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December 15, 2013
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 42682
D. Welbeck 15', 18'
T. Cleverley 52'
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME! Manchester United complete a 3-0 win at Villa Park. Aston Villa looked like they would put up a fight in the first 10 minutes, but the visitors soon took charge. Ever since United took the lead they never looked like dropping points. A professional display and one of their best performances in recent weeks. I hope you enjoyed the coverage. Thanks for joining me.
90' + 3'
Villa are putting on some late pressure in search of a consolation, but United look comfortable.
Three minutes of stoppage time have been added.
United have not picked up a clean sheet in the league since beating Arsenal. That run finally looks like coming to an end. Is it a coincedence that it looks set to end with Evans and Jones in the centre?
Karim El Ahmadi
Rooney gets himself an early rest after a good display as Zaha replaces the United talisman.
Brilliant play by Welbeck as he flicks the ball into area with a clever backheel for Cleverley, but the midfielder's shot is saved well by Guzan.
Good play by Valencia as he steams down the right and drills a low cross into the centre. Unfortunately for United, the delivery goes between Welbeck & Rooney and is cleared by Villa.
Yellow Card Nathan Baker
Yellow Card Danny Welbeck
Good play by Fletcher as he drops an inviting pass over the Villa defence for Welbeck, but Luna recovers well to get across and get in the forward's way.
Baker catches Welbeck very late on the right wing after he knocked the ball on to Rooney. The United man reacts poorly and both players get yellow cards.
El-Ahmadi gets the free-kick up and over the wall, but De Gea gets across to palm it away. Good stop.
Free-kick for Villa just outside the area as Rooney attempts a hooked sliding tackle on Agbonlahor, but he doesn't get the ball.
Yellow Card Ciaran Clark
Clark is the latest to go into the referee's book as he produces a stupidly-strong tackle on Welbeck after the ball has gone. Deservedly gets a yellow card.
Ashley Young is also on, but his reception - from both sets of fans - is less generous.
Huge cheers from the United fans - and some Villa supporters - as Darren Fletcher comes off the bench.
Villa are putting United under pressure at the moment. Lowton is involved again, this time in a more positive role as he cuts inside and shoots from the corner of the area, but his left-footed shot goes well wide of the far post.
Yellow Card Matthew Lowton
Wild tackle by Lowton as he goes in hard on Januzaj, who looks to slip away, and the Villa full-back gets himself a booking.
Villa look to have a threatening attack opening up as Benteke gets the ball 30 yards from goal, but the excellent Phil Jones comes across and clears.
Great block by Cleverley! Albrighton's cross comes to Agbonlahor, who helps it back towards the penalty spot for Weimann, but Cleverley dives in and deflects the Austrian's shot over the crossbar.
Sylla, who has not impressed, is replaced by Weimann.
Lowton gets a good cross into the centre and Benteke rises to meet it, but his header loops well over and goes out.
Good effort by Albrighton as he hits a half-volley at De Gea from a narrow angle. The goalkeeper punches it clear, however.
Welbeck almost gets his hat-trick chance as Rafael surges in behind the nervy Luna. The Brazilian cuts the ball back, but his team-mate's eventual shot is blocked by Baker.
Rooney steps up and curls a free-kick around the wall, but it also goes wide of the post. Good effort, though.
United's pressure is not relenting. They are straight on the attack again and have themselves a free-kick in a great position.
Assist Wayne Rooney
Goal Tom Cleverley
GOAL!!! Manchester United get a third! Rooney shows great awareness to feed a well-weighted pass into the area for Cleverley and the midfielder slots past Guzan with a composed finish.
Yellow Card Gabriel Agbonlahor
Yellow Card David de Gea
Agbonlahor goes over to De Gea at the corner and the two start a shoving match. Both are booked.
Giggs curls the ball in, but Guzan catches.
Villa head straight down the other end and Agbonlahor chases down a loose ball. De Gea tries to shield it out of play and the Villa man barges straight into his back. The goalkeeper isn't happy and not only does he not get a free-kick, for some reason, but Villa also get a corner.
Rooney is knocked over close to the area on the right wing and United have a great position to whip a free-kick in from.
There is the second half's first attempt. Albrighton steals the ball off Evra and crosses to the far post, but Sylla heads wide of the target.
We are back underway as United start the second half.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME! Manchester United take a deserved 2-0 lead into the break after cutting Villa apart on numerous occasions. Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia have been unstoppable so far and the visitors look capableof scoring every time they venture forward.
One minute of stoppage time has been added.
Evra and Lowton both go flying into a challenge and in ends with the Frenchman punching Villa's full-back on his behind. The bizarre exchange ends with a handshake.
