116 touches, 3 key passes: United's Antonio Valencia a quiet hero against Villa

Antonio Valencia

Antonio Valencia went about his business with great efficiency as Manchester United welcomed Aston Villa on Saturday.

As Manchester United breezed past Aston Villa on Saturday, courtesy of a 3-1 victory, Antonio Valencia put in yet another impressive shift.

Ander Herrera made the breakthrough for Louis van Gaal's side shortly before half-time, before a delightful finish from Wayne Rooney with 10 minutes to go looked to have secured maximum points.

Christian Benteke's effort almost immediately after stirred the Old Trafford crowd. However, the win was confirmed in stoppage time, when Herrera was set up by Rooney to slide home his second of the afternoon.

Van Gaal's lack of options at full-back has forced him to utilise Valencia, who is naturally a winger, on the right-hand side of defence; a decision that has paid its dividends, as the Opta Stats tablesuggest.

  TouchesTackle WonsInterceptionsTotal ClearancesKey PassesTotal Passes(Accurate Pass / Total Pass) * 100Accurate Crosses
Antonio Valencia 128 1 0 2 3 95 93.68 5

The Ecuadorian international was more involved than any other player at Old Trafford on Saturday, accruing an impressive 116 touches throughout ninety-minutes. 

He excelled at right-back, although he had little to do in a defensive capacity. He made just one tackle, one block and two clearances to assist his side at the back. 

Instead, his most impressive contribution came with his exploits in the final third. Here, he recorded a match-best three key passes, while playing five accurate crosses. 

Valencia also proved to be one of the Red Devils' most efficient players in possession, finding success in 93.7% of his total attempted passes.

The Ecuadorian international will, and has, faced tougher tests than Villa. Nonetheless, he is proving to be a consistent performer for the club in his adopted right-back role.  

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