Made some decent saves and commanded his area well, but could do nothing to stop Chicharito turning the tide of the match.
Lived up to his promise of taking on Van Persie without fear – and without swapping shirts at half time – and also provided a threat from attacking set-pieces. His weaknesses began to be exposed by the livewire Chicharito in the second half though.
Fared reasonably well in the first half up against Van Persie and Rooney, but the introduction of Chicharito at the interval was a threat too far.
Apart from a couple of reckless – and almost certainly pre-meditated – challenges on Young early on, he generally handled the England man quite well.
Repelled the dual threat of Valencia and Rafael admirably in the first half, but was overwhelmed after the break by the tide of crosses which often makes United so dangerous.
Used the ball time and again with intelligence and ambition, and did not lose heart when let down by his more wayward team-mates. Is beginning to look his old self again, though his influence waned after the interval as United took control.
Looked as tidy as ever on the ball and his delivery from set-pieces was invariably dangerous.
Less showy than his midfield partner Bannan, but did a solid job in the first half, although he could not prevent Villa’s midfield being overrun after the break.
Worked his socks off on the right flank, exploited Evra’s poor positioning on a couple of occasions, repeatedly drifted into dangerous areas and took his goals superbly. Unlucky not to have had a hat-trick, seeing his firm header parried away by De Gea.
Found only blind alleys early on, but as the game opened out his searing pace and direct running became a key factor. Drilled in a fantastic low cross to set up Weimann’s second.
Led the line superbly. Occasionally appeared clumsy in his work, but showed great strength to bully Smalling off the ball and tee up Weimann for Villa’s first, and his clever dummy was instrumental in the second. It’s easy to see why he has usurped Bent on this form.
David de Gea
Perhaps beaten too easily in the centre of his goal for Weimann’s first, but could do nothing about the Austrian’s second and made a good reflex stop to deny him his hat-trick.
Struggled to make any headway himself against Stevens, but his clever movement inside allowed an overlapping Rafael the chance to swing in some decisive crosses.
Showed a typical willingness to get forward at every opportunity, but his attacking instincts occasionally got the better of him, and he was caught out badly for Villa’s second. Swung a superb cross to the back post for Chicharito’s equaliser, though.
Still a threat going forward, but it is beginning to feel like he may never get back to his tenacious defensive best. Troubled by Weimann all evening.
Not directly at fault for either of Villa’s goals, and otherwise marshalled a fragile United defence reasonably well.
Outmuscled too easily by Benteke in the build-up to Villa’s opener. Looked reasonably assured on the ball, but still does not look entirely up to speed this season.
Another midfield masterclass from the evergreen maestro. His passing was so exquisite that one misplaced pass in the first half was greeted with a gasp of surprise. Two Villa goals failed to rattle him, and his pass to set up Chicharito’s first was a work of art.
Calm and economical on the ball, but occasionally slowed United’s play too much, particularly in the first half.
Kicked and booed from pillar to post from the outset, he never got into the game and it was no surprise when he was hauled off at the interval.
R. van Persie
Not his most spectacular day, but it might have been had he not been cruelly denied by the crossbar twice. His movement, awareness and technique were all first rate.
Sometimes his play seems too controlled and, instead of shooting, he passes to inferior players. That said, he played smartly and his incisive ball inside the full-back led to Chicharito’s equaliser.
Replaced the ineffective Young at half time and, quite simply, changed the game. His take and finish from Scholes’ lofted pass were sublime, and he earned the luck he got through Vlaar’s unfortunate deflection for the equaliser with his world-class movement in the penalty area. That he should get the winner was inevitable.