After the 2-0 victory against Newcastle United on Monday night, Aston Villa was coming into this gameweek feeling confident and able. This was especially important as the fixture of this week was Away at Old Trafford to face Manchester United. Although Man U are not the power that they used to be, the trip away was going to be hard. However, Villa have a reassured Dean Smith coming off of a new contract and Super Jack Grealish so it was looking to be a fair fight.
The game started out open enough, in the first few actions of the game there were shots to be had by both sides. Villa had a shot by Wesley which was easily collected and a free kick which was dealt with easily. United was much more dangerous in this period and Villa were fortunate not to let a goal up to a charging Marcus Rashford when the United Striker just missed his kick entirely.
The look of the game changed entirely in the 11th minute though as Villa looked to hit the hosts on the break. Anwar El Ghazi switched the play from his wing to the Left and as Grealish collected, he looked to immediately take his man on. Grealish dribbled and feinted left then right and has he gathered the space from his man unleashed a shot from just inside the Penalty Area. The ball was curled beautifully up and around De Gea into the top corner and the United Goalkeeper could only sit there and watch as the Villa went up.
11th minute: United 0-1 Villa
Shortly thereafter El Ghazi came off with a knock which he looked to collect during the buildup to the Grealish goal and Villa was forced to make their first substitution at the 12th minute mark and bring on Trezeguet to replace El Ghazi.
In the play after, United seemed a little phased to have let up a goal and let Villa continue to dominate the midfield. The Villa midfield was easily able to collect space on the ball and Grealish was continually fouled as the Manchester midfielder Fred picked up a yellow for his efforts against the Captain. United did find chances though as Martial and Rashford found themselves with decent chances in the box which Heaton either collected or watched as they went off target
In this run of play Villa were awarded a corner which came to nothing originally but as the United midfield dispossessed the ball it fell to Grealish in acres of space behind the United defense. Grealish played the ball into the middle and after a bit of a scuffle the ball went into the back of the net. However the linesman ruled Grealish offside and a VAR check happened according to the ref which was interesting because it wasn't shown to the public until about 10 minutes later.
Play continued for about 10 minutes until the 40th in which Targett and Mings found themselves in a bad area, pinned down by their own box, attempting to play the ball out from the back. Mings ended up spilling the ball to Rashford in a mistake which allowed the United striker an opportunity which Heaton initially collected but squirted out for a corner. On the set piece United was able to play the short corner perfectly giving the ball to their players in a good crossing area for a ball to the far post which Rashford headed in. Later the goal was attributed to an Own Goal as it bounced off the post into Heaton’s back.
42nd minute: United 1-1 Villa
The half continued on being open and in the closing minute of extra time, Guilbert was given a yellow which looked to me like a dive but either way results in a one game suspension for the French Fullback. The resulting free kick from United came to nothing and the half ended there
End of the first half: United 1-1 Villa
The second half started similarly to how much of the first half went in this game: with open play and chances for either side. United had an opportunity from Juan Mata which Heaton collected and Villa got a chance from a corner. Either side was looking hungry for the opportunity to get ahead in the first ten minutes of the half.
In the 58th minute, United began to look dangerous as opportunities in the form of Anthony Martial dribbling through the Villa defense and a one two to Juan Mata but in both opportunities the final product was lacking and Heaton dealt with it well. Villa was struggling to gather possession and broke with Trezeguet on the wing. The Egyptian put a fantastic ball into Grealish but the Villa captain couldnt put the ball on target.
On the return to the Villa end United won a corner and was given an opportunity to go up. United took this opportunity as on the short corner Fred was able to put a ball in the box and Wesley accidentally knocked it on to the far post where the United defender Lindelof headed it home.
64th minute United 2-1 Villa
Immediately though Villa were on the attack and won themselves a corner, although the initial ball was knocked out of the box, it landed at the feet of Matt Targett. The Left Back lofted a lovely ball into the box where Tyrone Mings was waiting. Mings took the opportunity well and after an offside check the goal stood. Mings made up for his earlier mistake and put the teams on level terms
66th minute: United 2-2 Villa
In the following 10 minutes United ate up possession yet Villa stood resolute and looked to hit the home side on the counter attack. In the 77th there was an odd run of play from the counter of a Villa corner in which United made its way forward and into the box where the ball carrier fell then in front of goal Konsa shielded the ball as Martial and Rashford smelled blood but ultimately the French winger put the ball over the ball.
In the 80th minute Villa made their second sub as Conor Hourihane made way for Henri Lansbury to come on.
In the 83rd minute on the Left Wing after multiple fouls against McGinn and Grealish there was a free kick awarded in a tantalizing position but Grealish put the ball over the net.
In the 86th minute United was able to win a corner and the dead ball looked destined for the back of the net from Maguire’s head but Mings cleared the goal line and had fouled Konsa in the build up.
As the extra time was announced Villa was gifted a corner from the tip of Maguire’s head but another disappointing dead ball delivery wasted the opportunity. Villa was able to defend valiantly through the closing minute and get the point away from home at Old Trafford. Villa will be back in action away from home at Stamford Bridge as they take on Chelsea on Wednesday.