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Manchester United suffered another devastating defeat as Aston Villa blew a 2-0 lead at Old Trafford.
Then Alejandro Garnacho, the teenage prodigy he presented with a spell that once belonged to Cristiano Ronaldo, stepped forward.
The Argentina international had already established himself as the club’s most important young player before his debut.
His goal against Everton earlier this month was evidence of an asset that is becoming increasingly important.
Manchester United put in an impressive performance as they won 3-2 over Aston Villa
Yet it was Garnacho’s best-ever performance for United – and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
John McGinn and Leander Dendoncker gave Villa a 2–0 lead that seemed unassailable.
Given the way United have performed this season, no one expected them to muster the courage of the older players to achieve anything from the game.
However, Garnacho came forward to save Eric ten Hag from the sack. For now, at least.
He started the game on the left wing and switched Marcus Rashford to the right.
However, only once the roles were reserved, United managed to make a strong comeback.
Garnacho had already seen an effort ruled out for offside before he opened his account in the 59th minute.
Just 11 minutes later he struck again, with the 19-year-old scoring on his left foot and sparking celebrations around the field.
From that moment on, it was clear that United had rediscovered their confidence and their goalscoring touch.
Garnacho was not the matchwinner. Instead it was Rasmus Hjolund who finally made an impression in the Premier League for the first time.
However, it was Hjölund who presented Garnacho with the man of the match award after the game in recognition of his teammates’ exploits.
There isn’t much to be positive about when it comes to United these days.
Yet Garnacho, who cost the club just £100,000 when he arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2020, has great hopes for their future.
The right wing is where he should be now, with Rashford on the left and Hjolund in the middle.
There may still be some way to go for United to turn their season around, especially with so many talented teenagers in their ranks.
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Manchester United star Alejandro Garnacho celebrates scoring against Aston Villa on Tuesday night
However, only time will tell whether this will happen or not.
Meanwhile, Garnacho was delighted after leading United to victory over Villa – and insisted they are still behind Ten Hag.
“It’s a great feeling. We are Manchester United,” he said.
“We were two-nil down, but we never gave up and it was a great comeback from the team.
“Yes, I wanted to try and take control of things.
Manchester United hitman Rasmus Hjolund celebrates his goal in the win over Aston Villa
“I said we just needed one goal to get back into it, I got that first goal but it was offside.
“But as I said before we never give up so it was a case of scoring the first goal and keeping the pressure on.
“I’m also very happy for Rasmus to get his first league goal.
“A lot of people talk about Man United strikers, that we never score goals or get assists, but you see Rashford today with assists, goals for Rasmus and me.
“Everyone is very happy.”