Friday night football returned last night as Manchester United travelled to Villa Park for the opening fixture of this weekend.
United made one notable change going in with Adnan Januzaj starting for the first time since February in place of Ashley Young and you get a fair idea that Young will be one of the first names on the teamsheet come midweek against Club Brugge for their Champions League qualifier.
The Red Devils edged out on a 1-0 scoreline with Januzaj scoring the only goal of the game and his first one in the league for 16 months. United looked a lot more composed on the ball as compared to Villa and it was Mata who found Januzaj in the box with a peach of a pass before the Belgian composed himself and guided his shot into the back of the net.
Louis van Gaal's team then steadied themselves for the remainder of the game, passing the ball around very neatly and earning a crucial early win for Louis Van Gaal.
Januzaj was a tactical change from Van Gaal and it worked perfectly with the young Belgian scoring but he also looked more sure of himself on the ball compared to last season. United however weren't perfect at all times with Juan Mata guilty of napping on the ball more than once and almost providing Villa with an opening.
Memphis came close to doubling United's lead but the Dutchman fired wide and still awaits his maiden Premier League goal. Romero however was a bit more confident and assertive this time around as compared to his Old Trafford debut last week, while Schneiderlin and Schweinstiger impressed again along with Darmian.
Manchester United were never really troubled by Villa who lacked creativity and pace and that is what Adama Traore has been brought in to bring. The new signing from Barcelona was in the stands watching his new side play.
There were shouts for a penalty with Darmian holding out Micah Richards in the box during an Aston Villa corner but there was nothing doing and all in all it was two teams who are still finding their ways with new look sides. With the Pedro deal all but confirmed you would think that Louis Van Gaal's men can become serious title contenders this time out.