Manchester United fell to a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League. It was the first league defeat of the season; the third in all competitions with two of those coming at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lost both Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire to injury before seeing Kortney Hause head home in the 88th minute to put Villa ahead in the match. Edinson Cavani called for a penalty as Hause handled the ball in the box in added time and the penalty was given both by the referee and VAR. Bruno Fernandes took the penalty, sending it over the crossbar. United 18-match undefeated run against Villa is over.
United started well against Villa but the away side soon started to get into the game. United almost got in early with Mason Greenwood looking to break through the defence and find an early goal, but defensively, Villa were able to nip the attack in the bud. Greenwood is a live wire of a player and will push defences. Villa then had a chance, which at the time was the best chance of the game with Matt Targett off target, which should have not been the case because of how close he was to the goal. Villa then started to get their foot in and pressured United, who seemed defensively poor at the time with Harry Maguire making a mistake.
In the 29th minute of the match, Luke Shaw was booked for a challenge a few minutes later, after suffering a knock, could not continue so Solskjaer had to make his first substitution of the match with Diogo Dalot replacing him in the 34th minute of the match. At the end of the half, it was 0-0 despite both side trying to cause a dent in each others armour. United had 60.2% possession, having 15 shots on goal, with just two of those on target – which was not that great. United will need to be more clinical in the second half if they want to keep the pressure on Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City this season.
There were no changes by either team at the start of the second half of the match. There seemed to be a fiery atmosphere to the second half of the match with Villa seeking to press United and demanding to be noticed. Ollie Watkins seemed to break through, although he seemed to be offside, and he was. Maguire seemed to be carrying a knock in the 53rd minute of the match and needed treatment on the pitch. Maguire continued by Victor Lindelof got himself warmed up and ready to come on but Maguire was happy to continue, for now. Cristiano Ronaldo started an attack with Paul Pogba shooting on goal, but was just off target.
There was some frustration with John McGinn, who seemed to be fouled by Maguire, who with his calf injury, would not have caught him on a run. McGinn was annoyed that nothing was given and minutes later took out his frustration on Bruno Fernandes, swiping at his ankle. He was booked for that foul but still seemed to moan at the referee. Solskjaer brought Lindelof on for Maguire in the 67th minute of the match. Seconds later, Villa were on the attack with David De Gea making a good save, sending the ball into the midfield. United were on the attack through Greenwood with Ronaldo getting forward, but offside and Greenwood shot and missed.
United seemed to be more adventurous at this late stage of the match with Villa seeking to do all they could to get a goal or stop United from scoring one. In the 82nd minute of the match, Solskjaer made his third substitution, this time not because of an injury, bringing Edinson Cavani back from injury and replacing Scott McTominay, who returned from groin surgery last weekend. United will continue to attack the Villa and seek to win this match but Villa will give them as much, seeking to get a win over United. In the 88th minute of the match, Kortney Hause headed a goal for the away side with the Villa fans erupting in celebration.
United won a penalty in added time after Hause seemed to handle the ball in the box. The referee gave the penalty, as did VAR. Bruno Fernandes took the penalty and missed it with United set to suffer back to back defeats for the first time this season, their third defeat of the season including the Champions League opener to Young Boys almost a fortnight ago. It is not the best result for United, who seemed to be especially poor in the second half. Villa took all three points from this match, which they enjoyed as it is the first time in 18 matches that they won – their last victory over United came in December 2009.
United will be back in Champions League action on Wednesday evening as they welcome Villarreal, the team who beat them on penalties in the Europa League final last season, to Old Trafford. United will need to end their run of defeats, winning once in their last four matches in all competitions. The defeats to Young Boys, West Ham United and now Aston Villa could be costly for them this season. Old Trafford was the place that defeats cost them last season and despite the good start at home, last season seems to have come calling. United can only hope that Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire are not out of action for a long time.
Goals: Kortney Hause 88′
Assists: Douglas Luiz 88′
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire (Lindelof 67′), Shaw (Dalot 34′); Fred, McTominay (Cavani 82′); Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Ronaldo
Substitutes Not Used: Heaton; Lingard, Matic, Van de Beek; Martial, Sancho
Bookings: Luke Shaw 29′, Fred 77′; John McGinn 66′, Matty Cash 90′
Written by John Walker