Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa: Eric Bailly's heroic highlights as Red Devils squad mob him at FT

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Eric Bailly was Manchester United's saviour during their 2-1 win over Aston Villa.

When you put the blockbuster Premier League tie under the microscope, you can't help thinking that it's the sort of game the Red Devils would have thrown away had it have taken place in 2019/20.

Besides, the United fans chewing their fingernails to dust as Villa piled on the pressure late on must have been fearing a repeat of the Southampton game at Old Trafford last season.

Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

But to the credit of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men, they fought incredibly hard to protect a 2-1 lead they'd amassed thanks to Anthony Martial's header and Bruno Fernandes' penalty.

And that's no small feat when you consider Bertrand Traore had equalised for the Villans, while David de Gea was forced to deny John McGinn, Ollie Watkins and Matty Cash during the win.

However, the game-deciding moment truly came in stoppage time when Bailly made a heroic block to deny Keinan Davis what looked to be a certain goal with just seconds left on the clock.

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Bailly mobbed at full-time

There are many genuine criticisms you can lodge at Bailly from his sometimes erratic defending to his terrible injury record, but one thing you can never fault him for is undiluted passion.

So, in many ways, it was totally unsurprising to see Bailly spreading himself as much as possible in the penalty area to thwart Davis when many could picture the net rippling already.

In fact, it was such a heroic moment from the Ivorian that the United players could be seen swarming around him in a brilliant show of solidarity that you can check out down below:

Bailly's individual highlights

However, if you see United fans bestowing him with the Man of the Match award for his Villa display, don't be fooled into thinking it was just down to his game-saving block alone.

Besides, Bailly was a genuine contender for that award long before he put his body on the line, staking a remarkable claim to start ahead of Victor Lindelof in the back four whenever he's fit.

So, to get the clearest idea of why half the United squad mobbed Bailly at the final whistle, be sure to check out his full individual highlights, courtesy of Twitter user @dotk32, down below:

One fan tweeted in reply: "Another hero like Vidic..."

Another posted: "This guy's fighting spirit is something else."

And a third penned: "He's world class IF he can stay fit."

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GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

Look, at the end of the day, United have their best shot of challenging for the Premier League title if they have Bailly - who pockets £80,000-a-week - fit for the remainder of the season.

That's not a wholesale criticism of Lindelof, I hastened to add, but I think it's pretty clear that Bailly's pace, dynamism and athleticism makes him a superior foil to Harry Maguire.

Sadly, one scan of his injury record is all you need to see that Bailly keeping fit is probably unrealistic and yes, it goes without saying that his overexcitement can lead to mistakes at times.

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But make no mistake that Bailly's supreme performance against Villa wasn't an anomaly and if United play their cards right with him from here to May, then anything can happen...

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