Aston Villa 2 Man United 3

Javier Hernandez

As­ton Vil­la 2 Man­chester Uni­ted 3, Vil­la Park, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Nov­ember 10, 2012. Man­chester Uni­ted came from two goals down to edge out As­ton Vil­la by 3-2 at Vil­la Park thanks to a double from Javi­er Her­nandez and an own goal from Ron Vlaar. The win meant that Uni­ted were now top of the Pre­miership ta­ble, four points in front of sec­ond pla­ced Chel­sea, and five above Man­chester City.

Af­ter de­feat­ing Por­tuguese Primeira Liga club Sport­ing Braga 3-1 at Es­ta­dio Mu­ni­cip­al de Braga in the UEFA Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue three days earli­er, ta­ble top­ping Man­chester Uni­ted made the re­l­at­ively short trip to the Mid­lands to lock horns wi­th sev­en­teenth po­si­tioned As­ton Vil­la at Vil­la Park. In the cor­res­pond­ing meet­ing in Birm­ing­ham the pre­vi­ous sea­son, Man­chester Uni­ted had nar­rowly beaten The Vil­lains by a 1-0 score cour­tesy of a rare goal from Three Li­ons in­ter­na­tion­al Phil Jones in the 20th min­ute of a hard-fou­ght mat­ch. As for ab­sent­ees, Vil­la had to cope with­out de­fenders Joe Ben­nett and Eric Lichaj, and for­ward Dar­ren Bent, whi­le Uni­ted were with­out de­fenders Jon­ny Evans, Phil Jones, and Ne­manja Vid­ic, mid­fielder Shinji Ka­gawa, and wing­er Lu­is Nani. Des­pite dom­in­at­ing pos­ses­sion for most of the fir­st pe­riod, Man­chester Uni­ted struggled to break down a hard work­ing and well or­gan­ised As­ton Vil­la de­fence. The Claret and Blue gradu­ally fou­ght their way in­to the con­test and it was the Vil­la Park club who sco­red the open­ing goal of the clash when Chris­ti­an Ben­teke de­livered a pre­cise pass to fel­low front­man An­dreas Wei­mann who slammed an un­stoppable six­teen-yard ef­fort pa­st Uni­ted cus­todi­an Da­vid de Gea to pro­vide the hosts wi­th the lead in the fi­nal min­ute of the fir­st ha­lf, and five min­utes in­to the sec­ond pe­riod, the same play­er re­gistered his sec­ond goal of the ga­me as he con­ver­ted a dan­ger­ous low cross from Gab­riel Ag­bon­lahor. But in the 58th min­ute of pro­ceed­ings, su­per sub­sti­tute Javi­er Her­nandez halved the de­fi­cit for Man­chester Uni­ted when the goal poach­er re­ceived a beau­ti­fully timed long ball from mid­field stal­wart Paul Scho­les and ma­naged to nut­meg for­mer Chiv­as USA net­mind­er Brad Guz­an dur­ing the pro­cess, and five min­utes la­ter Chicharito´s youth­ful bravado sur­faced ag­ain wi­th his power­ful drive de­flect­ing off As­ton Vil­la and Hol­land de­fender Ron Vlaar and in­to the net.

The equal­iser made Man­chester Uni­ted more de­term­ined than ever, and sum­mer sign­ing Robin van Per­sie had two at­tempts hit the cross­bar in­side a min­ute. And wi­th on­ly two min­utes re­maining of nor­mal time, Javi­er Her­nandez re­cor­ded the win­ning goal as the well-po­si­tioned stri­ker dived to head an ac­cur­ately taken free-kick from Van Per­sie pa­st Guz­an and in­to the bot­tom right cor­ner of the net to make the fi­nal sco­reline read 3-2 in the fa­vour of Uni­ted. Af­ter scor­ing twice ag­ainst As­ton Vil­la, Her­nandez had now fou­nd the back of the net on sev­en oc­ca­sions dur­ing his last five ap­pear­ances for Man­chester Uni­ted. As­ton Vil­la Te­am: Brad Guz­an, Mat­thew Low­ton, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Enda Stevens, An­dreas Wei­mann, Ash­ley West­wood, Steph­en Ire­land, Bar­ry Ban­nan, Gab­riel Ag­bon­lahor, Chris­ti­an Ben­teke Liolo. Sub­stitutes: Der­rick Wil­li­ams, Karim El Ah­madi, Fa­bi­an Delph, Marc Al­brighton, Brett Hol­man, Jor­dan Bowery, Shay Giv­en. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Chris Small­ing, Ra­fael da Silva, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Rio Fer­dinand, An­tonio Va­lencia, Mi­chael Car­rick, Paul Scho­les, Robin van Per­sie, Way­ne Roo­ney, Ash­ley Young. Sub­stitutes: Al­ex­an­der Buttner, Oli­veira An­der­son, Tom Clev­er­ley, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Javi­er Her­nandez, Dan­ny Wel­beck, An­ders Lindegaard.


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