Manchester United 0, Aston Villa 1
Bruno Fernandes missed an injury time penalty after Kortney Hause scored what became a late winner for Aston Villa to condemn Manchester United to their third defeat out of four in all competitions.
For all the talk of injury time penalties in the last week it was United’s turn to miss one to earn a share of the points as Aston Villa faced 28 shots – one more than West Ham had weathered in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday – and deserved their first win against United in 18 Premier League meetings since winning 1-0 at Old Trafford in December 2009 – only their second league win over United since 1983.
And Villa could have won more comfortably if Ollie Watkins had put away one of his two great chances in a game littered with mistakes.
Some poor decision-making allowed Villa to take the sting out of the game where Manchester United threatened a goal but never earned it as they were constantly disrupted by their own mistakes and ill fortune.
Luke Shaw went off injured in the first half after David De Gea had handed Ollie Watkins a free shot on goal with a poor clearance before saving it and the Reds also lost captain Harry Maguire to a second half injury which limited their options.
Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo both hit the wall with a free kick apiece while Villa’s defence stood firm against some solid United attacking led by Mason Greenwood as chief goal threat.
The Reds didn’t produce any concerted pressure on the Villa goal until the final quarter of the game and even Edinson Cavani couldn’t change things as United paid for their poor finishing again with Fernandes blazing over from the penalty spot with Cristiano Ronaldo watching after Hause had given them the lead 2 minutes from time.Embed from Getty Images
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed his players despite their lack of cutting edge again:
He said: “We were very aggressive, very good on transition, got forward quickly but the final shot, final pass and final decision wasn’t always the best one. 20 of the 30 attempts were blocked.”
Solskjaer didn’t like the way Aston Villa’s players crowded spot kick taker Bruno Fernandes right before he took the penalty, saying:
“The way they get around the penalty spot, get around Bruno… that’s not to my liking.
“Bruno is usually very good in those positions and unfortunately he missed this one.”
But he wanted his players to pick themselves up again with a Champions League game against Villarreal coming in midweek, adding: “We need to pick up points which is a position these boys have been in before.
“I know they will fight for each other and fight for the shirt and we will be ready for that one.”
He may have to reshuffle his pack for the Villarreal game – after he said it was too soon to check on the injuries to Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire after they were taken off during the game, adding: “At the moment they don’t look ok for Wednesday but let’s see.”
Manchester United wasteful in front of goal as they lose third game in four
Solskjaer made another 11 changes as he swapped the entire team that lost to West Ham in the Carabao Cup for the full strength team that beat them in the London Stadium last Sunday.
Edinson Cavani was named on the bench after recovering from injury as the Reds looked to get back to winning ways against Aston Villa.
Villa could not name on-loan United defender Axel Tuanzebe against his parent club.
Tuanzebe missed out along with former United winger Ashley Young who started on the bench as Villa retained only Matty Cash and Hause from the side that lost on penalties in the Carabao Cup to Chelsea in midweek.
And United were quickly up to speed with Fernandes blazing over after Luke Shaw was released down the left flank by Paul Pogba and his square ball put the Portuguese in plenty of space for the shot after 2 minutes.
Mason Greenwood won a free kick in prime territory and the two Portuguese forwards were on the ball quickly as Old Trafford anticipated a 25 yard screamer.
Fernandes hit the free kick against the wall in the event but Greenwood kept reminding the visitors of the dangers of underestimating him with some great work on the ball to carry it into the Villa danger zone while Ronaldo shot wide from range.
By now Villa were putting toegtejr some attractive moves though, and when Matty Cash slid the ball across the 6 yard box it seemed that Matt Targett would get on the end of it but blazed over under pressure from Aaron Wan Bissaka.
Greenwood once again could have replied but for a great save by Emiliano Martinez immediately afterwards while Fernandes put a little too much on his forward ball to Ronaldo.
The Reds struggled to maintain fluency though, and misplaced passes were starting to cost them possession.
De Gea cleared a Maguire back pass straight to Ollie Watkins but recovered his own mistake immediately with a reaction save when the stunned Watkins didn’t make the most of a free shot on goal.
