Live Commentary – Man Utd vs A Villa | 25.09.2021 – Sky Sports

Bruno Fernandes missed a stoppage-time penalty as Aston Villa prevented Manchester United moving top of the Premier League with a deserved 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.

Just when it seemed a catalogue of missed gilt-edged chances would cost Villa a first win at Old Trafford since 2009, defender Kortney Hause broke the deadlock two minutes from time with a brilliant near-post header past a helpless David de Gea, who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed was impeded by offside striker Ollie Watkins.

In a dramatic late finale, Hause went from hero to villain in the space of three minutes when he was adjudged to have blocked substitute Edinson Cavani’s header with his arm in added time.

VAR upheld the contentious on-field decision but Villa felt justice was served when penalty specialist Fernandes – having kept the ball from Cristiano Ronaldo – blazed woefully over the target to end United’s hopes of salvaging a point.

United’s first league defeat of the season was compounded by injuries to Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire and means Solskjaer’s slip to fourth in the table after suffering three defeats in four in all competitions. Villa climb to eighth after securing back-to-back wins for the first time this term.

Player ratings

Man Utd: De Gea (6), Wan-Bissaka (5), Varane (5), Maguire (5), Shaw (4), Fred (5), McTominay (5), Greenwood (6), Fernandes (4), Pogba (5), Ronaldo (5).

Subs: Dalot (5), Lindelof (5), Cavani (n/a).

Aston Villa: Martinez (7), Cash (7), Konsa (7), Hause (8), Mings (8), Targett (6), Ramsey (6), Luiz (7), McGinn (8), Ings (6), Watkins (7).

Subs: Buendia (6), Archer (n/a).

Man of the match: Kortney Hause.

Fernandes falters as Villa end Old Trafford drought

Cristiano Ronaldo on the attack at Old Trafford (AP)
Image: Cristiano Ronaldo on the attack at Old Trafford

Solskjaer demanded a fast start from his players and Manchester United very nearly delivered just that as Fernandes volleyed wide from Shaw’s cutback inside the opening two minutes.

John McGinn’s last-gasp block prevented a long-range Mason Greenwood shot from finding the target and Emiliano Martinez watched Ronaldo’s first attempt drift wide in a dominant opening quarter of an hour from Manchester United.

Team news

  • Man Utd were unchanged from the Premier League victory at West Ham, with Edinson Cavani returning to the substitutes’ bench.
  • Kortney Hause replaced Axel Tuanzebe as Aston Villa made one change from the victory over Everton.

It took Villa 16 minutes to register their first attempt but when it came, it should have delivered the opening goal. McGinn’s side-rule pass released Matty Cash in behind Shaw and his teasing ball across the face of goal fell for Targett, who, with the goal at his mercy, ballooned over the bar from six yards.

Matt Targett holds his head in his hands after missing from close range
Image: Matt Targett holds his head in his hands after missing from close range

Greenwood tested Martinez as United tried to muster a response, but Villa continued to create the better openings. Maguire’s heavy pass back left De Gea with little option but to divert the ball straight to Ollie Watkins, who had Villa’s second opening, but the Spaniard atoned by making a crucial save with his legs.

United’s challenge got a little greater when Shaw was forced off injured 11 minutes before half-time. Diogo Dalot came on in his place but the hosts’ defensive issues continued, with Ezri Konsa sending a free header over the bar on 39 minutes from close range.

Aston Villa's Ezri Konza heads over the bar
Image: Aston Villa’s Ezri Konza heads over the bar from close range

Martinez was called into action at the other end before the half was up, producing a superb reflex to hook Maguire’s bullet header off the goal line, though the Villa goalkeeper was a bystander as Paul Pogba’s header drifted inches wide of the target soon after.

United failed to get going after the interval as Villa’s dominance increased but the breakthrough goal continued to elude them, with De Gea brilliantly denying Watkins’ fierce drive before an untimely slip from young Jacob Ramsey saw the visitors’ best second-half opening slip away.

Solskjaer introduced Cavani for the final eight minutes as United mounted a late assault on the victory, with Fernandes’ near-post header drawing Martinez into action.

Aston Villa's Kortney Hause celebrates his late winner at Old Trafford (AP)
Image: Aston Villa’s Kortney Hause celebrates his late winner at Old Trafford (AP)

But it was Villa who made the breakthrough when Hause evaded Cavani to power a header past De Gea, before Fernandes’s penalty miss sealed all three points for Dean Smith’s side.

Opta stats

  • Manchester United have conceded in each of their last eight league games at Old Trafford, their longest top-flight run without a clean sheet on home soil since February 1972 (also 8 games).
  • Aston Villa secured their first Premier League victory over Manchester United in their last 18 meetings, since winning 1-0 at Old Trafford in December 2009.
  • Manchester United mustered a total of 28 shots without scoring, last attempting more in a home Premier League game without finding the back of the net in October 2016 against Burnley (38 shots in a goalless draw).
  • Scored in the 88th minute, Kortney Hause’s goal for Aston Villa was the latest opposition winner scored at Old Trafford in the Premier League since Patrick van Aanholt netted in a 2-1 away win in the 93rd minute.
  • Bruno Fernandes’ penalty miss, in the 93rd minute, was Manchester United’s fourth latest Premier League penalty failure and the latest spot-kick miss since Paul Pogba failed to convert against Southampton in March 2019 (94).

What the managers said…

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Aston Villa’s winner should have been called as offside by the officials as Manchester United fell to defeat at Old Trafford.

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “It’s obviously disappointing, because [Aston Villa’s goal] is offside. We were unfortunate to have that decision go against us.

“I thought our intensity, our aggression, the defending we did, and the transitions were good, but that last pass was not the best today.

“We had around 30 attempts and shots, loads of them were blocked. The decision making and quality in the finishing [were maybe lacking]. All of us, at times, made decisions which were not the right ones.”

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Dean Smith says his Aston Villa side deserved the win and had the bigger chances during their 1-0 victory over Manchester United.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith: “As everybody knows, we have had an awful lot of suffering as Villa fans at this stadium, but I think we’ve been close in the last couple of years. People will look at it and say it is a big win but for me it is more a big performance.

“I thought we deserved the win. I thought we had the bigger chances. We were aggressive in the way we played against a front four of Ronaldo, Pogba, Fernandes and Greenwood.

“There is an awful lot of belief. I felt we have recruited well since Jack [Grealish] has gone and the performance levels have been there. We had an indifferent start but there were reasons for that.”

Man of the Match – Kortney Hause

Kortney Hause celebrates with teammate John McGinn after giving Villa the lead at Old Trafford
Image: Kortney Hause celebrates with teammate John McGinn after giving Villa the lead at Old Trafford

Kortney Hause’s winner for Aston Villa was his first away goal in his last 22 league games on the road, since netting against Nottingham Forest in March 2019.

What’s next?

Manchester United host Villarreal in the Champions League group stages on Wednesday at 8pm, before entertaining Everton in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm. Aston Villa travel to Tottenham on Sunday at 2pm.

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