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All too easy four United against sorry Villa

Manchester United restored their 5-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 4-0 win over Aston Villa courtesy of two goals from Wayne Rooney and one apiece from Danny Welbeck and Nani.

Much like in their game against QPR, a controversial penalty incident involving Ashley Young was the talking point of the game, as United were lucky to be awarded a spot kick inside seven minutes when Young appeared to have made the most of a contact from Ciaran Clark.

The former Villa man went down rather theatrically and, while Clark did collide with him, Mark Halsey decided to point to the spot and guarantee himself a week under the media spotlight after his decision – no doubt in company of Martin Atkinson, following the latter’s superb performance in the FA Cup semifinal.

After the game, Fergie admitted that Young had “milked it”. Young is a fine player but there’s no place for this sort of conduct at Old Trafford and, while pleased for the penalty, no doubt a lot of United fans would have had a sour taste in their mouths.

Rooney made no mistake from the spot, scoring his 30th goal of the season as United scored for a record-equaling 47th consecutive time at home in the league.

From then on was virtually plain sailing for United even though, despite the early goal, they somehow lacked spark going forward at times but they’ll be pleased with the way they’ve bounced back from Wednesday’s disappointing defeat at Wigan.

With Scholes, Rafael – the Brazilian notched yet another excellent performance – and Welbeck back in the side in place of Giggs, Jones and Hernandez, United controlled the possession, easily aided by an appallingly poor Aston Villa side, who have now registered only in the last 31 meetings between the two sides.

Villa had actually created the first chance of the game as Weimann had tested DeGea earlier on but that was as good as it got for them. In the end nowhere near what they would have needed to stop the home side who were kept at bay a couple of excellent saves from Shay Given.

Danny Welbeck saw his close range header well blocked by Nathan Baker, then Given was called into action by Rooney and produced a smart save to prevent United doubling their lead.

Villa did not capitalise at the other end, Clark’s header whistling wide while Stephen Ireland’s effort from long range produced similar results.

Given was called into action again as he denied Welbeck with a smart save, soon after Scholes had flashed a volley just wide of the upright.

The Irish goalkeeper saw his efforts come undone in the last minute of the first period, as Evra’s overlapping run yielded an inviting cross into the box, which sparked a calamitous piece of defending from James Collins and Nathan Baker who allowed the ball to reach Danny Welbeck at the far post.

The United striker made no mistake, putting United 2-0 up and virtually sealing the game with a period to go.

Villa started the second half with more intent, trying to contain United and created half a chance themselves as Emile Heskey saw his header tipped over the bar by an ever vigilant DeGea who has now registered four clean sheets in the last four league games United have played at home.

Despite a performance below his standards, Rooney added a second goal fifteen minutes from time as he exchanged passes with Valencia at the edge of the box, before firing it a low, right-footed effort which caught Given wrong-footed.

That was to be Rooney’s last contribution of the day, as the striker departed to make space for substitute Dimitar Berbatov, while Cleverley replaced Scholes.

United could have added to their tally as Given was again in the right place at the right time to block Welbeck’s deflected effort and then again as he kept out Valencia’s shot as the Ecuadorian’s strike took a deflection off a Villa defender.

Berbatov saw his goal-bound shot blocked and Jonny Evans headed just over from the resulting corner but, deep into stoppage time, United eventually had their fourth goal as Nani, who had replaced Young after with an hour played, marked his comeback with a goal, drilling a shot past Given after an excellent ball through by Jonny Evans.

The result put United firmly back in command after City had temporarily closed the gap yesterday and, with four games left, United could clinch the title against their neighbours when the two sides meet on the 30th of April.

Sir Alex won’t be thinking about that just yet, though. Everton next week is a must win game for his men.

Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)



    • Moscow is my heaven

      16 April 2012 at 11:58

      @babyface: Another winger? Well, at least he’s left footed…

      We need central midfielders dammit! Make moves for Modric, Fellaini, Javi Martinez and Hazard/Muniain/Gotze. Fergie should ask the Yanks for money or threaten to retire.