Pogba saw a shot deflected for a corner from Fernandes cut back and Fred comically blazed over after United tried and failed several times to defeat the Villa defence.
Injuries to Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire further mar Aston Villa defeat for Manchester United
Luke Shaw was taken off partway through the first half and he was replaced by Diogo Dalot after 34 minutes.
Douglas Luiz was fouled by Fernandes and his resulting free kick was deflected behind for a corner which was headed over by Ezri Konsa as the Reds struggled to regain their tempo.
Harry Maguire had a header saved from a Fernandes free kick before John McGinn fouled Pogba resulting in a Ronaldo free kick that hit the wall and a Pogba header wide from a corner.
United were saved by the offside flag when Danny Ings went down under a challenge from Maguire after the restart – Watkins was deemed offside under the initial ball forward from John McGinn.
And the Reds slow start to the second half was made worse when Maguire went down off the ball and had to be strapped up to continue.
United’s build-up was also insipid, with wayward crosses by Dalot adding to De Gea’s poor passing – not even Ronaldo was immune from giving the ball away as the Reds failed to test the Villans in the second half.
The poor Reds display could have gotten worse as Maguire escaped a possible red card after he hauled down McGinn as he turned to try and get on the end of a ball into the United half.
And the Reds captain was denied a penalty when he went down under a challenge from Konsa as a ball came into the area.
Even Greenwood was beginning to become frustrated as he shot straight at Martinez when the ball was sent through for him to run on to after 65 minutes.
Watkins was released by Tyrone Mings for a run on goal which was saved, and on the break Mason Greenwood ran into a dead end as Villa defenders blocked off his route to goal while Pogba shot wide.
Wan-Bissaka and Greenwood also had the crowd out of their seats while Raphael Varane missed with a header and Pogba at least tested Martinez with a routine shot as United began to knock on the door more heavily in the final quarter of the game.
Villa’s first change of the game came in the final 12 minutes with Ings replaced by Emiliano Buendia.
Jacob Ramsey’s shot was deflected into the hands of De Gea while Martinez had to clear another ball which Greenwood was bearing down on.
Cavani was brought on for Scott McTominay for the last 8 minutes as United had to go for goal.
Fernandes’ header was collected by Martinez who tried to claim for a corner.
And then there was the latest penalty drama at Old Trafford.
Kortney Hause scored a header from a corner by ex-Manchester City midfielder Douglas Luiz with 2 minutes to go.
United were already knocking on the Villa door hard and they won a penalty when Hause handled the ball in injury time.
It was the first penalty at Old Trafford this season and Ronaldo stalked the edge of the D like a hungry wolf while Bruno Fernandes stepped up but the usually reliable midfielder blasted the ball into the Stratford End in the 93rd minute.
Greenwood had looked like United’s best chance of a goal but he sent a last gasp shot wide as the Villans took the points away from Old Trafford.
GOAL – Manchester United 0, Aston Villa 1
Man Utd 0, Aston Villa 1: 88. Kortney Hause reacted first and got to Douglas Luiz’ corner before Victor Lindelof and headed it past David De Gea to put Aston Villa in the lead.
MATCH STATS – Manchester United 0, Aston Villa 1
Man Utd: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire (C) (Lindelof 66), Shaw (Dalot 34), McTominay (Cavani 82), Fred, Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba, Ronaldo
Man Utd subs not used: Heaton, Martial, Lingard, Sancho, Matic, van de Beek
Booked: Shaw 29 (foul on Matty Cash), Fred 77 (foul on John McGinn)
Missed Penalty: Fernandes 90+3
Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Hause, Mings (C), Targett, Ramsey (Archer 86), Luiz, McGinn, Ings (Buendia 78), Watkins
Aston Villa subs not used: Steer, Traore, Young, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Chuwuemeka, Bogarde
Booked: McGinn 66 (trip on Bruno Fernandes); Cash 90 (foul on Diogo Dalot)
Goal: Hause 88
Referee: Mike Dean