Steven Gerrard singles out who he believes was man-of-the-match in 2-2 draw with Manchester United

Jacob Ramsey was awarded man-of-the-match for his goal and assist in the second-half

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard singled out who he believed was man-of-the-match in Aston Villa’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Monday evening and it wasn’t the man chosen by the sponsors.

Jacob Ramsey was officially awarded with the honour after his goal and assist dragged Villa back from 2-0 down to level in the final 15 minutes.

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And whilst Gerrard was full of praise for the young midfielder, calling his second-half performance ‘outstanding,’ there was another player that he claims was on it from minute one and deserves the plaudits; Emiliano Buendia.

Philippe Coutinho of Aston Villa interacts with teammate Emiliano Buendia following the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park

Buendia has had a tough time in his early Villa career having only found the net once since his big money move from Norwich in the Summer but his performances since the arrival of Gerrard have certainly taken an up-turn in form.

He shows touches of class on the field that many around him could never and certainly looked the most likely to create in the game against United before the eventual breakthrough.

The scouser says his performance against the Red Devils ‘epitomised’ everything he wants from a player on his side and is confident that the goals and assists will come sooner rather than later.

“He was my personal man of the match,” Gerrard said.

“Okay, there were a few things within the performance that I’m sure Emi will try and improve, that’s the sort of kid and character we’re talking about.

“He epitomised what I wanted from the 90 minute performance.

“He was competing for headers, he was sliding and won everything he could out of possession.

“He died on the pitch, he was getting kicked and some of his football was terrific.

“Just that real energy and passion and fight, committing to a game-plan, I was absolutely delighted with Emi Buendia and he’s been getting better and better each week.

“We’ve sat him down and spoken with him about certain situations but I really loved his performance. He epitomised everything that I want to stand for.”

Buendia appeared to drop deeper into the midfield three when Philippe Coutinho was introduced on the field and whilst it may not be the Argentine’s natural position, Gerrard believes it’s just one of many he can take up and proves he and Coutinho can be on the field at the same time together.

“For sure,” (they can play together) he added.

“I think other people on the outside might have been thinking when Phil arrived what does it mean for other players in the team and the squad.

“We want as many good players here as we can, we want players who can play together. They’ve been shining in training together and they obviously get on well with the South American connection.

“We haven’t brought anyone in to replace Buendia, he’s a big player for us and he’s going to contribute and help us a lot moving forward.

“Phil has lifted Emi, for sure. Phil’s lifted Carney [Chukwuemeka], and JJ and everyone else around the dressing room so that’s great to see.”

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