Man United 3 Aston Villa 1

Wayne Rooney

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 As­ton Vil­la 1, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Feb­ruary 1, 2011. Man­chester Uni­ted de­feated As­ton Vil­la 3-1 thanks to a Way­ne Roo­ney brace and a goal by Ne­manja Vid­ic. Uni­ted dom­in­ated pos­ses­sion from the start and were 2-0 up at the break be­fore the te­ams shared two goals each in the sec­ond frame to com­plete the scoring.

Man­chester Uni­ted were look­ing to stretch their lead at the top of the Pre­miership ta­ble as they faced As­ton Vil­la at Old Traf­ford on the fir­st of Feb­ruary 2011. Uni­ted went in­to this clash hav­ing won fif­teen of their last twenty-one Lea­gue en­coun­ters wi­th The Vil­lains and, wi­th a re­cord like that, any­thing but a ho­me win would have be­en rep­res­ent­ing a ma­jor sur­prise ag­ainst Ger­ard Houllier´s men. The pre­vi­ous meet­ing be­tween As­ton Vil­la and Man­chester Uni­ted at Vil­la Park had had ended in a dra­mat­ic two-all draw wi­th the vis­it­ors com­ing back from two-nil down. This time, how­ever, Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s Pre­mier Lea­gue title chasers had ho­me ad­vant­age and were in much bet­ter form, and if The Reds either de­feated or drew wi­th Vil­la, they would stretch their un­beaten Pre­mier Lea­gue run to twenty-nine mat­ches. As for un­avail­able play­ers, Man­chester Uni­ted had to man­age with­out Owen Har­greaves be­cause of a ham­string prob­lem, whi­le As­ton Vil­la were mis­sing the sus­pen­ded Nat­han Baker and Fa­bi­an Delph, who was side­lined wi­th a long term knee injury.

For­mer Uni­ted States net­mind­er Brad Friedel was out­stand­ing in goal for As­ton Vil­la and made some ex­cep­tion­al saves through­out the con­test, in­clud­ing a ter­rif­ic dive dur­ing the clos­ing mo­ments to deny born ag­ain goalscorer Way­ne Roo­ney a hat-trick. Man­chester Uni­ted, who had not lost a Pre­mier Lea­gue fix­ture since the two-one de­feat ag­ainst even­tu­al cham­pi­ons Chel­sea at Old Traf­ford on the third of April 2010, showed their au­thor­ity from the kick-off, tak­ing the lead in the fir­st min­ute of the mat­ch wi­th an amaz­ing goal from Roo­ney. The Three Li­ons in­ter­na­tion­al latched on to a sixty yard free-kick from goal­keeper Ed­win van der Sar and ma­naged to some­how slot the ball pa­st a be­wildered Friedel and in­to the back of the net. And as the fir­st pe­riod pro­gressed, Man­chester Uni­ted went two goals up on the stroke of ha­lf-time as a per­fect cross from Lu­is Nani fou­nd the om­ni­present Roo­ney who ham­mered the ball ho­me from the far post. Dar­ren Bent pulled one back for The Vil­lains two min­utes be­fore the hour ma­rk when the twenty-sev­en-year-old stri­ker con­ver­ted a low cross from wing­er Stew­art Down­ing, but a mere five min­utes la­ter Man­chester Uni­ted had their third goal of the ga­me as Roo­ney played the ball back to Ne­manja Vid­ic who power­ed a fierce shot pa­st Friedel and in­to the roof of the net to make the fi­nal sco­reline read three-one in fa­vour of the red shir­ted men. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, John O’Shea, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Rio Fer­dinand, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Mi­chael Car­rick, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Ry­an Gig­gs, Lu­is Nani, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: Chris Small­ing, Fa­bio da Silva, Oli­veira An­der­son, Paul Scho­les, Javi­er Her­nandez, Mi­chael Owen, An­ders Linde­gaard. As­ton Vil­la Te­am: Brad Friedel, Kyle Walk­er, Ja­mes Mi­chael Collins, Rich­ard Dun­ne, Ciaran Clark, Ash­ley Young, Marc Al­brighton, Stew­art Down­ing, Stili­an Pet­rov, Dar­ren Bent, Jean Makoun. Sub­stitutes: Nigel Reo-Coker, Ro­bert Pires, Car­los Cuel­lar, Gabby Ag­bon­lahor, Nat­han Delfoun­eso, Emile Hes­key, Andy Marshall.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted be­at As­ton Vil­la 6-4 at Vil­la Park in the FA Cup Third Ro­und on the 10th of Jan­uary 1948 thanks to a brace each by Stan Pear­son and Johnny Mor­ris and a goal apiece from Jim­my Delaney and Jack Row­ley. Uni­ted went on to win the tour­na­ment af­ter trash­ing Black­pool 4-2 in the final.


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