Aston Villa 2 Man Utd 3
Aston Villa 2 Manchester United 3, Villa Park, English FA Cup Third Round, January 6, 2002. Manchester United came from being two goals down to overcome Aston Villa by 3-2. Following a goalless first period, Villa went two-nil up through Ian Taylor and an own goal by Phil Neville before a brace from second half substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy and one goal by his striking partner Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw the visitors winning by three goals to two.
Manchester United came into this fixture on the back of a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United at Old Trafford, while Aston Villa had managed a 1-1 draw against Sunderland at Stadium of Light in their previous match. In the last FA Cup meeting between the two teams, eventual winners United had beaten Villa 2-1 in a quarter-final tie at Old Trafford on the 19th of Match 1977 thanks to a goal each from Stewart Houston and Lou Macari. After a rather dull first half, the game at Villa Park was brought to life six minutes into the second period when a brilliant through pass from Lee Hendrie found Ian Taylor who placed the ball past Manchester United shot stopper Roy Carroll and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net to give Aston Villa a 1-0 lead. And only a couple of minutes later, The Villains doubled their advantage as United defender Phil Neville headed a high ball by Paul Merson past Carroll and into his own goal. But as the half wore on, Manchester United responded with a trademark finish from Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on 77 minutes before Netherlands international Ruud van Nistelrooy, who had replaced fellow substitute Luke Chadwick in the 56th minute, hit two late goals in the 80th and 82nd minutes respectively to hand the visiting side a 3-2 win.
In other FA Cup games, holders Liverpool trashed Birmingham City by 3-0 at Anfield courtesy of a first half brace by Michael Owen and a late goal from Nicolas Anelka, Manchester City defeated Swindon Town 2-0 at Maine Road, Sheffield Wednesday suffered a 2-1 loss to Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road, Chelsea were held to a goalless draw by Norwich City at Carrow Road, Spurs beat Coventy City 2-0 at Highfield Road, and Arsenal overcame Watford by 4-2 at Vicarage Road where Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, Nwankwo Kanu, and Dennis Bergkamp registered a goal apiece for The Gunners. Aston Villa Team: Peter Schmeichel, Olof Mellberg, Steve Staunton, Alan Wright, Jlloyd Samuel, George Boateng, Ian Taylor, Lee Hendrie, Juan Pablo Angel, Paul Merson, Darius Vassell. Substitutes: Gareth Barry, Steve Stone, Mustapha Hadji, Mark Delaney, Peter Enckelman. Manchester United Team: Roy Carroll, Gary Neville, Mikael Silvestre, Laurent Blanc, Phil Neville, Juan Veron, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes. Substitutes: Michael Stewart, Luke Chadwick, Ruud van Nistelrooy, John O’Shea, Raimond van der Gouw.
Ruud van Nistelrooy Quickfacts
After joining Manchester United in the summer of 2001, Ruud van Nistelrooy recorded his first brace for the club in a 3-2 home win against Fulham on the opening weekend of the 2001-02 season.