Well, it’s always going to come, isn’t it?
That first loss of the season, which inevitably tastes bitter when you’ve had a good start. But it’s borderline unpalatable when it arrives in the manner that Manchester United’s first loss did against Aston Villa.
A lively first half showed signs of promise, and despite not scoring, United were playing some good football when it came to the business end of the field. Bruno Fernandes was dictating play like a masterful conductor in front of his orchestra, while Mason Greenwood was dazzling Old Trafford with his sharp, effective, and scarily direct play.
But then the second half came. Surrounding the odd moment of flair and brightness was a seas of mediocrity and flat end product – even with the great Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line.
The Red Devils were made to pay late on as Douglas Luiz’s whipped corner was headed in brilliantly by centre-back Kourtney Hause who, particularly noted by the Villa faithful, had enjoyed a brilliant afternoon.
Cue the necessary pun…
That beaming joy was quickly scrapped, however, when Mike Dean awarded Manchester United with a last minute penalty; what was that, Ole?
None other than Villa’s hero of the hour Hause had handled a cross and given the Red Devils the opportunity to earn a point. After some debate, Fernandes stepped up and, well, you probably know the rest…
The man who had his heart in his mouth was visibly thrilled after realising his header would, in fact, be the decisive moment to inflict a first Premier League defeat of the season on United.
Although we enjoyed Emi Martinez’s reaction even more. Groovy.
And once the final whistle was blown, criticism was thrown at various angles – to Fernandes for not letting Ronaldo taking the penalty and, unsurprisingly, to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following another lacklustre performance.
After a third defeat on four games, many United fans are making their feelings clear.
Always next week, eh?