      Higuain would come in handy too considering how inept Welbeck and Chicharito are in the starting XI. At least then it will be actually worth playing 4-4-2 with a devastating Rooney-Higuain partnership.

      • AndyCR7

        16 April 2012 at 12:08

        @Moscow is my heaven: Can we still give the excuse of money not being available if we are splashing 20 fucking millions on winger every season?

      • Stephen

        16 April 2012 at 12:41

        @Moscow is my heaven: Totally agree, why do we need YET another winger?
        From what I have read Fabio is going there on loan and we are chucking in Macheda. We tried to throw in Bebe, but they are not that stupid…
        We need to sign a big and mobile number 9, Higuain or Cavani and least one midfield player.

      • jos

        16 April 2012 at 13:21

        @Moscow is my heaven: Arent there rumors of Scholes staying for one more season? In that case Fergie wont go for a CM. Scholes Carrick still first choice pairing.

        But strange transfer this, Gaitain. We dont need any more wingers and he is an Argie (and its an established fact that Argies dont go well at United) For this money I’d rather have Hazard

        • Stephen

          16 April 2012 at 13:33

          @jos: I understand that they have pretty much given up on Anderson and they are still concerned about Fletch’s healthh. Scholes simply couldn’t play 40 odd games so a midfielder is vital.
          If we fail to sign one they it would be negligence. Haard would certainly be a better bet than onother Argie.

  1. Traverse

    16 April 2012 at 13:45

    I’d imagine Gaitan will be an ACM rather than winger.

    Scholes Carrick
    Nani Gaitan Young

    Obviously Valencia for Nani, Rooney for Welbeck. Scholes for Cleverley are all possible swaps in that but I’m up for this if it means we go 4-2-3-1 on a more regular basis.

    The most interesting thing the Gaitan talk has dragged up as far as I’m concerned is our LB situation. At the moment we have 2 and a back up. Evra, Fabio, Fryers.

    Fabio will go out on loan next season, possibly to Benfica if talk is to be believed, but he definitely will be going somewhere. Fryers contract is up at the end of the season, and there doesnt seem like much hope of him renewing. That leaves us with only Evra, who is 31 next month, and not as good as he was in his late 20’s.

    Are we bringing in a new first team LB?

    Fabio being sent out on loan next season suggests that he wont get a game here next season. When he comes back Evra will be 32 and could be moved on, leaving Fabio and the new LB to duke it out. I’d go for Baines as Everton always need money and at 27 will be hitting his peak.

    • Stephen

      16 April 2012 at 13:51

      @Traverse: I can’t see Fergie buying a 27 year old. For me he will try and bring through Fryers next season gradually.

      • Traverse

        16 April 2012 at 14:12

        @Stephen: Fryers contract is up in a couple of months and hasn’t signed a new one.

      • Ian

        16 April 2012 at 18:13

        And on top of that I think you’re looking at the wrong long term replacement for Evra/at leftback. Tyler Blackett will *I think* get some minutes next season, I think he’ll go on the summer tour and I think he do really well. He’s only 18 but he’s physically ready to step up and that’s why I think he will see 1st team minutes aswell as his reserves games

        • Ian

          16 April 2012 at 20:49

          Blackett’s just come on for the last 5 minutes of the reserves 🙂

          United winning 6-3 after being 3 down after 30 odd minutes!

          Will Keane 4
          De Laet

        • Ian

          16 April 2012 at 20:56

          Full Time 6-3

          United Champions of the reserves league (North). Probably play Villa in the Winners play-off

        • tonymontanna4united

          17 April 2012 at 11:43

          href=”#comment-185012″>Ian: Keane and petrucci really do look like some players dont they. Would love to see them get a few minutes with the 1st team if we get the league wrapped up soon.
          Blackett i havent seen much of, but i have heard good things from other people. Interesting to hear your thoughts on him, and your opinion he might be someone who could step up soon.
          What with evras form the last 18 months, id be up for absolutely anyone giving him a bit of competition, so a young local lad would suit me fine.
          One player i am interested in who i havent heard much from this season is larnell cole. Whats been up with him? He been injured or something? Just out of form?
          Really liked the look of him last year, definitely one of the players who went under the radar but who looked just as good as anyone else.
          Hope his development is still going well.

