FT: Man Utd 3-1 Aston Villa

Date published: Thursday 1st January 1970 12:00 -

An excellent win for Louis van Gaal’s men, who record their sixth Premier League victory in succession to move above Manchester City into third place.
MAN UTD 3-1 ASTON VILLA: Game over now, for sure. There’s a drop-ball after an injury to Jones and Rooney wins it off Benteke before finding Mata, who races down the right before pulling it back for Herrera, and the midfielder drills an excellent finish low into the corner to seal victory.
MAN UTD 2-1 ASTON VILLA: We will have FOUR minutes of added time at Old Trafford. It looks like United should be able to hold on quite comfortably, but Villa’s first did come out of nowhere…
MAN UTD 2-1 ASTON VILLA: Carrick gives it away in midfield and Villa fire it forward. Lowton’s high ball is won in the air by Benteke, who is penalised for climbing on the defender.
MAN UTD 2-1 ASTON VILLA: Valencia gets forward again and looks to get a cross in, but Cole is there to cover and he makes an important block.
MAN UTD 2-1 ASTON VILLA: The visitors win a corner on the left-hand side, but Cole’s delivery is headed away and United race forward through Di Maria. Delph recovers well and eventually makes a superb challenge to win it back. He had to get that one right or he’d have picked up a second yellow, there.
MAN UTD 2-1 ASTON VILLA: Another chance for United as Mata is released on the right-hand side, and he looks to flick a ball inside for Falcao but Okore gets it clear for a corner.
MAN UTD 2-1 ASTON VILLA: Agbonlahor wins a corner but the hosts get it clear and it’s played into Di Maria. Delph spots the danger and brings him down, taking a booking for the team.
MAN UTD 2-1 ASTON VILLA: De Gea will be furious with himself with that. We’re back to the single-goal lead and Villa have more of a swagger about them all of a sudden.
MAN UTD 2-1 ASTON VILLA: Maybe not over at Old Trafford just yet? The visitors hit back straight away as they win a corner and it’s played low into the box. Benteke meets it and drills a low effort which De Gea somehow lets slip under him, and Sherwood’s men have a lifeline.
MAN UTD 2-0 ASTON VILLA: Game over now, surely. Di Maria picks it up on the left and goes past Okore before chipping it into the box, and Rooney brings it down superbly before firing a wonderful volley on the turn which flies into the top corner. No chance for Guzan.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: That might change United’s tactics in terms of balls in the box, without Fellaini’s aerial prowess. The deliveries have been poor today and the Belgian didn’t have much service.
A pair of changes with one for either side, Radamel Falcao replacing Fellaini and Joe Cole on in Weimann’s stead.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Chance! Bacuna swings in the free kick and Okore rises highest at the far post, but he can’t direct his header on target as it flies wide of the upright.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Good play from Weimann, who chases a ball down the right and produces an excellent turn to wrong-foot Rojo, who slides in and concedes a free-kick just outside the right-hand edge of the box.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Carrick comes forward through the middle and another United attack starts to form. Di Maria chips a ball into the box looking for Mata but Baker gets it clear.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Okore chases Rooney as he tries to recover, but he’s always making up ground and ends up bringing the United man down in midfield.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: The home fans try to inspire their side with an increase in noise, and Mata nearly responds as he charges down the right only to be stopped in his tracks by Delph, who turns it behind.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Danger for the hosts as De Gea slices a clearance, but the defenders between them manage to tidy things up. It’s all be rather lackadaisical from United in this half.
Van Gaal chooses to make a change, with Young withdrawn in place of Angel Di Maria.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Chance! Sanchez gives the ball straight to Rooney, who drifts inside and tries a shot with the outside of his foot, but he misses the target as it flies well wide.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Valencia gets in behind – again – but again his ball isn’t the best and it asks too much of Fellaini at the far post. Van Gaal’s men are dominating possession but, like the first half, they’re not creating too much.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: United are forward again as Mata, Herrera and Fellaini pass it around, but the Belgian then plays a ball wide to absolutely no one and it goes straight out for a throw.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Valencia – who seems to be permanently camped inside the Villa half – picks it up again and tries to take on Baker, who does well to get in a challenge and win a goal kick as well.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Herrera finds Mata with a good ball out to the right and United again start to string some passes together. It’s fairly slow and the home fans are a little frustrated that their side are not pushing forward quickly.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Lowton plays a good ball down the right-hand side looking for Weimann, who manages to get to it just as the flag goes up for offside against him.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: It’s very hard to see Villa stopping United scoring again if play carries on like this. We’re pretty much exclusively playing inside the visitors’ half at the moment.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Chance! Mata and Valencia cause more problems down the right flank, and the full-back gets in behind before chipping across goal, but Fellaini’s header down into the ground is turned over the bar by Guzan.
