Football

Shaw: United need to start games better

United record 10th comeback win this season, a new EPL record

Manchester United broke an English Premier League record for come-from-behind wins yesterday, but defender Luke Shaw warned that the Red Devils need to ditch their habit of starting poorly.

Their 3-1 away win against Aston Villa marked the 10th time this season that they have won an EPL game after conceding first, a new league record.

                       EPL
ASTON VILLA MAN UNITED
1 3
(Traore 24) (Fernandes 52-pen, Mason 56, Cavani 87)

Shaw told Sky Sports: "Going 1-0 down in the first half, we knew it was going to be a hard game and we have been in this situation so many times - second half we came back much better.

"That's a positive but we need to start the first half better than we normally do. Maybe we're not ready for the game but we have the quality and can't keep counting on second-half performances.

"We have been in this situation a lot of times, we have the quality, are a fit team and we always believe. When we got the first goal, I felt we were going to win."

But it was Villa who opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Bertrand Traore fired a brilliant strike from a tight angle into the top corner after some sloppy defending by the visitors, who gave the ball away several times deep in their own half.

Bruno Fernandes equalised with a 52nd-minute penalty, sending Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez the wrong way with a coolly taken spot-kick after a series of clumsy challenges by Douglas Luiz sent Paul Pogba tumbling over.

Mason Greenwood turned the match on its head four minutes later with a neat shot on the turn from inside the penalty area after he shook off Villa centre-back Tyrone Mings.

Substitute Edinson Cavani sealed United's victory with a glancing 87th-minute header - his eighth goal in his last seven games - before Villa striker Ollie Watkins was sent off, having received a second yellow after he was adjudged to have dived in the box.

United's win means local rivals Manchester City will have to wait a while longer to be officially crowned EPL champions.

On the Red Devils' comeback record, Greenwood told the BBC: "It is some achievement. We don't really want to go behind but it gives us a little boost to come back and get the win."

United stretching their unbeaten away league run to 25 games came at a cost as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed Harry Maguire - who came off in the 78th minute - may miss the Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26.

He told United's website: "It might be a few weeks or a month, we don't know."

Villa manager Dean Smith, meanwhile, railed against United's penalty and Watkins' red card. He told Sky Sports: "It looked a pathetic decision to me, but he goes down, similar to Old Trafford and last season here.

"Watkins has got sent off for a second yellow, there is no way the referee can tell me he is convinced he hasn't been touched. I just don't understand the decision-making of the officials."

At the London Stadium, West Ham United's top-four hopes suffered another blow with a 1-0 loss to Everton, who scored via Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Football