the season four minutes from the whistle.
In the frantic last 10 minutes, when both teams were looking for the winner, teenage midfielder Kobbie Mainoo kept the ball away from two defenders on the right to cut it back to Diogo Dalot.
The Portuguese right-back made a delightful cross with his first touch that met McTominay, whose bullet header left Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez with no chance to prevent the goal.
“It was massive. It’s a massive win for us. So, we get closer. And that was the aim for today and was absolutely our target. And we did it,” said Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag.
“And I think also the way we did it, I think I liked it, and of course, I liked especially the first 20 minutes.”
United’s sixth away win in the season took their tally to 41 points from 24 matches, six behind Tottenham and five behind Villa, who were holding fourth and fifth place, respectively.
Arsenal, who beat West Ham 0-6 in another match of the night, are in third place with 52 points.
Bukayo Saka scored a brace for the Gunners, while William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Leandro Trossard, and Declan Rice scored the other goals for Arsenal in their joint-biggest away league win since 1935. EFE