        • Ian

          18 April 2012 at 08:50

          Larnell hasn’t improved that much this season but that doesn’t make him any less of a potential 1st team player imo, he was just so good last year he set himself a huge bar, the boy who has done the most improving and developed the most physically is Jesse Lingard, I wouldn’t mind betting he’s not far away from 6ft now and his physique is building too. Everything anout Lingard screams intelligence. His runs off the ball are always effective, his passing and vision are great too PLUS he knows where the goal is when in front of goal. In fact, it’s funny really, it’s a very similar scenario with him and what happened with Welbeck. Both can be top players and ossible United regulars *IF* they develop physically because mentally they both (imo) have what it takes. Both really decent lads off the pitch too, always smiling and who wouldn’t be!?

          Not sure about Petrucci although he’s produced some decent performances lately and Will Keane has that knack of scoring goals, you know yourself how he regularly capitalises on defensive mistakes and scores from it, great potential, I’m not convinced he’ll e er have adequate pace and power to outmuscle grown men like Samba, Rio etc ie CBs

          Tyler will be United LB for years and years, no doubt for me, don’t mean to sound brash about it but he’s the one. Deserves Academy PotY this year and I think he’ll get it.

  2. Moscow is my heaven

    16 April 2012 at 21:13

    Baines as LB replacement, Fellaini could be our Yaya Toure, Carrick and Modric will form a great partnership. I really fancy Hazard as our attacking midfielder, along with Nani and Valencia they can be the trio in the 4-2-3-1. Rooney must be fined for every second he spends outside the opposition penalty area. Wayne should be used strictly as a lone striker, since he embarasses himself every time he drops back into midfield. If his ego can’t take it then sell him and buy Higuain and one other striker.

    Welbeck should be shipped out while we can still command a large enough transfer fee that everyone seems to pay for English youth eg. Liverpool. Hernandez should be our Solkjaer, permanent super-sub role. Anderson should be deported back to Brazil. He is perhaps the most insulting excuse for a midfielder I have ever seen, his passing is terrible at best, and I dare anyone to call him an attacking midfielder when he can’t shoot to save his life. To top it all off, he is injured all the fucking time. Useless fat piece of garbage should just be thrown out of here.

    Scholes our first choice midfielder in 2012. Unbelievable. His replacement is a 38 year old winger. Ridiculous. How we have fallen, but we can turn this around and challenge in Europe with world class acquisitions in midfield and attack. No more excuses by Fergie, all this scouting of Hazard yet he opts for an average winger in Gaitan, quite baffling.

    • Ian

      16 April 2012 at 21:43

      Agree with most of that mate tbh but

      A. Too many changes at once usually brings problems
      B. Stick with Welbeck, he’ll be the best forward in the league in 3 years.
      C. Anderson’s vision needs a runner up front like Michael Owen, in fairness to him he’s never had that in front of him has he (see the final game of last season v Blackpool, great pass great finish, perfect). Give him some time with the right forward and he could be decent.

      • Lars

        17 April 2012 at 07:23


        Welbeck needs to get rid of his “bambi-on-ice” routine that seems to always mess up a chance or two for him. His runs and positioning are great, but if/when he gets that in order he will be top-class as you said. But, I would love a Cavani-esque striker, someone that can outmuscle defenders on our 20ish crosses that we seem to have every game; Rooney, Welbeck, and Chicharito are not enough for next season.

      • Stephen

        17 April 2012 at 08:56

        @Ian: Ian, Anderson ahs been a total waste of money and time. Sell him, he is over weight just been pulled over for drink driving and has a poor attitude. I am fed up with people saying give him time, how much more does he need?
        Welbeck best striker in the league in 3 years? I din’t think so mate, he can’t finish and he looks lazy and sometimes looks like he doesn’t know what he is doing.

