E. van der Sar
Brilliant 60-yard free-kick to Wayne Rooney for the opening goal on a very quiet night for the Dutch goalkeeper. Could do nothing about the Villa goal but handling was excellent.
The United captain was indomitable at the heart of the hosts' defence until he committed to a challenge and was caught out in the lead up to Villa's goal. Responded like a captain with the finish of a striker as he curled home a beauty for United's third of the night.
Some clumsy tackles from United's right-back and he allowed too many crosses into the box but communicated well with Ferdinand.
Covered well when Bent tried to move in to space and defended with tenacity when Villa attacked down the United left. The Frenchman bombed forward when he could and volleyed a good first-half effort but couldn't quite find the corner.
Classy display as always from the England captain. Had the awareness, skill and pace to stave off the threat of Darren Bent for the most part and always tracked runners into the box.
Stunning through ball to Evra in the first half encapsulated why he has earned at least one more season in a United shirt. A performance full of skill, trickery and - most of all - intelligence.
You can never take your eye off the game when this boy is playing. Drifted in and out of the game - but he sure did sparkle when he was involved. The Portuguese flyer saw three terrific efforts kept out by Friedel and created Rooney's second with dazzling footwork and a pinpoint cross.
A calming presence in the United midfield as he started attacks with intelligent passing and always made himself available for the ball. Read the game superbly to break up Villa's play with astute interceptions.
Helped United control the early stages of the game with his energy and efficient passing but was withdrawn through injury in the 34th minute.
The Bulgarian's touch and awareness were a threat but he wasn't firing on all cylinders, highlighted when he skied over a sitter late in the game. Partnership with Rooney still seemed to work very well.
Involved in all three goals - scoring twice - as he produced a performance to reward Sir Alex Ferguson's faith in him. Scored just his third league goal of the season with a wonderful strike in the first minute, smashing into the roof of the net after cushioning a long pass. Added his second with a close-range tap-in on the stroke of half-time and clever lay off for Vidic to curl home. Almost completed his hat-trick in the dying moments with a drive from long range.
The American kept Villa in the game with four stunning saves in the game - three to deny Nani and one full stretch effort to keep out Rooney. Nothing he could do to stop the goals and always solid when called upon.
Badly caught under a simple high ball in the first minute and was punished by Rooney, who slammed into the net. The worst possible start but responded with a good performance as he made vital blocks and interceptions.
Strong in the air and in the tackle but vulnerable to the pace and movement of Rooney for the second goal and subsequent chances after the break.
Usually plays in central positions and looked uncomfortable on the left. Didn't get tight enough to Nani, allowing him to run inside, and offered no attacking threat.
The young full-back was a real threat going forward, full of pace and skill. Occasionally switched off defensively and needs to work on his final pass.
The Villa captain kept the visitors ticking in the first half but played at too slow a speed. Substituted 16 minutes from time as Villa tried to get back in the game.
A tough task for the January signing but he looks like he could be a good player for the Midlands side. Neat and tidy in possession - although he did get over-excited on a couple of occasions - and pressed the United midfield well.
The tricky winger drifted in and out of the game and rarely made use of opportunities to run at Evra. Tidy on the ball but didn't offer penetration and was replaced by Heskey in the 69th minute.
Frustrated in the first half as United put him under pressure and forced sloppy passes. Vastly improved after the break as he put dangerous deliveries in to the box and almost scored with a stunning strike from 20 yards that rattled the crossbar.
Always looked like he would be the man to make something happen for the visitors and delivered with an excellent run and pass for Bent's goal. Had speed, drive and ideas until he was replaced due to injury with 10 minutes to go.
Snuffed out by the United defence for most of the game - horribly slicing one half chance - before he popped up with a striker's finish to get Villa back in to the game.
- 33 A. Marshall
- 24 Carlos Cuéllar
- 8 R. Pirès
Played final 10 minutes as replacement for the injured Downing, not enough time to have an impact.
Replaced Petrov in the 74th minute. His pace threatened the hosts but delivery was poor.
- N. Delfouneso
Cumbersome performance after replacing Albrighton in the 69th minute. Struggled in the air against Vidic and Ferdinand.