- English Barclays Premier League
- 15 April 2012, 4:00pm
- Old Trafford
- Attendance: 75,138
|Man Utd||v||Aston Villa|
FULL-TIME: UNITED FIVE CLEAR! The ref blows his whistle to bring an end to an easy victory for Man United. The gap to Man City is back to five points whilst Villa still aren't safe in 15th position. Thanks for following Orange's live coverage. Stick around for the full-match report.
90+3 MINS: NANI NICKS ANOTHER! What a comfortable victory this has been for the league leaders. Evans slides a perfectly-weighted pass into the substitute Nani who tucks the ball under Given at his near post.
90 mins: Four minutes are added on as Bannan and Nani pick up yellow cards for clumsy challenges.
89 mins: Chances for Man United to rub more salt into Aston Villa's wounds as Berbatov's toe-poker is deflected over the bar. From the resulting corner, Nani finds Evans but he sends his header onto the roof of the net.
87 mins: Agbonlahor wins another corner for Aston Villa. Bannan props it up to the far post where Collins heads into the Man United crowd. It's been a toothless display from Alex McLeish's side. One of many.
83 mins: Villa give N'Zogbia a run-out with the game entering its closing stages. The ineffective Weimann is off in his place.
80 mins: Given now makes two solid stops from deflected efforts from Welbeck and Valencia. Man United are clearly keeping one eye on that goal difference just in case.
77 mins: The ref has had a shocker today. Given clearly touches the ball outside the area and Mark Halsey just forgets about it after waving play on.
75 mins: That's the last we will see of Rooney today as Berbatov comes on to replace the man who has bagged a brace. Villa also make a change with Ireland coming off for the youngster Carruthers.
73 MINS: MAN U ARE CRUISING! Game. Set. Match. The goal comes after some lovely link-up play between Valencia and Rooney. The Ecuadorian winger reverse passes to Rooney whose shot in the area finds the back of the net via a deflection from Collins.
72 mins: Agbonlahor's weak shot takes a deflection wide and Villa win a corner. It's drilled towards the far post where Baker rises above Rooney and arrows his header wide of the far post.
Simon -"i am a big man utd fan and the diving is not nice but can i just say if it was the world cup final and young went down wiv little contact would the whole of England shout for a penalty!"
69 mins: Great chance for Rooney to double his tally. Valencia picks him out near the penalty spot but Rooney misreads the bounce and drags his shot wide.
67 mins: Villa get away with one there as Baker's handball in his own area somehow goes unnoticed by the referee. At the other end, Heskey rises above Ferdinand and forces De Gea to help it over the bar.
64 mins: Clark has come back on the pitch but looks very dizzy and will now be replaced by the goal machine Heskey.
62 mins: Man United try to move through the gears once again as Valencia's stinging shot is turned away by the sliding Collins before Scholes earns the hosts another corner.
60 mins:Here's the first change of the afternoon and it's for Man United. Young manages to stay on his feet despite making contact with Nani's hand.
Keith, Manchester -"sorry blue mooners its all over, ho ho."
58 mins: Evra looks fine to continue but Villa are momentarily down to ten as Clark requires quite a few stitches in his head.
Hank, Herts -"Young really does have something to cry about now then, faker!"
56 mins: Play is halted once again after another nasty collison. This time Clark's head connects with Evra's right shoulder leaving them both in some discomfort. On come the physios.
54 mins: Villa have had a shot and no your eyes are not deceiving you. Bannan decides to have a crack from way out but it is blasted miles wide. He probably learnt to do that at Leeds.
51 mins: Ouch! That has got to hurt! Hutton and Young go charging at a 50-50 ball which results in Young getting crunched in the crown jewels by the full back's right leg. The ref quite rightly issues another yellow.
48 mins: Talking of bookings, Scholes has now acquired a booking for catching Agbonlahor on his knee. A clumsy tackle from the Man United midfielder.
46 mins:It's worth noting that Gardner was shown yellow for that rash tackle which forced Scholes to require treatment in the first-half. I'm just covering myself before the inevitable sending off comes and I'm left to explain myself!
Tony, Highworth -"The refs are too scared not to help Man U at home.Young should have trunks on...not shorts"
45 mins: Welcome back for the second half at Old Trafford. Will Alex McLeish have issued a good rollicking at half-time to pump his players up for the second-half? I doubt it. Anyway, Man United restart us.
Jim P, London - "Yet another open dive by young, someone should stop him, if that's the only way man u can win then that's a shame."
HALF-TIME: The two minutes of stoppage time pass without incident and Man United go into the break two goals to the good. Putting the debatable penalty aside, Man United have been extremely good value for their lead against a flat Aston Villa. Stay tuned for the second half.
