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13 November 2010
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 40073
A. Young 72'
M. Albrighton 76'
F. Macheda 81'
N. Vidić 85'
United did not play well for 75 minutes of the game but managed to claim a priceless point. Villa were the better side for the longer periods of the game but can only blame themselves for wasted opportunites. So that is that. I'm breathless. Thanks for joining us for Goal.com's live coverage of this game. I'm going for a lie down now.
90' + 5'
FULL TIME!! Manchester United fight-back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 and claim a very unlikely point, somehow deserved though it feels. Fantastic last 30 minutes, arguably one of the best of the season so far.
90' + 3'
Now Villa break and Delfouneso is hairing through the center but his ball out to Young is over hit and a great chance is gone. Shame.
90' + 1'
...and United nearly get one as Obertan steals into the penalty area and down on goal but Collins gets across vitally to clear.
FIVE MINUTES of Fergie time, sorry stoppage time. There could be a winner in this.
Just about to enter stoppage time here and United look the most dangerous. Villa are shell-shocked and rightly so. They were cruising to three points just 10 minutes ago now they could be left with none.
Just want to point out my statement that there will be goals in this from the start of the second half. I'm sure anyone watching would have agreed, but it's nice to be right once in a while. Such a different game from the first half. Sensational.
UNBELIEVABLE!! IT'S 2-2!! VIDIC WITH THE EQUALISER!! Just 9 minutes after going 2-0 down, they are level. Nani whips in a glorious cross from the right high over the top of everyone in the penalty area but Vidic steals in more or less on the byline to head back across goal as Villa Park goes silent. This is crazy!
...and straight away Villa nearly make it 3-1! Downing again, who has been all over the place today (in a good way!) drives down the left flank, cuts inside and arrows a shot at the far top corner. It looks destined for the net but skims over the bar. Very unlucky.
MACHEDA SCORES!!! UNITED BACK IN THIS!! 2-1! United's first shot on target and they score. Now that may well be sign of title challengers. It is a beautiful finish from Macheda from the outside of the area after being played in laid off by Obertan. Two substitutes combine.
FERDINAND HAS AN EFFORT CLEARED OFF THE LINE!! A corner is whipped in by Nani and it evades everyone until it reaches the England defender on the right-hand side. His first time volley is straight at the Villa defender on the line and the ball bounces away.
United have been poor today. They are yet to even test Brad Friedel in the Villa goal and there is only 15 minutes left. Hardly the sign on title challengers.
2-0 VILLA!!! A BRILLIANT COUNTER ATTACK!!! As Fergie goes all out, Villa do what they do best and hit United on the break. Downing absolutely flies down the left-hand side and plays a glorious pass across the face of goal for Marc Albrighton to run onto and tap in from six yards. 15 minutes left for Fergie to rescue something, not looking likely though.
Yellow CardAshley Young
Villa deserved that and Wes Brown is lucky not to be sent off for the foul that led to the penalty. Macheda and Obertan immediately come on in place of Hernandez and Berbatov. Game on.
Penalty GoalAshley Young
Yellow CardNemanja Vidic
Yellow CardWes Brown
PENALTY TO ASTON VILLA!!!! ASHLEY YOUNG SCORES!! 1-0 VILLA!! Villa break with Agbonlahor down the right flank, Ashley Young is screaming for it outside the penalty area, Gabby whips it into his pass, Young picks it up but is immeidately bundled over by Wes Brown. Young picks himself up and powers the ball home.
VILLA NOW HIT THE POST!! Crazy. Utterly crazy. From the last hit of the woodwork, Villa continue to pressure United as first Albrighton's long range effort pushes Van der Sar into action. Then Albrighton powers into the area, gets dispossed very well but the loose ball rolls to Agbonlahor, barely six yards out on the right-hand side and he somehow hits the post when it would probably be easier to score. Van der Sar did well to make himself bigt though.
VILLA HIT THE BAR! Villa work the ball from right to left and Downing picks it up, puts his foot on the ball and delivers a brilliant ball right onto the head of James Collins who manages to hit the bar with a header from eight yards out. Great attempt and very unlucky.
I think this game can officially be classed as "end-to-end" now. After United's latest attacking exploit, it's now Villa's chance to threaten. United defend well from more crosses from out wide. The problem for Villa is that there really is no quality on the bench to bring on, especially not "match winning" quality.
Yellow CardLuke Young
Yellow CardJavier Hernández
Nani goes to ground like his leg has been blown off and United, used to that by now, play on and get in ball into Fletcher on the edge of the area. The Scot controls the ball well and finds Hernandez lurking to his right but the Mexican hesitates too much and Collins clears.
Evra exchanges a neat one-two with Nani on the edge of the Villa area but Albrighton pulls him back before he can breach the penalty area. Free-kick coming up... and it hits the wall from Nani's attempt.
This game has really kicked into gear now. I'll be shocked if there isn't goals in this game. Sir Alex Ferguson is looking very frustrated on the bench, and so he should be, while Gerard Houllier is looking much more relaxed, and so he should be.
VILLA SHOULD HAVE SCORED!!! Downing sends over a perfect cross from left to right, and Evra is unaware that Albrighton is stealing in to head the ball back across goal towards the far corner. Lovely excecution, but really should have scored.
Huge cries of anger from the Villa support as Nani appears to elbow a Villa player in the head while they both go up to head the ball. Nani claims innocence but replays show that he looked not once, not twice but three times before elbowing the player to make sure he got his contact right. Lucky to get away with just a booking.
...and Villa have kept up the pressure. A superb Villa break leads to Albrighton powering a shot from six yards out, on the right-hand side of the penalty area, that Evra gets across to take behind. Ashley Young is furious as he was open in front of goal. To be fair to Albrighton, it would have been hard to deliver a decent ball.
