Manchester United produced another classic comeback from two goals down to pip Villa once more on their own ground. United's frailties in midfield were exposed once more as Villa cut through United's defences on multiple occasions, but it was divine intervention in the form of Javier Hernández that managed to save the day for the Reds.
United started the game in control, dictating the possession stats, but not much else besides that. It was Villa who had the better of the chances when they did get on the break, and perhaps deservedly took the lead right on the stroke of half time.
Christian Benteke was released down the right after another period of ineffectual United possession, and the Villa striker managed to easily brush off the attentions of Chris Smalling. Andreas Weimann gratefully received Benteke's pass at the edge of the box, and smashed his effort past De Gea -- although the United keeper will be slightly disappointed having let that in.
Hernández was brought on at half time, to replace Ashley Young, not having the best of games, but it was Villa instead who furthered their advantage. Stephen Ireland, having the game of his life fed Gabriel Agbonlahor via a dummy from Benteke, and the winger found Weimann in space in the box once more, and the Austrian grabbed his second of the game with a simple tap-in.
United reacted quicker this time to this latest adversity afte Paul Scholes found Hernández in behind the defence for the first time, and after a relatively poor first touch, the striker finished between Brad Guzan's legs. As soon as this goal went in, you just knew that another was coming soon, and it did, once again through Hernández. Rafael had time to cross from the right, and his looping cross was met on the full by Chicharito, who via a deflection off Ron Vlaar's body found the net once more.
Robin van Persie, having an otherwise quiet game then burst into life, hitting the bar twice in quick succession, first through a header, and then from a tremendous left-footed effort from about 35 yards out. There could only be one winner in this, and indeed in the 87th minute, United took the lead for the first time. Van Persie took a freekick from the near side in front of the visiting United fans, and who else but Javier Hernández was on hand to dive-in and head past Guzan for his (sort of) hattrick. This completed a tremendous comeback -- not for the first time this season -- but while entertaining, this cannot be a healthy habit to get into.
With goals coming relatively freely at the moment, the coming weeks surely have to be focused around the defensive side of United's season to come.
Best Moment: Hernández's winner
Worst Moment: Villa's second
Man of the Match: Javier Hernández
Aston Villa 2-3 Manchester UnitedWeimann 45', 50' - Hernández 58', 87'; Vlaar 63' (OG)
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