Aston Villa 0 Man Utd 1: Exciting line-up provides another false dawn

Written by Dan on December 3, 2011

They obviously can’t be bothered, so neither can I. It was a positive line-up, but Utd never needed to get out of 1st gear. McLeish must be giving out his instructions in Russian or something because he’s managed to make some very capable players look like they haven’t the first clue what they’re doing.

Worryingly, Shay Given was carried off after his hamstring went shortly before half time. Brad Guzan didn’t have much to do, not really, but we’ll probably get to see him in goal for a few games now.

Chris Herd also limped off, although he may have just been feeling sorry for himself after a less than awesome display. Jermaine Jenas was also replaced due to injury, it looked like something in his ankle went and he’ll surely be out again now.

Charles N’Zogbia was excluded from the squad to sit on the naughty step for missing some appointment or other during the week. Details are sketchy.

Phil Jones got the only goal. It was tame. Nani romped into space behind Alan Hutton and sat a nice ball up for Jones to volley in from close range unchallenged. Simple enough.

There was the usual running about a bit at the end, but it was aimless and delivered no more than it deserved. This is beyond tedious now. Barcelona are currently 2-0 up against Levante, I’m going to watch that. At least there’s some joy there.

Timeline: Key Events

79′ SUBSTITUTION Ashley Young off / Danny Welbeck on.
64′ SUBSTITUTION Rio Ferdinand off / Ryan Giggs on.
64′ SUBSTITUTION Jermaine Jenas off / Emile Heskey on. Injury.
59′ SUBSTITUTION Chris Herd off / Stiliyan Petrov on. Herd limped straight off down the tunnel.
38′ SUBSTITUTION Shay Given off / Brad Guzan on. Hamstring.
20′ GOAL Phil Jones. Nani in behind Hutton, a simple cross into the box, Phil Jones volley’s calmly in unmarked.
12′ SUBSTITUTION Javier Hern├índez off / Antonio Valencia on. Ankle injury.

Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Herd, Jenas, Albrighton, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Bent. Subs: Guzan, Cuellar, Clark, Delph, Petrov, Ireland, Heskey.

Man Utd: Lindegaard, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Jones, Rooney, Young, Hernandez. Subs: De Gea, Evans, Fletcher, Park, Giggs, Valencia, Welbeck.