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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 15 April 2021


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MANCHESTER UNITED WELCOME Aston Villa to Old Trafford today in the Premier League, and we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it happens throughout the afternoon.

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Good afternoon, folks, and welcome along to our liveblog of the Premier League meeting of Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Team news coming up…

Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Carrick, Herrera, Mata, Fellaini, Young, Rooney. Subs: Valdes, Rafael, McNair, A Pereira, Januzaj, Di Maria, Falcao.

So Louis van Gaal makes just one change to the United team that beat Liverpool last time out, with Marcos Rojo replacing Chris Smalling at the back.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Lowton, Delph, Sanchez, N’Zogbia, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Vlaar, Bacuna, Cole, Gil, Baker, Grealish.

Ciaran Clark starts, while Shay Given and Jack Grealish are on the bench for Villa, who are looking to bounce back from a 1-0 home defeat to Swansea City.

United are aiming for a fifth consecutive Premier League win to cement their place in the top four.

A United win is important for their hopes of making the Champions League next season… but also for this poor fella’s anatomy.

Kick-off at Old Trafford is at 3pm. Can Villa upset United this afternoon?

A privilege for everyone connected with Manchester United to be graced by the presence of the great Tim Sherwood today…

Source: AVFCOfficial/Vine


We’re underway at Old Trafford…


Good run from Ashley Young but his shot from distance against his former club is blocked by Ciaran Clark.


Wayne Rooney is furious after being pulled down in the box by Clark but no penalty given.


Decent chance for Agbonlahor at the other end after some confusion at the back for United but Valencia denies him.


Another great run by Young sets up Mata but his shot is blocked. Rooney follows up and earns United a corner.


Villa with 11 men behind the ball. It’s been a good start by United. You get the sense that a goal isn’t far away.


Aside from the fact that he possibly should have been sent off for that foul on Wayne Rooney, Ciaran Clark has started very well for Villa.


Ambitious effort from Benteke easily saved by de Gea.


Poor challenge from Valencia on Delph. Very fortunate to escape without a yellow card.


Fergie is in attendance at Old Trafford. Always watching. Judging.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Aston Villa - Old Trafford Source: Martin Rickett


Brilliant long-range effort from Marcos Rojo but Guzan gets a crucial touch on it to push it over for a corner.


Valencia’s cross from the right finds Rooney and his bicycle kick goes so far off target that it was very nearly a throw-in instead of a goal-kick.


Villa have been defending very well so far. United pretty dominant but they’re being frustrated by the visitors.


Break in play while Alan Hutton is treated for an injury. The camera pans to Falcao, who looks overjoyed to be spending another afternoon on the bench.


The United attacks continue. Young’s cross from the left is punched clear by Guzan. Half-time approaching but no breakthrough yet.


Young has been causing Villa a lot of problems down that left-hand side. United will be disappointed if it stays goalless at the break.


Good shot by Daley Blind deflects off Clark but it’s well saved by Guzan.


There’s the goal United deserve. Young played it to Blind down the left, the Dutchman cut back a nice pass to Ander Herrera just inside the box, and he applied a tidy finish to give United the lead.


Two minutes of added time to be played at the end of this first-half.


Scramble in the Villa box as United threaten to score a second but Rojo’s header is saved by Guzan.

Here’s the goal that’s given United the upper hand…

So Villa almost made it to the break on level terms but there can be no denying that the home side deserved that goal. Can Villa get back into it in the second-half? Stick with us and we’ll find out.


The game has resumed, with Villa making one change as Bacuna replaces the injured Hutton.


Carrick fouled on the edge of the box but United are wasteful with the quick free-kick.


Really good chance for Villa but Benteke fires it over the crossbar from close range.


Young, who’s been excellent for United, cuts in from the left and drills a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.


Free-kick for United in a dangerous position but Mata sends it well off target.


Now Villa have a free-kick with a chance to threaten but Delph sends it harmlessly into the hands of de Gea.


Another change for Aston Villa, with Baker coming on to replace N’Zogbia.


Valencia crosses from the right and Fellaini’s header into the ground is touched over for a corner by Guzan.


Looks like United are preparing to bring in Angel Di Maria.


Rooney capitalises on some sloppy Villa defending but sends his shot wide with the inside of his boot.


Di Maria is on but surprisingly it’s Ashley Young who makes way.


Corner to United. They could do with a second goal to put this game out of Villa’s reach.


Shot by Blind from distance is diverted wide by Fellaini.


Weimann is fouled by Rojo and now Villa have a free-kick in a very interesting position.


Bacuna sends in a great delivery from the right but Okore can’t get enough contact on it. United breathe easy.


Falcao comes on for United to replace Fellaini.


Superb goal by Rooney. He controlled Di Maria’s cross from the left and fired home past Guzan.


Ninety seconds later, Villa are back in the game as Benteke blasts the ball underneath David de Gea, who probably should have done better. It’s not over yet.


Here’s Rooney’s superb goal…


Corner for United as they look to put the result beyond doubt.


United opting to keep possession and close this one out instead of pushing for a third.


Four minutes of additional time to be played.


That’s the win wrapped up now. Villa squander possession, Rooney plays in Mata who cuts it back from the right for Herrera to provide another lovely finish for his second of the afternoon.

This was Herrera’s second…

About the author:

Paul Dollery