We are having a brief pause in play now as Baker seeks medical attention. Sylla appeared to accidentally knee him on the back of the head.
Rooney's in-swinging delivery is a good one and it is flicked on, but Evra's eventual looping header is collected easily by Guzan.
Good play by Januzaj as he carries possession into the final third on the left. El-Ahmadi is all over the young Belgian, and he concedes a free-kick.
Welbeck goes so close to getting his hat-trick! Valencia, who has been sublime, comes inside and slips an excellent throughball behind the Villa defence. Welbeck runs on to it and into the right side of the area, but as Rooney did moments before, he slips his shot just past Guzan's right-hand post.
The free-kick goes all the way towards Agbonlahor at the far post, but the attacker can't quite reach it in time.
Rafael is a little over-attentive as he comes through the back of Benteke and gives away a free-kick.
Another excellent chance goes begging for United! Valencia out-muscles Luna and cuts a good pass back to Rooney, but his shot goes agonisingly wide of the far post.
Beautiful move by United as Valencia finds Welbeck just inside the area. The England international produces a brilliant flick back into the winger's path, but his final-ball fails to pick out a team-mate when he probably should have shot.
Clever feet from Welbeck in the centre as he flicks the ball past two defenders. He is caught by one, but he is not given a free-kick, surprisingly.
Again, Rooney is given a bit of a kick from El-Ahmadi and responds by knocking Sylla over. The England striker aims some choice words at the referee, who warns the United man.
Rooney is getting annoyed with the referee already. He has taken a few hefty challenges, but he is getting much.
Villa started the match fairly well, but after two goals in quick succession they find themselves in tatters. United look composed and in control, while Villa seem shocked and sheepish.
Goal Danny Welbeck
Assist Antonio Valencia
Goal Danny Welbeck
GOAL!!! Manchester United take the lead! Valencia got down the right and held off two defenders before crossing. Januzaj heads the ball against the post and Welbeck knocks the rebound into an empty goal.
Lovely turn by Valencia as he lets the ball run through him and he races past Luna. Baker comes across and puts it out for a throw-in.
The corner is a good one and it is kept in the United area, but after numerous others headers, Welbeck and Cleverley combine to clear the ball.
Nearly a great chance for Villa as Albrighton manages to squeeze a pass in behind the United defence, but Benteke's first touch is heavy and Rafael covers to concede a corner.
Albrighton finds himself in a central position and he gets a shot away early, but again De Gea gets down to keep it out.
Rooney takes it short to Januzaj. The Belgian pulls the ball back to Evra, who crosses first-time. Jones nods it back into the danger area and Welbeck attempts an overhead-kick, but Guzan collects comfortably.
Januzaj runs at Westwood down the left. The Villa man gets a foot on the ball, but concedes a corner. Rooney comes across to take it.
Good move by United. Januzaj cuts inside and plays the ball over to the right for Valencia. He slips Rooney into the area, who chips a cross to the far post, but Giggs isn't given much of a chance to connect with it.
Very promising start for Villa. They are still on the attack, with most of United's players camped in and around their own area.
And there is another shot from Villa. Albrighton controls the ball on the edge of the area, spins and fires across the goal, but De Gea gets down to make the save.
There is the match's first shot as El-Ahmadi tries his luck from 25 yards, but De Gea stops it with ease.
Villa get the match started, kicking from left-to-right.
The players are now on the pitch with just a few moments until kick-off.
However, United have not beeen quite themselves this season. A win for Villa would take them level on 22 points with David Moyes' side, with the Premier League champions suffering five domestic defeats already, the same number they managed through the entire campaign last year.
The omens do not look too encouraging for Villa today having only beaten United once in their last 35 Premier League encounters, while the visitors have not lost at Villa Park since the 1995-96 season.
The big news on the Manchester United bench is that Darren Fletcher makes a return. The Scotland international has missed over a year's worth of action due to a chronic bowel condition.
And the Manchester United team is: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Jones, Evra; Valencia, Cleverley, Giggs, Januzaj; Rooney, Welbeck SUBS: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Fabio, Young, Büttner, Fletcher, Zaha
The Aston Villa team today is: Guzan; Lowton, Clark, Baker, Luna; Westwood, El Ahmadi, Sylla; Albrighton, Benteke, Agbonlahor. SUBS: Steer, Bacuna, Weimann, Bowery, Gardner, Tonev, Kozak
Hello and welcome to the live text commentary of Aston Villa against Manchester United at Villa Park in the Premier League. My name is Ryan Benson and I will be describing the action for you today.
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