Two familiar foes are competing again at Villa Park this evening, just five days after they met in the FA Cup.
Manchester United booked a fourth-round meeting with Middlesbrough with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Monday night, with Scott McTominay scoring with an early header.
However, that certainly didn’t tell the full story, as Steven Gerrard’s Villa side were the better team all along and two goals were ruled out as they created many chances.
Despite the win, United’s performance did nothing valuable to allay persistent fears about their current squad being broken up and lack of progress under Ralf Rangnick.
Aston Villa could hand the first game of new signings Lucas Digne and Philippe Coutinho to try to stop a streak of three consecutive losses and achieve their first league double over tonight’s opponents since 1954-55.
The September meeting between these two teams was dramatic, with Courtney Howes scoring what proved to be the winning goal before conceding a penalty that was then missed by Bruno Fernandes.
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The goal! Aston Villa 2-2 Man United | Philippe Coutinho 81′
Coutinho has an ultimate goal!
Incredible makeover of a villa. It’s a great move from the local side, too.
Buendia plays it out to Ramsey who has a great run in the box. He plays it facing the goal, Varane can’t cut it and Coutinho clicks at the back post.
79 minutes: Fernandes is far to the left, as United try to find the target that will kill this once and for all.
Kroos is blocked, and the rings reach Martinez. Fia retreats from the attack.
The goal! Aston Villa 1-2 Man United | Jacob Ramzy 77′
Villa are back in that right. This comes after Mings knocked her out of defense and overcame a couple of challenges.
Coutinho has it in the penalty area, Fred touches it but can only send it straight to Ramsey, who shoots past De Gea.
76 minutes: Cash played on the right and fired a cross into the penalty area. Watkins tries to turn it toward goal, but doesn’t get enough of the header and goes out for a throw-in.
Chukwuemeka plays for Ings while Gerrard makes his final change.
73 minutes: Coutinho almost falls into the penalty area!
Ings tries to ditch the Brazilian, but bounces around and then slips Matic to stop him falling for Coutinho. In doing so, he returns it to De Gea, who has to respond quickly and clear the matter up.
71 minutes: Not if Villa did things like that. Space for Buendia and tries to send her wide to Digne, but the trail is about six feet above the Frenchman’s head.
United are happy to be seated, realizing they have a real threat over the counter.
69 minutes: Coutinho plays for Villa. He was ready to come on for two minutes, by which time United’s lead had doubled.
Could it inspire a belated comeback?
The goal! Aston Villa 0-2 Man United | Bruno Fernandez 67′
Fernandez has his second!
This comes from the VIA fault because they are playing from behind. Sanson is under pressure and tries to get the ball back to Mings, but nowhere near enough in the pass.
Fred pounces on her, plays her from the inside to Fernandes and storms the box before shooting him past Martinez. Great ending.
65 minutes: Cash flows forward and reaches the secondary line. Ings almost got his penalty kicked off, but the United defenders did a good job of plowing him off.
Villa has another chance to break, but Buendia’s pass is very difficult.
Fernandez comes down after Luiz gets on his feet. He didn’t get a free kick, which left him frustrated.
63 minutes: Ramsey and Buendia unite, before Ramsey gets past two defenders and goes down as Lindelof pounces on him on the edge of the penalty area.
No free kick given. Harsh on Ramsey who seemed to be visibly cut. Then Louise sarcastically dropped Fred on the center line.