45 mins: It has to be said the defending for Man United's second was very poor. A grand total of four players including Given had a good opportunity to stop the ball from reaching the grateful Welbeck.
43 MINS: 2-0 MAN UNITED! The Red Devils stick the knife in even further just before half-time! Carrick speads the play by finding Evra on the overlap. He bombs forward before sending a sweeping low cross for Welbeck to slide in. The struggling striker has finally found the back of the net again.
41 mins: There a few moans and groans around Old Trafford as Man United begin to get complacent as half-time looms. Agbonlahor though continues to disappoint with another incomplete dribble down the left touchline.
Steve, Wales -"villa gotta realise how much these 3 points mean to their history relegation looms"
38 mins: The goal-mouth action dries up for really the first time in this match. Valencia's wild shot in the box goes out for a throw whilst Agbonlahor runs into trouble at the other end.
John, North Shields"I think Young could quite easily trip over a blade of grass ! The way he goes to ground you would think he had been felled. It's about time this cheating was stopped - a few bookings would do the trick."
35 mins:I've just been informed that Ashley Young's antics has seen Tom Daley trending worldwide on Twitter. The pesky winger is starting to get found out by the footballing world.
33 mins: This ball has taken some punishment this afternoon. Valencia thumps it across the face of goal from the right where Given does brilliantly to get fingertips to Welbeck's poke from close range.
31 mins: There was concern for Scholes for a moment there as he goes down holding his knee after a tackle. He walks gingerly off the field but looks ok to continue.
29 mins: Wow. What a strike from Scholes. From a left-sided corner, the ball is cut back to him on the edge of the area and he absolutely hammers it on volley. Rooney and Carrick move out of the way but it still fizzes past the post.
27 mins: Rafael shows his traditional lapse in concentration at the back and that allows Ireland to arc the ball inches past De Gea's right post.
25 mins: Given is going to be in for a busy shift today it seems as Scholes prompts him into action with a trademark long shot which dips wickedly at the end.
23 mins: Another good chance for the leaders. Young's corner from the left is helped on at the near post by Carrick and headed wide by the unmarked Rooney. He knows he could have done better with that chance.
20 mins: Indications that Villa could maybe cause problems from set-pieces as Bannan's whipped cross from the right touchline is flicked narrowly wide of the left post by Clark.
18 mins: Rooney really looks in the mood this afternoon after he does excellently to force Given into a smart save. He appears to be crowded out by Villa defenders in the box but manages to unleash a stinging shot towards the right post.
Dave, York -"DIVE,its about time something was done about it .It is ruining the game."
15 mins: Man United continue keenly in their hunt for a quickfire second as Rooney's driven cross from the left finds Welbeck at the far post but his cushioned header is diverted away by Baker.
Dan, Cumbria - "Nervy game for United today. 3-0 in the end though. Rooney 2 and Valencia with the goals to get back on track. Complacency cost us against Wigan but hopefully its been shaken out the system. The neighbours are getting noisy again!"
12 mins: The hosts look to pick apart this vulnerable-looking Villa defence once again. Young delays on the ball before laying off to Scholes to his left but his shot is blocked away from goal.
Baba, Coimbatore -"This is the first. Hatrick is on the way for ROONEY. Come on REDS show what you capable of."
9 mins: Carrick picks up the first booking of the afternoon for a late tackle on Gary Gardner.
7 MINS: ROONEY SCORES! A determined hit from Rooney. He steps up confidently and blasts the ball to Given's left. Is that game over already?!
5 MINS: PENALTY MAN UNITED! For the second home game in a row Young has won a penalty for his team. He scampers into the box from the left and is slightly clipped by Clark which is enough to send him tumbling to the ground. Mark Halsey points to the spot without hesitation.
Alicia -"Manchester United are obviously going to win! its in their genes."
3 mins: Carrick and Rooney play their way through the Villa midfield before the latter sees his shot blocked off by Young who does his former club an unintentional favour.
Bluenose Mark -"As much as I not like villa I detest gloryhunters too..the latter winning 2 nil and honking horns all the way back to bristol, devon etc"
0 mins: Villa, in their chequered white shirts and claret shorts, kick-off playing towards the Stretford End in the first half. Within the first 30 seconds Weimann, operating on the left flank to start with, fires a shot straight at De Gea.
1601: Before the kick-off, Old Trafford stands silent in tribute to Ex-Italy under-21 footballer Piermario Morosini who died during a Serie B game from a suspected heart attack.
1555: Both teams file out into the tunnel ahead of kick-off in five minutes time. Villa have only won on one of their last 26 league visits to Old Trafford. Can they cause an upet today?
