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Raphael Varane on how Man United had to suffer in their FA Cup win over Aston Villa.

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

Man United booked an FA Cup fourth-round meeting with Middlesbrough as Scott McTominay's goal proved the difference against Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

Man Utd 1-0 Aston Villa.

Varane moved from Real Madrid to Man United last summer.
Varane moved from Real Madrid to Man United last summer.

Rafael Varane has taken the positives from Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup, but also acknowledged that they ‘had to suffer a lot.’ The Red Devils managed to secure a narrow win over Steven Gerrard’s Villans on Monday night to book a spot in the fourth round of football’s oldest competition. In the 8th minute, Scott McTominay ran into the 18-yard box unchallenged and nodded in a brilliant cross from Fred that went past goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. The result was harsh on Villa, who had the ball in the United net twice in the second half only for both goals to be ruled out following a VAR review. However, while defender Varane was speaking to BBC Sport, he said that the United players need more confidence and must fight for their fans. "It was a difficult match. We had to suffer a lot on the pitch but together and I liked the spirit of this match," the Frenchman said.

A photo of football fans walking towards Old Trafford for Man Utd's FA Cup clash against Aston Villa.
A photo of football fans walking towards Old Trafford for Man Utd's FA Cup clash against Aston Villa.

"We had the opportunity to score more goals. When it was not possible to play higher up the pitch we were compact and did not let them play easily. "We had to be aggressive and as a result it is good. We are happy. We need more confidence, we need to be together and I think we are in a good way." On the Villa goal ruled out by VAR, he said: "It was a long moment! I think it is the right decision. It is just a moment in the game and I think the spirit of the team was good." When asked if the win was a good way to put behind rumours of a dressing room unrest, Varane replied: "We just have to be focused on our job. We have to fight, we have to fight for our fans. That is it."

Rangnick: 'We showed a reaction'

Man United boss Ralf Rangnick, added: "I think we showed a reaction after the Wolves game, that is what everyone expected from us. We knew it would be very difficult against Villa. In the first half, I thought we did well. It could have been 3-2 or 4-3 to us at halftime. "In the second half we were on the counter attack and we could have made more of those situations. We took the wrong decisions at times but when we changed to a diamond in midfield we had more control.

Man United fans celebrating at Old Trafford
Man United fans celebrating at Old Trafford

"In the last 20 minutes, we had more control. We fought well as a team together when it was important. In the end, it was a good win. That was our goal, to proceed to the next round." "We have to develop the team into a clean sheet team and that was another one today but still David de Gea was outstanding again for me today. I would have wanted him to have less saves in total, I think we had four or five shots on goal but again we can still improve even in that area."

When quizzed on his thoughts of match-winner McTominay, Rangnick said: "He is an academy boy, his energy is amazing. He has started scoring goals and also with some leadership skills. I wouldn't be surprised if in a couple of years he would be the captain of this team."

On the Aston Villa goal that was ruled out by VAR, he asserted: "We had a look in the dugout and when I saw the situation for me it was clear - the player who blocked Edinson Cavani was offside in the very moment when the ball came in."

When asked if he saw progress, the German replied: "Yes. To say that this was a perfect game, nobody would believe that of course, it was not. We still have quite a few things we can get better at but a clean sheet was important today and we worked together. Still a lot of things to improve but it is easier to do that with a 1-0 win."

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