Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United

Football - Aston Villa v Manchester United Barclays Premier League
Tonight Man United took on Aston Villa in the dress rehearsal of the Carling Cup final. The big winners of tonight were Arsenal who beat Liverpool 1-0. Man United could only manage a 1-1 draw with Villa, saying that, we did play 60 minutes of the game with 10 men. The losers of the evening were Chelsea, who lost 2-1 to Everton at Goodison Park.

Aston Villa went ahead 19 minutes in when Carlos Cuellar looped the ball over the head of Edwin Van Der Sar after United failed to clear the ball. Man United immediately stepped up a gear and were level only minutes later. Luis Nani’s cross in from the right found Ryan Giggs who volleyed the ball, which rebounded off Villa’s James Collins and into the net for an own goal. This is now the 10th own goal scored for Man United this season by opposition players.

Football - Aston Villa v Manchester United Barclays Premier LeagueWith 29 minutes gone, Nani was sent off for a poor challenge on Stiliyan Petrov. Nani may have won the ball but he went into the tackle with both feet off the ground, which gave the referee no other choice but to show him a straight red. I have gone over this tackle a few times and I still can’t make my mind up. There is no doubting that it was a stupid challenge by Nani, he gets the ball with his right foot, his left foot is in the air but nowhere near the player but still off the ground. Fans seem to be divided so it just shows what a difficult decision it was.

That should have put Aston Villa on the front foot but it didn’t really show. Man United played well with only 10 men, we did tire at the end but you wouldn’t really expect anything else.

Villa fans will be even more disappointed than United fans tonight, they had a fantastic chance to put pressure on United and win the game but they didn’t do that. There were a few moments from Villa, mainly when they played the ball quickly on the ground, but you did expect more from them.

Nani’s sending off wasn’t the only bad news for Man United, during the second half Giggs had to be replaced by Antonio Valencia after picking up a serious elbow injury. This has now made Giggs doubtful for the Champions League game against AC Milan next week.

Sports News - February 10, 2010The stats show that United had 51.7% possession, three shots on target, compared to Villa’s two. United had seven shots off target, Villa had five.

United kicked off 15 minutes ahead of Chelsea who were up in Liverpool to play Everton. The good news for United is that Chelsea lost 2-1, which closes the gap down to only one point but Chelsea are still top of the table.

This is an important point picked up by United but I can’t help feeling disappointed that we didn’t win the game. Next up for United in the league is Everton, which is a huge game.

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