Manchester United 2-2 Aston Villa

Match Report

Manchester United again dropped points when in a winning position as they were held to a 2-2 Premier League draw against Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

United, who have already dropped 10 points from winning positions this season ahead of the game, boasted one change from last week’s thrilling 3-3 Premier League draw at Sheffield United as Phil Jones was replaced by Juan Mata.

Villa were unchanged from the 2-0 win against Newcastle on Monday night.

United started the brighter of the two sides, but they were hit by a sucker punch on 11 minutes when Jack Grealish picked up possession of the ball on the left before curling a superb effort beyond the dive of David De Gea and into the far corner.

Villa were hit by the loss of Anwar El Ghazi as he was replaced by Trezeguet on 18 minutes having picked up an injury.

United had their first effort of note on 22 minutes when Fred did well to make space down the right and picked out Anthony Martial in the middle, but Tom Heaton denied the Frenchman by making a save at the second attempt.

Villa thought they had given themselves a two-goal cushion on the half-hour, but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) ruled that Trezeguet’s effort should be disallowed because of an offside against Grealish in the build-up.

United should have been level a minute later, but Marcus Rashford made a hash of his effort and it allowed Heaton to make the save.

The hosts did get level three minutes before the interval when Andreas Pereira floated a cross towards the back post for Rashford and his header went in off Heaton for an own goal.

United upped the ante after the break and they almost went in front on 59 minutes  when Martial wriggled his way into the area and forced an excellent save from Heaton, before VAR rebuffed a penalty shout after Mata went down under a challenge from Frederic Guilnet.

Grealish missed a great chance for his and Villa’s second of the game on 63 minutes when he put the ball wide of the back post only for United to go up the other end of the pitch and take the lead within a minute.

Fred picked up possession and crossed towards the back post for Victor Lindelof to guide his header past Heaton from a tight angle.

United’s lead lasted only two minutes, though, as Mings coolly hooked the ball in from close range after good work by Matt Targett and a VAR check showed the defender was clearly onside.

United pushed on for a winner in the closing stages, but Villa held on for a share of the spoils.

The point leaves the Red Devils in ninth place on 18 points, while Villa are three points behind in 15th spot.