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Aston Villa 0 United 0

Villa Park is a happy hunting ground for United. Win after win has come there in Ferguson’s time, both against Villa and also in so many cup semi finals. It was always a record that was going to end eventually, especially in light of Villa’s recent form, but there was confidence by Reds heading to Birmingham that today might not be the one where it all came to an end. We arrived in Birmingham a few hours before kick off and it was already getting dark and was freezing cold. Loads of Reds were gathered in the Cap and Gown pub by the away end and we made our way there to sort some tickets out before heading straight into the ground nice and early just to avoid the elements. The 3pm games were coming through on the TVs in the concourse and we stared at the screens fixated for the last half hour praying for Newcastle and Fulham to hang on at Chelsea and the scousers respectively. They did, and when the full times  flashed up, there was a huge cheer. Now United just had to take care of their own game.

The teams came through and, as expected, Berbatov and Wes Brown were out but Rooney and Rio had made it. Park was chosen over Nani, and John O’Shea got the nod at right back over Silva. United started brightly and controlled the game. Ronaldo’s stinging shot was parried away by the ever reliable Friedel and Rooney played several unbelievable passes that almost led to goals from Tevez and Park. Villa offered very little up front in comparison, but were potentially dangerous on the break, but United could have taken the lead when Park was through, only for a fantastic tackle to come in from Young.

The second half started well for Villa and they had United on the ropes. They did not have clear chances, despite a strong penalty appeal, but looked bright and United looked a little rattled. But the storm was weathered and it was Rooney who had the best chance of the game, blasting over after a wonderful pass from Carrick. The game was fading away for United as Tevez was replaced and Ronaldo was taken off injured after having his legs kicked at throughout whilst being accused of diving by most of the Burberry wearing idiots at one end. We looked up at the teamsheets on the big screens and there were few players left on the pitch for United who were likely to win the game. With Tevez and Ronaldo off the pitch it was only Rooney really upfront, and the liked of Nani, Park and Carrick are not guaranteed match winners, whilst Giggs looked shattered. The game drifted away and the final whistle went, queue scenes of celebrations in the home end as if they had won the world cup.

Villa are a decent team and could well finish above Arsenal if things continue the way they are at present. But they are no threat to United or Chelsea at the top. As for United, this was a big chance wasted to narrow the gap. More worrying than the points difference off the top is the form. We have not managed to beat one remotely decent team this season and the away results have been very poor. City and Spurs will be key game now.  

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1 Comment

  1. Dave :: November 23rd, 2008 5:55 pm

    Was always likely to be a potential banana skin especially after Villa’s performance against Arsenal last week.

    As the game progressed, you just got the feeling that it could be decided by the odd goal and Villa certainly had a couple of chances so a point away wasn’t a bad result and hopefully they’ll take some more points off the other top sides at Villa Park.

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