Manchester United — 3
Aston Villa — 1
Manchester United recorded a 13th win out of 15 home Premier League games this Saturday, beating Aston Villa 3-1 at Old Trafford. While United dominated for long spells of the game, it wasn’t until an injury time strike from Ander Herrera that The Red Devils put the game to bed.
Manchester United are now eight points clear of fifth placed Liverpool folowing the Reds’ earlier loss to Arsenal. The Red Devils also, temporarily at least, move into third ahead of Manchester City.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, remain just three points above the relegation zone. Tim Sherwood has seven remaining fixtures to guide Villa to safety, starting with their midweek clash against fellow strugglers QPR.
Scroll down for the game’s main highlights:
5th Minute: United Penalty Claim
Manchester United appealed for a penalty as Wayne Rooney was dragged down in the box, but Roger East waved their protestations away.
25th Minute: Rojo Went Close for United
Marcos Rojo, cutting in from left back, had a fine slicing effort tipped over by Villa ‘keeper Brad Guzan.
44th Minute: GOAL Andera Herrera Put United 1-0 up
United looked most dangerous coming down the left, and it was no surprise that’s where their opening goal came from. Ander Herrera, with space in the penalty area, received a cut-back from Daley Blind and angled the ball into the bottom right corner.
79th Minute: GOAL Rooney Scored to Make it United 2, Villa 0
Wayne Rooney pulled Angel di Maria’s cross out of the air with his left foot before half-volleying the ball into the top-left corner with his right. United looked to be coasting, until…
80th Minute GOAL: Christian Benteke Pulled one Back for Villa
Christian Benteke hit the ball low towards goal from a Villa corner, sliding under David de Gea. The Spanish goalkeeper should have done better. United faced a nervy final 10 minutes.
92nd Minute: GOAL Herrera Scored His Second and United’s Third
Ander Herrera sealed the game for United in injury time, meeting Juan Mata’s cut-back to coolly guide the ball past Brad Guzan into the bottom right corner for United’s third and his second of the game.
Goals: United 3, Villa 1
Shots: United 19, Villa 4
Possession: United 77%, Villa 23%
Completed Passes: United 663, Villa 160
Corners: United 10, Villa 2
Cards: United 0, Villa 1
United: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Herrera; Mata, Fellaini, Young; Rooney. Subs: Valdes, Rafael, McNair, A.Pereira, Januzaj, Di Maria, Falcao.
Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Lowton, Delph, Sanchez, N’Zogbia, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Vlaar, Bacuna, Cole, Gil, Baker, Grealish.
Preview: Manchester United vs. Aston Villa
Fourth-placed Manchester United will be looking to solidify their position in the Champions League qualification spots as they host Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Building on impressive back-to-back wins against top-4 rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, Louis van Gaal’s men will be hoping for a more convincing performance than they delivered in the reverse fixture back in December, when the Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Villa.
With just eight games left, Aston Villa remain a slender three points above the relegation zone. Tim Sherwood will be hoping his Villains can bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 home loss to Swansea last time out.
But while Villa have won three of their last four fixtures under their new manager, scoring eight goals in the process, history dictates that this fixture will be a struggle for the men in claret and blue: they’ve won just one of their last 38 Premier League encounters with Manchester United.