Antonio Valencia was in sensational form against Aston Villa this afternoon in a 3-0 win.
Manchester United returned to form this weekend, with a resounding and entertaining victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park. With recent defeats in usual home bankers against Everton and Newcastle United David Moyes would have been excused for believing the sides historical dominance over Villa was just a ‘Fergie thing’ - but that theory was disproved with a superb away performance.
The defence looked balanced with Rafael back in the fold - while the strike force of Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney blended effortlessly with the midfield and flanks. The midfield of Ryan Giggs, Tom Cleverley, Adnan Januzaj and Antonio Valencia were fluid in their attacking motion and cut through Villa’s midfield and defence like ribbon.
But it was the man on the right-flank who deserved most of the plaudits - as it was vintage Valencia on this occasion.
The Ecuadorean winger was in scintillating form this afternoon, and Villa left-back Antonio Luna will likely need to have a long hard bath and get to bed early to recover from this one - as Valencia roasted him for 90 minutes straight.
He seemed to truly enjoy the attacking support he received from Rafael behind him - and while his form of late has been very inconsistent there is no doubt, that when Valencia is in the mood, he is unplayable.
His blend of pace and direct at-your-throat dribbling had Villa treading backwards for much of the game - and he was thoroughly deserving of all plaudits received after the game.
He set up one goal on a platter for Danny Welbeck and his good play lead to Rafael delivering the cross from Welbeck bagged the opening goal.
The propensity with which United went for Valencia was shown in the amount of touches he had. His 72 touches dwarfed the 31 Januzaj got on the ball as he hugged the touchline before rocketing off like a freight train down the gullet of Luna and co.
In fact, only Tom Cleverley, who also put in a superb performance today, and Rafael had more touches than the mercurial 28-year-old.
Now if only he did it every week…
Here is what United fans thought on Twitter…
Call off the search - Manchester United's Player of the Year 2011-12 Antonio Valencia has been found— manutdfuture (@manutdfuture) December 15, 2013
I rate Antonio Valencia very highly! Great delivery and always such a threat.— Kieran Cleeves (@KieranCleeves) December 15, 2013
Brilliant wing play from Valencia. United look lively. Attractive wing attacks are the trademark of United's during Sir Alex era.— Ibnu Agung Mulyanto (@IBeNimages) December 15, 2013
Man Of The Match: Antonio Valencia !— EMINƎM (@Haiqal_Carl) December 15, 2013
They gave Man Of The Match to Welbeck buit for me it was Antonio Valencia— Meksy Nwachi (@TheAmazingMekz) December 15, 2013
ANTONIO VALENCIA is a beast!!— Aman Agarwal (@10aman) December 15, 2013
image: © Magnus D