Chicharito stars in United victory
Javier Hernandez came off the bench and scored a quick fire brace against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday. Paul Lambert’s men were leading by two goals but United lodged a comeback yet again to seal the game 3-2 in their favour. Sir Alex opted to go ahead with Paul Scholes and Micheal Carrick in the center of midfield with former Villa man Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia starting in the wings. Chris Smalling replaced the injured Johnny Evans as Rooney and Van Persie started up front in a 4-4-2 formation. Christian Benteke started up front for the hosts along with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Stephen Ireland.
United had the majority of the possession but did not make anything out of it. Paul Lambert fielded a very young side which defended deep and restricted United to just one shot on goal during the whole half. United did try to penetrate through the wings but Valencia and Rafael were expertly marked by the 22-year-old Irish left-back Enda Stevens. United had themselves to blame as they looked very vulnerable and careless in their approach. Paul Scholes was tightly marked by Stephen Ireland, as the 38-year old was not in top form during this game. Ashley Young’s curling effort which flew just wide of the post was the only shot on goal that the Red Devils had all through the first half. Christian Benteke used his strength to outpower the United defence and caused lot of chaos in their final third. He was the provider for the first goal as he outmuscled Chris Smalling near the corner and played it across to Andreas Wiemann, who in turn blasted the ball into the United net at the end of the first half.
Sir Alex was quick to bring in Javier Hernandez in place of Ashley Young, who had a not so impressive return to Villa Park. Aston Villa scored once again in the start of the second half as a misplaced pass from Paul Scholes was played to Gabriel Agbonlahor who in turn played a perfect cross allowing Wiemann to tap in from close range. The Austrian is the first Villa player to score a brace against United. The Red Devils then started attacking with intent and the substitute Chicharito scored from a superb ball played by Paul Scholes from the edge of the United half in the 53rd minute. He played a vital part in United’s second in the 60th minute when the Mexican met Rafael’s cross and the shot was deflected into the goal by captain Ron Vlaar. Van Persie came close twice in two mins but was denied by the cross bar. Wayne Rooney, who had a relatively quiet game, was replaced by Anderson in the middle of second half after he sustained a minor knock to the ankle. United’s comeback was complete when a free kick by Van Persie was headed in by Chicharito who was left unmarked thanks to Villa’s poor marking. Hernandez has now scored eight goals in all competitions, with seven in his last five games. A formidable performance by the young Aston Villa side who failed to preserve their lead against an experienced United line up.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, Weimann, Westwood, Ireland, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke.
Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Williams.
Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Smalling, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes, Young, Rooney, van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Anderson, Hernandez, Welbeck, Cleverley, Fletcher, Buttner
Villa: Wiemann 45 + 1, 50
Man Utd: Javier Hernandez 58,87; Ron Vlaar 63 (OG)