Aston Villa 2 United 2
United came back from the dead to rescue not only a point at Villa Park but also to preserve their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign.
Sir Alex Fergsuon took his side to Villa Park without the injured Valencia, Giggs and Rooney and the suspended Scholes, however Evra shook of a knock sustained in the Manchester derby to take his customary place at left back. Unfortunately Rafael wasn`t so lucky and Brown was called in to replace him.
United - Van der Sar, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Brown, Park, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Berbatov, Hernandez
Subs - Amos, Smalling, Fabio, O`Shea, Gibson, Obertan, Macheda
After an impeccably observed one minutes silence for Remembrance Day, it was United that got the action underway in the first meeting between these two teams since they clashed in the Carling Cup Final last season.
The first ten minutes or so though were on a par with the dross served up in the Manchester derby in midweek. Thankfully matters improved in the 13th minute when Nani stepped inside and shot wide. Villa responded with a great ball from Bannan that Downing forced a corner from and Villa could have threatened with Dunne and Collins charging in.
Albrighton then turned Evra inside out before delivering a cross that evaded everyone. Berbatov beat the offside trap but shot wide from a decent position before, minutes later, Brown`s flick at a Nani free kick almost caught the Villa defence cold.
Evra was again beaten by Albrighton and his cross was turned behind for a corner, a corner that was cleared at the fourth attempt as Villa started to exert some pressure. Ashley Young forced a save from Van der Sar although the keeper was never in trouble of being beaten by a weak shot.
Just past the half hour mark Collins launched a free kick forward, Agbonlahor got a flick on and Ashley Young saw another shot saved low down by Van der Sar, probably the best piece of action in the half so far.
United won a free kick and with Nani poised over it the Villa defence were caught out by a training ground move that fed Evra out wide, sadly the United forwards were half asleep and the tremendous ball Evra put in evaded everyone.
Carrick dragged a shot wide but as the half finished it was Villa on the offensive. Downing saw a shot deflected wide, by Ferdinand, for a corner which saw Van der Sar collect a Dunne header and in the two minutes of stoppage time announced Dunne headed wide.
Half Time - Aston Villa 0 Manchester United 0
Villa started the second half brightly with Albrighton smashing a shot wide after the ball had drifted to him with Evra not concentrating. Nani, in a confrontation with Warnock was lucky to receive only a yellow card after a deliberate arm into the Villa players face as they jumped.
Albrighton headed wide after a Downing cross troubled United and United were not looking at the races. Nani saw a shot blocked by Dunne but a spell of Villa pressure was to pay dividends for the home side. After a Collins header had thudded against the bar and an Agbonlahor shot had hit the base of the post, Villa went ahead through a penalty.
Another quick move saw Agbonlahor play the ball into the box and Brown clearly bundled over Ashley Young. It was to be Young who took the penalty and he smashed it home.
Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 0 (Young pen - 71 mins)
Matters got worse for United five minutes later when a lightening counter attack saw Downing feed the ball into the box, after being found by Young, for Albrighton to tap home from six yards out. United, who hadn`t had a shot on target up to this point, had it all to do.
Aston Villa 2 Manchester United 0 (Albrighton - 76 mins)
Sir Alex shuffled his eleven withdrawing Henrnadez and Berbatov and bringing on Obertan and Macheda and it was to be the Italian who got us back into the match.
Trying to force the issue a smart back-heel from Fetcher saw Macheda thunder the ball past Freidel.
Aston Villa 2 Manchester United 1 (Macheda - 81 mins)
Villa, after being in control, were now looking ragged and when Nani skipped away from a tiring Luke Young to deliver a cross to the far post there was Vidic waiting to head home his third goal in the Premier League this season.
Aston Villa 2 Manchester United 2 (Vidic - 85 mins)
With five minutes to go, plus stoppage time, United looked favourites to win it but despite the efforts of Obertan the winner was not to come, on the evidence of what we witnessed appoint rescued rather than two dropped.
Vital Man United on:
Vital Man United on: