Roy Keane reveals the one reason he KNEW Gary Neville would name Harry Maguire as Player of the Match for Manchester United's win over Aston Villa

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  • Gary Neville named Harry Maguire as Man United's best player in Aston Villa win
  • Roy Keane suggested bias had been at play with his former teammate's decision
  • The only PR that managers get is results... the way Erik ten Hag handled Marcus Rashford was a rare positive for the Man U boss - It's All Kicking Off podcast 

Roy Keane implied Gary Neville has a bias when selecting the player of the match after Man United's win against Aston Villa.

Erik ten Hag's side picked up what could prove to be a vital victory at Villa Park and in doing so moved themselves within six points of fourth-placed Tottenham in the race for Champions League football.

Harry Maguire started alongside Raphael Varane in United's seemingly ever-rotating defence and had an immediate impact, winning a header from a corner to find Rasmus Hojlund.

The young forward has been prolific since finally opening his Premier League account on Boxing Day, and he netted to give the visitors the lead after 17 minutes.

Andre Onana produced one of his best performances to date in a Manchester United shirt throughout the first half, producing two crucial saves to maintain their lead into the interval.

Roy Keane insisted Gary Neville had a specific reason for naming Harry Maguire Player of the Match in Man United's win over Aston Villa

Maguire provided the assist for United's opener as Rasmus Hojlund fired them into the lead

Maguire provided the assist for United's opener as Rasmus Hojlund fired them into the lead

Villa were persistent though, and their efforts were rewarded when Douglas Luiz equalised on the hour mark.

Scott McTominay has been in a rich vein of form in front of goal this season and the Scotsman duly delivered to secure victory in dramatic fashion.

Neville named Maguire the Player of the Match for his efforts, and while Keane admitted the England international was solid at the heart of defence, he insisted some partisanship on behalf of the former United defender could be at play.

'I thought he did alright today, obviously some lads give defenders Man of the Match because they've been defenders themselves - that type of scenario. It was definitely going to be a defender.' Keane said on Sky Sports.

Asked who he would've chosen in place of Maguire for the award the former Republic of Ireland international continued: 'No big deal about that but we've praised the defenders considered the amount of chances Villa had.

'Winning Man of the Match the bottom line is it's no big deal, what's important for Maguire is he's getting games under his belt and he's getting back up to speed.

'He's a good, solid, experienced defender. The problems are still there for Man United, they got away with it today because the attacking players are scoring goals.'

Maguire has enjoyed a renaissance at United in recent weeks particularly given how bleak his future at the club appeared in the summer.

Amid significant discontent from the club's fanbase, the 30-year-old was stripped of the captaincy in July, and, like McTominay, was repeatedly linked with a move to West Ham having fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

30-year-old continued his recent form with a solid defensive display throughout on Sunday

30-year-old continued his recent form with a solid defensive display throughout on Sunday

But Keane insisted Neville's decision was influenced by a feeling of kinship with a fellow defender

But Keane insisted Neville's decision was influenced by a feeling of kinship with a fellow defender

Maguire has already surpassed the number of Premier League starts he made for United last season

Maguire has already surpassed the number of Premier League starts he made for United last season

A series of injuries provided an opportunity to return to first-team action however, and the former Hull City star made nine consecutive league starts before being curtailed with an injury of his own in December.

Since then though Maguire has returned to action in good form, and has featured in the club's last three Premier League games.

With eleven Premier League starts this campaign Maguire has already surpassed his tally for the previous season, and Lisandro Martinez's recent injury likely provide him with an extended spell in the starting XI.

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