Manchester United beat Aston Villa 3-2 in a thrilling encounter

If Liverpool can do it, Manchester United can do it better. After Liverpool’s injury time winner against Fulham yesterday, the pressure was on Manchester United who were without a win in there last two games and were facing a strong Villa team. For most part of the game, it looked like United were heading for there third straight defeat but Ronaldo goal in the 80th minute and an injury time goal from 17 year old Federico Macheda ensured that United are still the front runners for the title. It was a strong twist to a match the seemed to be heading Villa’s way for most parts of the game.

Manchester United were missing a lot of players through injuries and suspension and they started with an uncertain back four of Evans, Neville, O Shea and Evra with Giggs partnering Tevez up front as Rooney was suspended and Berbatov was injured. Most of the United bench was also filled by there reserve group of young an inexperienced players. Villa started on a bright note and it looked like the United defense were headed for a tough time with Carew, Agbonlahor and Ashley young causing all sorts of the problems. United had a narrow escape in the first half when a Carew header from a Villa corner was cleared off the line by Darren Fletcher.

Agbonlahor and Barry were causing United all sorts of problem but it was United who took the lead after a poor mistake by Villa. James Milner passed the ball to Friedel who picked the ball up and Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the resulting free kick. United soon began to settle down but they wre unable to break a sturdy Villa defense and the pace of agbonlahor was causing big problems for Neville. Villa nearly could have taken the lead but a Ashley Young was brilliantly tipped over by Van Der Sar. Villa soon drew a level after a quick counterattack from them saw Barry crossing a beautiful ball which Carew headed into the bottom corner with Neville watching helplessly. Neville was then switched to right back with Evans coming into the central defense. United could have taken the lead before the interval but Ronaldo’s glancing header went straight into Friedal’s arms and both teams headed into half time level.

There was a bit of worry in the Manchester United team and things soon became worse as Villa took the lead in the 58th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo gave away possession and the ball was quickly passed to Carew who crossed for Agbonlahor to head home with Evra unable to do anything this time. It looked like the title race was going in Liverpool’s favor and United took some gamble by bringing on 17 year old Federico Macheda for Nani to partner Tevez up front. It was a debut for Macheda and he might soon have gotten in the score sheet as he appealed for penalty after he fell under the challenge of Curtis Davies. United were having possession but were unable to do anything from it and Villa were still dangerous on the ball with Curtis Davies being unable to convert Ashely Young free kick.

It looked like United were heading for there third straight league defeat and needed something special from there players and that came in the 80th minute from Ronaldo. He picked the ball on the edge of the box and fired a low shot from his left foot which managed to beat Friedel and went in. The momentum shifted towards Manchester United and it took a brilliant save from Friedel to deny Fletcher from 12 yards. Ronaldo had another good chance from close range but he shot over after being set up by Macheda. Danny Welbeck had a great chance in the closing minutes to win the game for United but his shot was brilliantly saved by Friedel at point blank range. Just when it looked the game heading for a draw, a magical moment from the 17 year old Macheda turned things around.

Macheda received a ball in the box from Ryan Giggs and he turned superbly and curled the ball into the far corner to the delight of Old Trafford and sending Manchester United back to the top of the table and making him an Old Trafford hero.

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