        • Ian

          18 April 2012 at 08:23

          It’s not just time though, it’s finding him the right players making the right runs in front of him, Anderson’s got the most impressive vision of *any* player at the club for me, he sees runs others miss but our forwards aren’t runners in behind like Owen, Torres, Benzema etc. We need a pacey striker to highlight what I mean.

        • Stephen

          18 April 2012 at 09:01

          @Ian: Give me a break, Anderson has great vision, maybe in McDonalds. Chicharito, Rooney are all constantly on the move, so I don’t see you argument there. I can’t believe people are still making excuses about Anderson. He is in his 5th season with us and has been poor in all bar half of his first with us.
          You will be talking about his potential next, Ian 🙄 🙄

        • Ian

          18 April 2012 at 09:23

          What position did he play at Porto?

          I agree he isn’t the greatest player in the world but be fair when criticising, look where SAFs played him and what role he’s asked/expected him to do. For me he’s an advanced player but for some reason SAF wants him withdrawn slightly, yet another misuse of a CM by SAF imo.

          The key here is *coupled with the right forward*

          JH & WR *DON’T* make the runs he needs. MO does, he runs off the shoulder of the last man, when JH tries it he’s offside 75% of the time and WR barely ever tries it because he’s too busy admiring his long switching hollywood passes from deep in midfield rather than trying to get in behind.

          If Anderson ever has a sustained spell in the team, in the right position and with the right forward and he *still* doesn’t impress thrn fair enough, but until then I think it’s harsh to judge him even if it has been 5yrs at the club.

        • Stephen

          18 April 2012 at 09:34


          Mate he played for Porto 5 years ago, he has consistently failed at United. To play him further forward really? What with his finishing mate, he is hardly Frank Lampard. I am sick and tired of him being misused, the guy is obviously over weight and is weak mentally this is partly the reason why he is failing. He has scored only 7 goals in 5 seasons for us, Rooney and Hernadez make the runs which they have to. Blaming them for not making the right runs to suit the passes of Anderson is a weak argument.
          You can join the deluded who blame Fergie and now our forwards in believing Anderson will make it, he has failed simply because he isn’t firstly good enough and hasn’t the right attitude.
          I am sick of seeing the fat git wallowing around the midfield while the play goes on around him, he never gets hold of the game especially when we need.
          Stop making excuses for him, he is useless and judging him after 5years years is far from harsh.

        • Ian

          18 April 2012 at 09:46

          Fair enough argument that I both don’t think I can or don’t even think I want to win! He’s far from my favourite player at the club or in his position so I’m not sticking my neck out to defend him, you’re right, he hasn’t been good enough and 5yrs on you’re free to judge him, I think he’s a better player than he’s been able to show though, that’s it. Think you’re right about his poor attitude.

        • Stephen

          18 April 2012 at 10:35

          @Ian: Mate I would love for him to make it, as he cost £18.6m and could save us the same. But I simply don’t see anything in him. It takes more than ability to make it as a top player, it takes dedication and attitude, which he lacks.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        17 April 2012 at 11:51

        @Ian: If Welbeck was foreign, he would be Berbatov-ed out of the club mate. He can’t finish, and you can usually see with up and coming world class strikers that they have the mojo, whether it be dribbling, aerial threat, or finishing, you can tell they’ll be ripping defences apart at the San Siro, Bernabeu etc. One of his big assets is his height and athleticism, yet he isn’t at all physical against defenders. He just doesn’t have that mojo mate, and calling him a ‘link-up’ striker is just another way of calling him a pussy who is rarely a goal threat, if he were playing against us would we really worry about him, no we wouldn’t Evans would gobble him up. He’s better off at Arsenal, they seem to enjoy having inept strikers who can’t score as back-up for RvP.

        All I am asking for is 3 players. 2 world class midfielders: a destroyer to protect the back four who have been under fire in Europe this season due to our kamikaze 2 man midfield. A creative attacking midfielder, here we go, a guy to pick locks when teams double up on our wingers.

        A striker who is a typical no 9. Strong, mobile and clinical. Born to score goals.