Welcome to Orange's build-up to the Premier League clash between table-topping Man United and struggling Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
The league leaders make three changes from the shock 1-0 defeat to Wigan. Rafael, Paul Scholes and Danny Welbeck are all given the nod ahead of Phil Jones, Ryan Giggs and Javier Hernandez.
The Red Devils were in superb form prior to the midweek slip-up at Wigan which ended an unbeaten run which lasted 12 games. A win today will see the Sir Alex's side re-open a five point gap to noisy neighbours Man City.
Today's visitors have only won one of their last ten matches, and they will still feel like need a victory or two to secure their Premier League status for next year.
Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish is without Chris Herd and Stephen Warnock. Herd suffered a head injury during Monday's 1-1 draw with Stoke while Warnock was substituted with an ankle problem. Ciaran Clark and Gary Gardner come into the starting eleven.
Midfielder Fabian Delph has returned to training after his ankle injury when on loan at Leeds while winger Marc Albrighton is battling to overcome a thigh problem.
Will Man United be stretching their lead at the top to five points or can Villa spring a surprise? Let Mark know your thoughts ahead of the game by clicking on his name above.
- English Barclays Premier League
- 15 April 2012, 4:00pm
- Old Trafford
- Attendance: 75,138
|Man Utd||v||Aston Villa|
Manchester United pulled five points clear of title rivals City after easing to a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday.
But Ashley Young was branded "a disgrace" by fellow Premier League player Ryan Taylor after the United star was involved in yet another penalty controversy in the hammering of Villa.
Wayne Rooney converted the sixth-minute spot-kick and added another, with Danny Welbeck and Nani also on target as United responded in perfect fashion to Manchester City's six-goal salvo on Saturday to re-establish a five-point lead at the top of the table.
Villa remain in trouble, six points clear of third-bottom Bolton, who also have a game in hand.
But, with four games to go, it is the battle at the top that is concentrating minds, and the behaviour of Young that is provoking ire.
Seven days ago, the former Aston Villa man was at the centre of a diving row when he went down under minimal contact from Shaun Derry.
As the FA upheld Derry's suspension, Young's behaviour was excused, even if his reputation took a knock.
Now there will be more questions about his willingness to bend the rules.
Newcastle's Taylor led the chorus of disapproval, branding Young "an absolute disgrace" on Twitter, adding: "He's the biggest cheat in the league. His antics are a joke."
The comment was hastily removed, although not before reaction had flashed around the world.
England legend Gary Lineker suggested Young could end up with an unwanted reputation if he keeps reacting in this way.
In an era where forwards tend to go down under the slightest contact, Young's theatrical fall did come after he was touched by Ciaran Clark.
Not enough to tip the England man over, though, and the incident did Young little credit.
In the context of relieving the pressure in a title fight that has had new life injected into it by a combination of City finding their form again and United losing at Wigan, it was a present.
Rooney kept his nerve and sent Shay Given the wrong way.
It was his 30th goal of the season and the 10th time he has scored against Given, now top of the list of his favourite keepers.
United dominated thereafter. Given's reaction save denied Welbeck, recalled along with veteran midfielder Paul Scholes, who met two thunderous volleys perfectly.
Given kept out the first, the second whistled wide at astonishing speed.
Though clearly limited, Villa did enough to keep their band of supporters interested and both Clark and Stephen Ireland went close during rare counter-attacks.
United needed a second to calm any remaining nerves and Nathan Baker duly provided a gift shortly before the break.
In allowing Patrice Evra's low cross to run under his leg at the far-post, Baker presumably thought the ball was heading out for a goal-kick.
He was mistaken.
Instead, Welbeck slid in to nudge home from close range, his 11th goal of the season, but only his second since January.
It was a defensive lapse that has been so prominent in Villa's season to date and clearly the finishing line cannot come soon enough.
They do have some tricky hurdles to negotiate yet, though, including a home encounter with Bolton, and the loss of Clark, who was groggily helped off after trying to continue following an accidental clash with Patrice Evra, did not help matters.
His replacement, Emile Heskey, came closest for the visitors not long afterwards.
But after his header was tipped over by David de Gea, Rooney spurned a golden opportunity when he mis-hit a 10-yard effort and sent it bobbling harmlessly wide.
It was not long before another chance came Rooney's way.
And this time it ended up in the net, thanks to a significant deflection off James Collins.
Before Villa could restart, Rooney was replaced by Dimitar Berbatov.
It did not seem to be a change the striker was entirely in agreement with.
However, with the clock ticking down on Berbatov's mercurial United career, the home fans did welcome the Bulgarian enthusiastically.
It was Nani, who had been introduced for Young after an hour, who provided the final flourish, though, finishing Jonny Evans' lay-off in cool fashion before a trademark somersault celebration.