Manchester United had an afternoon to forget after they were beaten by Aston Villa in the Premier League.
The Villans came flying out of the blocks and were soon two goals to the good thanks to strikes form Lucas Digne and Leon Bailey.
Under the watchful eye of new boss Unai Emery, Villa put United to the sword, swarming their visitors and giving them no room to breathe.
Aston Villa blow Man United away in opening exchanges
Their opening two goals came inside the first 11 minutes and, from that point on, they were in cruise control.
Bar a few nervous minutes following Jacob Ramsey’s own-goal, it was all Villa on Sunday afternoon.
In fact, Ramsey quickly atoned for his error with a finish into the right net just minutes later to restore the two-goal cushion.
For Emery and Villa, it was three crucial points but, for United, it felt like a giant step back.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 06: Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on November 06, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
A dose of reality for Manchester United
After an alarming start to the season, Erik ten Hag looked to have righted the ship with the club notching up some impressive results and moving up the table.
However, they looked like that nervous, cagey side from the early weeks of the campaign once again as they let Villa have it all their own way.
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In truth, they were lucky the forgettable afternoon didn’t get worse with many a fan believing that Lisandro Martinez was very lucky not to be sent off.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 06: Unai Emery speaks to Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on November 06, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by James Gill/Getty Images)
Should Lisandro Martinez have been sent off?
The defender, who has been in fantastic form of late, was caught on camera landing a duo of elbows on goalscorer Leon Bailey.
With the pair tussling for the ball, Martinez planted on right into the stomach of Bailey in full view of the television cameras.
You can see the moment in the clip below:
Video: Lisandro Martinez elbows Leon Bailey
Shouldn’t this be a red card for Lisandro Martinez?
Two elbows! #AVLMUN #MUFC pic.twitter.com/XrS2qa8zfy
— AM7 (@OfficialAM7News) November 6, 2022
That is not a good look at all.
Incredibly, no action was taken by the officials with Martinez allowed to carry on with the clash.
Ultimately, it made little difference with the score remaining 3-1 until the final whistle but you still feel such behaviour should receive some sort of punishment.
Fans react to Martinez elbow
The loss brings united back down to earth with a resounding bump and will serve as a reminder of their very real frailties.
On their day they are simply fantastic but, when it goes wrong, it tends to do so in a spectacular way.
For Ten Hag, the job at hand is to make sure the bad days happen less and less as the season and the years go on.
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