Aston Villa get the match back underway as we enter the second half. The score stands at 0-0 but Villa showed some threat before the break and will be hoping to continue that form. United need to win here to keep the pressure on Chelsea.
45' + 3'
HALF-TIME! So that's it for the first half. Still 0-0. Villa ended on top, but United had their chances. Neither will be particularly happy with their displays thus far though. More quality in the final third please guys. Thank you.
45' + 2'
Villa work the ball well on the right-flank and get it across to Downing who wins a corner. Dunne again gets his head to the cross but he is too far out to make any impact on the goal. Van der Sar takes the following goal kick as Mike Dean blows for half-time.
Into stoppage time here (of which there will be two minutes). Villa definitely on top at the moment and they won't be wanting the whistle quite yet. United need a win to keep the pressure on Chelsea, who Villa held to a draw here earlier in the season.
Another Villa corner is thrown in and Richard Dunne rises highest to head the ball at goal, but there isn't enough power behind it and Van der Sar collects easily. Dunne will be disappointed in that.
A Ferdinand mistakes lets Downing pounce on a loose ball. He drives forward but Ferdinand gets back to divert the ball away for a corner. The ball is lofted it, Park heads clear but it is worked back to Downing who flashes a shot wide.
Both sides struggling in the final third but if anyone should we ahead it is United as twice brilliant build-up play was foiled by a lack of a final tap-in.
A bit of handbags at Villa Park at the moment as Evra goes down under a hard but perfectly far Collins challenge. United aren't impressed, but the referee apparently is, so on we go.
Still a game very much centered in the middle of the pitch. United break once again though with Park. The South Korean works his way to the edge of the area but as he is about to pull the trigger Berbatov steals the ball off him and the Villa defence bundle the ball away.
A very well worked freekick by United sees Nani play in Evra with a reverse pass. The left-back is in acres of space and plays a low ball straight across the six-yard ball. One touch and it would have been a goal. Deja-vu there I think.
Collins lofts a freekick from his own half to Agbonlahor. The English striker heads the ball on perfectly to Young who, just outside the area, controls the ball and strikes it low at Van der Sar's bottom right-hand corner, but the shot is too tame. First shot on target in the match for either team.
Villa must be aware of United's threat on the break. The home side currently enjoying the most of the possession but United are always ready to pounce.
Agbonlahor breaks after a Warnock interception. He holds up the ball to allow Young to drive into the box, but the winger's cross is yet again cleared before a decent goal opportunity arises.
Villa upping the ante here for the first time. Cross after cross is thrown into the area only for the United defence to hack clear each time. United struggling to get their foot on the ball at the moment.
Corner for Villa and it's a scrappy one. First Ferdinand heads the ball away from the lurking Dunne, then Albrighton lofts the ball back in and Vidic this time clears as defenders and attackers fall to the floor. Chance gone.
Last weekend's two-goal hero Ji-Sung Park controls the ball on his chest in the middle of the pitch and plays a through ball immediately to Hernandez, but the striker is offside but still kicks the ball away to large boos from the Villa support. They want him booked, but the referee doesn't agree.
Yellow CardBarry Bannan
CLOSE FOR UNITED!!! Javier Hernandez slips Berbatov through on goal, as Collins tries and fails the offside trap) but the Bulgarian manages to fire wide from eight yards. Really should have scored.
Downing is at it again when he comes down the left this time, delaying and delaying his delivery until he whips a brilliant ball into the area, one of those that skips off the turf just infront of the 'keeper, but like with Nani's ball earlier, not one player anticipates it and the ball harmlessly goes out for a throw-in.
Barry Bannan strides forward and plays a fantastic ball inside Wes Brown for Stewart Downing to chase on to, but the left winger's cross is blocked by Ferdinand before it can do any real damage.
Debutant Hogg gives the ball away to United, and last year's runners-up play the ball around nicely again before Nani tries his luck from outside the area. It flies over.
No real shape to the game so far. Lots of endeavour, but not a lot of quality. United in control but Villa, as usual, dangerous on the break.
Villa's tactical game plan is obvious from the first minute. "Get it to the wide men and see what happens", I'm sure Houllier said to his charges before the game. Unfortunately it isn't working at all so far.
Nani whips a perfect ball into the box but no United player anticipated it (strangely). All it needed was a touch, as they say, and United could have been 1-0. The Villa defence doesn't look too comfortable at the moment.
After more slow passing play from Berbatov, the Bulgarian finds Hernandez with a brilliant through ball but the Mexican is offside. Manchester United are definitely threatening here.
Bannan breaks well for Aston Villa, powering over the halfway line past Fletcher, but his ball towards Ashely Young hits the England international's heels and the chance is gone.
Manchester United with a lot of early possession, getting the ball around the park on the ground so everyone gets a touch to ease any nerves.
Right here we go! Manchester United get the game underway in the first of eight Premier League games today.
Those inside Villa Park are currently observing a one minute silence for Remembrance Sunday, which is tomorrow.
A special mention for Jonathan Hogg, who makes his league debut for Villa today. Nerve-wracking stuff against a team they have only beaten three times in the last 36 attempts.
...and the Manchester United starting line-up: Van der Sar; Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Park, Fletcher, Carrick, Nani; Hernandez, Berbatov. Subs: Amos, Smalling, Fabio Da Silva, O'Shea, Obertan, Macheda, Gibson.
Here is the Aston Villa starting line-up: Friedel; Luke Young, Dunne, Collins, Warnock; Albrighton, Hogg, Bannan, Downing, Ashley Young; Agbonlahor. Subs: Guzan, Delfouneso, Osbourne, Lichaj, Herd, Lowry, Johnson.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of the Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Manchester United. My name is Alex Young and I will be taking you through until fulltime.
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