Another change for Villa, with Nathan Baker thrown on in place of N’Zogbia, who’s been very quiet this afternoon.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Mistake by Mata as Valencia plays it into the Spaniard and he miscontrols it, allowing it to go out of play.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Herrera clips Agbonlahor in midfield and the visitors throw men forward for the free kick. Delph fires it in but it goes straight to De Gea. Poor delivery.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: It’s very much ‘as you were’ from the first half, with the hosts enjoying the majority of possession, but it’s been a more stuttering second half so far.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Oh dear. Mata steps up to take the free kick but his contact is terrible and it flies a long way over the crossbar. Not a memorable effort, that one.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Excellent play from Rooney, who gets away from one man before taking it away from Weimann and drawing a foul around 30 yards from goal. He’ll fancy this one himself…
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: N’Zogbia collects the ball in midfield and tries to get away from two United players. He loses out but is awarded a free kick for a challenge from behind by Fellaini.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Just wide!Mata fires a fantastic ball out to the left for Young, who cuts inside and curls a superb shot inches wide of Guzan’s far post.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Benteke picks it up and turns past Jones, but the defender recovers really well and gets in a good challenge.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Chance! Weimann charges into the box and gets past Valencia before pulling back to Benteke, but the striker gets his footing all wrong and can’t test the goalkeeper.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Carrick wins a free kick and the hosts take it quickly. Clark gets a header away before Fellaini is penalised for a shove inside the Villa box.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: The hosts immediately find their stride again, and Valencia gets in behind on the right before his floated cross is headed off target by Fellaini.
Leandro Bacuna is a half-time change for Villa, with Hutton unable to continue after that injury to his ankle.
KICK-OFF! MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: We’re back underway at Old Trafford as United get things going for the second half.
It’s been a dominant display from the hosts so far, and they deservedly go in ahead. Agbonlahor and Benteke are trying to make life difficult at the other end, but all the possession is with United, who will want to add to their lead after the break.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: Chances! Could, and maybe should, be 2-0 as Blind’s low pass across the box is sliced at goal by Rooney, before Clark’s clearance flies up for Rojo, but the defender can only head a tame effort which Guzan saves well.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: We’re going to have two added minutes at the end of the half, with United still dominating the possession. They’d love to add a second if they can.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: That goal will help the nerves – they were starting to get a little frustrated inside Old Trafford, but they’ll take a deserved lead into the break.
MAN UTD 1-0 ASTON VILLA: The goal finally comes! Young finds Blind on the overlap, and it’s a good pass into the box for Herrera, who takes a touch and fires a low effort into the far corner.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Another chance for United as Okore’s clearance is brought down by Blind, who takes a touch before drilling a shot at goal. It takes a deflection off Clark which takes some of the pace off it, and it’s a simple stop for Guzan.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Chance for the hosts as Young again comes in from the left, and this time he goes to shoot from a tight angle but Okore gets a block in.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Young tries to flick a pass on for Fellaini down the line, but Hutton is there to cut it out. Good defending, but the Scot still looks to be in some discomfort.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Jones does very well to deal with a difficult ball over the top, with Benteke bearing down on him. The hosts break and Young has it on the left before cutting inside and whipping in a cross which Guzan punches away.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Hutton’s back on complete with strapping and the visitors have their 11 men back. United try to attack but Sanchez wins it and Villa can advance into the hosts’ half.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Hutton’s off getting strapping on his ankle, and Sherwood is there chatting with both him and the physio to see if he needs to make a change.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Hutton is down receiving treatment for what looks like an ankle problem after making a clearance near his own corner flag. Villa will be hoping he can carry on because he’s done well so far.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Benteke is penalised as he tries to win it off Jones on the near side. He’s not impressed but it’s another clear-cut decision.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: The pace has relaxed somewhat in the last couple of minutes. There hasn’t been much zip to this game at all just yet, but Van Gaal’s men are the one dictating the play.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Benteke battles to keep the ball out on the left-hand side before moving into the box, but he spurns the chance with an awful touch which sends the ball behind.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: The hosts are getting forward very well down the left-hand side. Blind plays it into Young, who ignores the overlap and tries to get in a cross, but he gets it all wrong and the ball flies straight out for a goal kick.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Benteke does well as he draws the foul from Jones to give Villa some respite and the chance to get some men forward, but as the set piece is fired towards the box the flag goes straight up for offside against the Belgian.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Sherwood, you suspect, will be happy to take 0-0 at the break right now. The hosts continue to keep the ball well and Villa can’t cause as many problems on the break as they did earlier on.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Chance! Lovely football from United as Mata and Herrera link up nicely before the latter finds Valencia in behind. He chips it into the box for Rooney, who tries a bicycle kick which he doesn’t quite get right and it flies well wide.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Good chance for Villa on the break as Benteke helps in on for Weimann, but the Austrian’s return pass is poor and the striker can only put it out for a goal kick.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: It’s all United at the moment. Valencia turns down the wing and firing in another deep cross, but Hutton is again there to put enough pressure on Fellaini to make sure the Belgian can’t get a head on it.