What a game this turned out to be. The teams showed up at Old Trafford and delivered a free-flowing affair. Unfortunately, skill levels and crispness in the possession lacked both sides at times. The game moved freely and openly in this 2-2 draw.
Arguably, Aston Villa had the better of the first half and were rewarded with a lead on the 11th-minute mark. Jack Grealish worked his wonders solely, by curling it far into the top corner to put the Midlands side ahead. David De Gea was a spectator to the effort, along with the crowd.
They continued to push and it looked as if they had doubled their lead. The ball was bundled in the six-yard box from a Jack Grealish cross, turned in by first-half substitute Trezeguet. However, VAR came to the rescue for Manchester United and displayed Grealish’s right ankle being offside in the build-up play. The goal was disallowed.
The momentum shifted with this and Martial pushed forward and challenged Tom Heaton in goal. Tyrone Mings making a meal of his clearance caused Manchester United to keep the ball in the front third. Through a corner, they capitalised with Marcus Rashford heading into the post which bounced off Heaton for an own goal. Villa’s ‘keeper was blameless in the situation. All level at the break.
After half time, Ole’s United pushed forward quickly and eagerly. Asking questions of the Aston Villa’s defence and goalkeeper. It came to promise when at the 61st-minute mark a corner was flicked on by Villa’s forward Wesley at near post into Victor Lindelof’s path at the back post. Giving Manchester the lead, for the first time in the proceedings. And also Victor’s second-ever goal for United.
Old Trafford’s celebrations were short-lived, lasting as few as five minutes. When Matt Targett, an unlikely provider, linked up with Tyrone Mings to draw level at 2-2. Targett dipped the ball over the pack of players and Villa’s No.40 was left in acres of space to bang it home past De Gea. Qualms for offside were dismissed by VAR, showing United’s Williams keeping Mings onside.
The remaining game time flowed openly between the two teams. Fred had a penalty call dismissed appropriately. Rashford was given another opportunity to grab the lead for United, however, he flicked it over the bar. Villa supporters let out a huge sigh of relief.
Midweek football is back for both sides. Ole’s time is running out and they are coming up a revitalised Tottenham at home. Dean Smith’s Aston Villa travel again to a fragile but exciting Chelsea. Both fixtures are played on Wednesday night.