Manchester United ended their six match winning run this evening, after the visitors were held to a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.
Manchester United Line up: De Gea, Jones, Carrick, Evans, Valencia, Fletcher, Mata, Rooney, Young, RvP, Falcao
Man Utd Subs: Lindegaard, Blackett, McNair, Rafael, Di Maria, Januzaj, Wilson
Aston Villa line up : Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar (c), Okore, Clark, Cissokho, Sanchez, Delph, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke.
Aston Villa Subs: Given, Bacuna, Herd, N’Zogbia, Robinson, Grealish, Calder
The visitors have never lost to Aston Villa in 20 years and went into the game looking to extend their phenomenal winning run and secure the three points. However, Aston Villa’s inspired display ensured that the visitors had to battle hard to come way with just one point.
The home side took the lead in the first half, thanks to a stunning goal from Christian Benteke as the Belgian curled one in with his left foot, into the top corner. Manchester United responded well in the second half and leveled themselves when Ashley Young’s cross found Radamel Falcao in the Villa box, who headed in from close range.
Despite enjoying a lot of possession, United rarely threatened and survived a real scare at the end as the hosts came inches close to scoring the winner, deep into stoppage time.
However, Manchester United continue to grind out positive results week in week out, here’s three observations from today’s game.
Never a red card: Gabby Agbonlahor was given his marching orders around the hour mark, following his challenge on former Villa winger, Ashley Young. The Aston Villa forward went through the United winger while trying to intercept the ball.
Despite not having his studs raised and being in control, Lee Mason decided to produce a controversial red card, which could have proved to be a game changer.
Red card for Agbonlahor but looked extremely harsh.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 20, 2014
Grinding out points: Despite enjoying loads of possession throughout the game, the visitors rarely threatened and even though the home side were down to ten men with half an hour left to play, the Villa defence was rarely put under pressure. The Old Trafford outfit continue to come away with important points despite mixed displays week in week out. Van Gaal’s men enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 victory against bitter rivals Liverpool last week despite the visitors controlling the game for large parts. Sharpness in the final third and a positive mindset has made a world of difference to Manchester United as the Red Devils look to recover from a damaging spell under former manager David Moyes.
January reinforcements: The absence of Blind, Fellaini and Herrera meant that the United midfield lacked tempo as well as a strong presence. Louis Van Gaal confirmed in his post match interview that the Spanish midfielder, Herrera has joined Daley Blind on United’s injury list, making it all the more important for United to look for a central midfielder in January.