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Over! Rojo picks the ball up and has plenty of space in front of him, so the defender fires in an excellent effort from all of 30 yards, which Guzan gets a fingertip on to tip it over the bar.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Young whips in another United cross which Guzan claims comfortably. He’s looking for a quick outlet but only Benteke is forward and he can’t set a counter going.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Valencia cuts in from the left and fires in a cross with the outside of his right foot. Fellaini is there at the far post and wins the header, but it goes straight to Guzan.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Herrera plays an excellent ball through the channel looking for Mata, who is in behind Lowton, but Clark comes across to get in a challenge and even force a goal kick.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: It’s played forward and Agbonlahor tries to race on to collect it, but Jones gets across well to see the ball out for a goal kick.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Good play from Delph, who does well to win the ball before being clattered by Valencia on the halfway line. It’s a dangerous lunge but somehow he escapes a booking.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Rooney chases a ball over the top and battles with Okore, but the whistle goes as he shoves the Villa defender in the back. Rooney’s furious – probably still because of the penalty decision – but that was an easy call.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Benteke fancies his chances as he cuts in from the left and curls a long-range effort at goal, but it’s a simple save for De Gea.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: We’re 15 minutes in and it’s been mostly Manchester United so far, but they have to be wary of Villa on the counter, especially with Agbonlahor’s pace.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Villa have changed their tack from the opening few minutes and are looking to hit United on the break. Mata and Fellaini can’t quite link up and the visitors stride forward, but Benteke’s ball in from the left doesn’t find Agbonlahor through the middle.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Herrera tries an ambitious pass which goes all wrong and flies way back into the United half, stopping their momentum as Villa pick it up and move forward.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: The United pressure is ramping up, now. Mata is the latest to advance into the area, before cutting inside only to be closed down by two defenders as the ball goes behind for a corner.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Chance! Young strides through the defence with a superb run before drilling it across the box. Clark gets a block in before it falls to Mata, whose low attempt is also cleared by the Villa defender.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: The hosts are back in possession and they’re keeping it with some measured passing. Valencia floats a ball across the box but Hutton does well to beat Fellaini to it.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: This is better from Villa, who are looking to take the game to United. Agbonlahor picks it up on the left-hand side but his inswinging cross is headed away.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Rooney is absolutely furious with that decision. Meanwhile, Villa have a chance as Agbonlahor picks it up in the area, taking it away from Jones and De Gea, but he’s forced away from goal and can’t get in a clean shot on goal.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Penalty? Valencia fires a wonderful long ball over the top and Fellaini flicks it into the path of Rooney, who goes down under pressure from Clark. It looks a clear spot-kick but referee Roger East says no.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Young links up well with Blind on the left before he cuts inside under little pressure from Villa. The wide man tries a shot but it’s blocked in the box.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Van Gaal’s men have settled into some good early possession, here. Valencia plays the ball to Herrera, who looks to find Mata out wide, but his first-time pass is poor and goes straight out of play.
MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: Clark fires a long ball towards the left-hand side, but no one can get on the end of it and it goes out for a throw to the hosts, who press forward as Blind’s cross is headed clear.
KICK-OFF! MAN UTD 0-0 ASTON VILLA: We’re underway as Villa get the ball rolling for the first half.
The players are out and it’s a packed Old Trafford once again. Stick right here for live updates – we’re just a few minutes away from kick-off.
Stat of the day contender, here? Aston Villa have scored just two goals in the final 30 minutes of games in the Premier League this season – Man Utd have scored more in the 90th minute or later (3).
The Red Devils are on superb form at home – they’ve won 12 of their last 14 Premier League matches at Old Trafford, drawing one and losing the other.
The forward has also scored eight goals in his last six Premier League games at Old Trafford against Villa, netting four braces.
Rooney scored for England against Lithuania during the international break, and he’d be a good bet to net this afternoon. He’s scored 12 goals against Aston Villa – his joint-highest tally against any opponent in Premier League history, along with Newcastle United.
Fancy a flutter? Sky Bet have the hosts as big odds-on favourites at 1/3, with 4/1 offered on the draw and Aston Villa out at 8/1 to take victory. Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp’s backing a double of Wayne Rooney to score first and Manchester United to win 3-1 at 25/1.
Also, Villa have won just one of their last 38 Premier League games against Manchester United (L27 D10 W1).
The stats don’t look good for the visitors. Manchester United have 31 Premier League wins against Aston Villa, the joint-most of any team against any opponent in the history of the competition (along with Man Utd v Everton).
Tim Sherwood makes three changes from the defeat to Swansea as Matthew Lowton replaces Leandro Bacuna, while Carlos Sanchez gets the nod in midfield and Andreas Weimann starts, with Scott Sinclair not making the squad. Joe Cole returns to the bench.
There’s no Chris Smalling for the hosts after the defender was forced off for England against Italy, so Marcos Rojo comes in in the only change from their 2-1 win at Liverpool before the international break.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Lowton, Delph, Sanchez, N’Zogbia, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Vlaar, Bacuna, Cole, Gil, Baker, Grealish.
Man Utd: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Carrick, Herrera, Mata, Fellaini, Young, Rooney. Subs: Valdes, Rafael, McNair, A Pereira, Januzaj, Di Maria, Falcao.
Team news is arriving…
Hello and welcome to live commentary of the Premier League clash between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford. We’ve had the international break but now attention turns back to league affairs, with plenty still to play for.

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