Stu Forster

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United: It's As Good A Time As Any

There's no such thing as a good time to face Manchester United, but on the back of a big win at Sunderland and little if any expectation that Villa could take anything from the league leaders, the lack of pressure makes this a better time than most.

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7 Total Updates since November 10, 2012
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Manchester United Are Terrible Houseguests

Aston Villa went at Manchester United with everything they had and an Andi Weimann brace had the home side on top 2-0, but the Red Devils did exactly what you would have expected and ran off three in a row to drive a dagger into Villa's heart.

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GIF: Chicharito Scores Again, Gives United 2-3 Win

I said in the last update that Javier Hernandez had score his second goal to draw things even. Upon further review, the goal was charged - perhaps harshly - to Ron Vlaar. Chicharito did score his second goal, however. An excellent strike in the 87th minute put gave Manchester United a 2-3 lead that they would not relinquish, despite there being 5 minutes of stoppage time.

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Despite the loss, Aston Villa played one of their best matches of the season. In my mind, Andreas Weimann was the man of the match, but arguments could be made for Ron Vlaar - despite the OG - and Christian Benteke as well. Both played incredible roles in providing the muscle Villa needed to keep up with a Manchester United side who are obviously above and beyond most everyone else in England.

Sure, it's disheartening, but this is what we've wanted to see all year in terms of process. The outcome could have been better, but look just at how this match played out and it's hard to be too upset.

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VIDEO: Weimann adds 2nd, Chicharito gets 2

Andreas Weimann will not be stopped. He scored his second goal minutes after the whistle to begin the second half. A great run up the left by Gabby Agbonlahor followed by an even better pass put Andi in the position to hammer the ball into the back of the net. Even prettier than the first goal, since this was all finesse.

Moving pictures, of course:

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And another view:

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Unfortunately for Villa, Javier Hernandez - who was a halftime sub for Ashley Young - added one for United a few minutes later.

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Not much that Brad Guzan could do about that. Nor was there much he could do about Hernandez' second goal, which came as the result of some rancid Villa defending:

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This match has been amazing so far, and if you aren't watching find a way to do so. I am shaking from adrenaline and this is just oh my god what is happening....

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VIDEO: Weimann Goal Gives Villa Halftime Lead

The first half could not have gone much better for Aston Villa. The defense, led by Ron Vlaar has allowed pressure but has buckled down in front of the goal. Using opportunities started (often from Vlaar) there, and some excellent linking play from the midfield (especially Stephen Ireland), Villa have put together significant pressure on the counter.

It looked like Villa would go into the halftime break with a 0-0 score on their hands, but a last-second effort in stoppage time saw Christian Benteke take the ball up the left flank, muscle his way around the Manchester United defense, and send a ball to Andreas Weimann. Once the ball got there, Weimann rocketed a shot into the back of the net and gave Aston Villa a 1-0 halftime lead.

In case you missed the goal (and good lord it was pretty), here's some moving images of it to keep you happy:

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and another view:

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And because it made me smile, here is Weimann celebrating:

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Villa - United: Keep calm and chat on

First place Manchester United come to Villa Park on Saturday, where Aston Villa are still thrilled with picking up all three points last weekend. Can the Villans take anything from United?

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