Kortney Hause’s late header sealed Aston Villa a shock 1-0 win over Manchester United and a first at Old Trafford in 12 years.
Despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s predictable line-up, nothing could sway the cracking atmosphere at Old Trafford. The fans were out in numbers again, eager to get to see Cristiano Ronaldo, and there was a sense of excitement every time he touched the ball.
Unfortunately, the afternoon didn’t go the way Ronaldo – or the fans – had hoped. The Portuguese ace had a very quiet match upfront. Aston Villa’s valiant backline kept CR7 isolated and afforded United’s attackers very few opportunities to break the deadlock.
Just like at Chelsea midweek, Dean Smith’s side held their own at Old Trafford. United may have dominated possession, number of shots and passes, but it was Villa who had the better chances. They looked dangerous on the counter and should have taken a 16th-minute lead, only for Matty Cash to send his shot over the crossbar from over four yards out.
In the end, United had David de Gea to thank after the Spaniard cleared a straight shot from Ollie Watkins. It kept the scoreline goalless for the break. He denied the striker again later on, while Ezri Konsa headed a chance for Villa over.
It was a similar tone in the second half, where United simply couldn’t find a way past Villa. The fans chanted ‘Bring on Cavani’ at Stretford End and got their wish. In search of a winner, Solskjaer replaced Scott McTominay with the former PSG striker.
But while the match remained an action-packed affair, it was Villa who took the initiative. The Lions pushed and a great header from Hause gave them an unexpected lead in the 88th-minute.
Then, to add insult to injury, Bruno Fernandes took an awful penalty after Hause handled the ball inside his own box. The Portuguese, who got the nod over compatriot Ronaldo, saw his shot fly over the bar.
That miss pretty much summed the day for United as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat and a first in the Premier League this season. The Red Devils slip down to fourth in the league table, while Villa move up to seventh.