        • Ian

          18 April 2012 at 08:18

          Not sure what the nationality has to do with the argument but tbf you’re judging him now which is right. I’m judging hom from watching how he’s progressed over the last 3yrs, some players just keep imroving and I think he’ll be one of them, he’ll be a great player for us in 3yrs I promise, if he’s not I’ll be the first to admit it.

    • tonymontanna4united

      17 April 2012 at 11:58

      @Moscow is my heaven: Im still not sure about hazard personally. Talent wise its all there, but i was left very unimpressed by his recent whoring around, going on about 10/11 teams and saying how much he’d love to play for them all (check youtube).
      Players like that, no matter what their talent, are always going to be a nuisance because once they hit the big time, they dream of playing for their boyhood heroes madrid or barca 🙄
      Like Grognard used to say many times, forget these players who see us only as a stepping stone. There are thousands of players, who for them, united is their dream. And these are the sorts of players we should be going for.
      Modric is another one im not sure about. Good little player, but honestly the number of times i watch him where he goes totally missing against the bigger sides, just makes me wonder how the hell anyone could ever value him as a £35m+ player.
      There are other cheaper options around me thinks.
      Nuri sahin could be an option, things dont seem to be working out well with him at madrid, so could be had relatively cheaply.
      Likewise martinez at bilbao, who was outstanding against us in both games.
      It seems though that the spanish sides are all after him, so unfortunately he’ll probably have his head turned so we might have to abandon that which is a shame, as he does look absolute quality.
      One player i have been impressed by is sigurdsson at swansea. Could be a cheaper option for an AM anyway.
      As for LB, well honestly, if we can manage to get dennis irwin back out of retirement to take evras place then weve strengthened that area. Quite how evra has been getting the team most weeks, quite frankly baffles me.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        17 April 2012 at 12:17

        @tonymontanna4united: I’ve read that Hazard wants to move to England, and so naturally his first option would be the champions. I certainly get what you mean though, Ronaldo has left a big scar on the club, we loved him a lot and he lied to us before leaving for his dream club. Nuri Sahin from Real would be a great buy, I’m honestly shocked that Mourinho hasn’t given him more chances, the few times I’ve watched him for Madrid he’s been pretty damn good.

        The beauty of the transfer market is that there are so many options. No Modric? Hazard wants dream Real move? Make a move for Sahin, bid for Gotze. The key is actually having the guts to make these moves, no venture, no gain. Fergie I feel has never really ventured since the departure of Ronaldo, but surely this summer he has no option.

        • Opti

          17 April 2012 at 18:45

          @Moscow is my heaven: Transfer market is like a game of poker. If you show your cards early, you will miss out. Fergie needs to play the big clubs against each-other and feign moves to remove attraction to the players he really wants.

          For example, if we want Sahin, we need to start talking up Modric and Martinez and maybe even Gotze (who signed a huge 5 year deal recently) — and then when City / Chelsea / Barca / Madrid all go into bidding wars for Martinez and Modric and add more midfielders, we swoop for Sahin for 10 million. Totally feasible!

      • Opti

        17 April 2012 at 18:41

        @tonymontanna4united: Denis Irwin back from the old-people home…. HAHAHAHA!!! Love it! 😀 😀

  3. Moscow is my heaven

    17 April 2012 at 11:55

    Ian, how is Tunnicliffe doing? Heard good things from people about him, including TonyMontana. Is he doing well on loan?

    • tonymontanna4united

      17 April 2012 at 12:09

      @Moscow is my heaven: His loan finished a few weeks ago i think, hes back here now with the reserves and played in the dallas cup recently (i think).
      Apparently he did quite well on loan, peterborough wanted to extend the loan, but for whatever reason it wasnt.
      The lad is a real talent as far as im concerned. Not as gifted or easy on the eye as pogba or morrison was, but hes alot more than just a hardman all rounder.
      His passing is good, shooting the same, he seems very confident on the ball, and gives his all every game.
      Physically he looks fine too, he can definitely handle himself.
      I really like the guy. As i say, hes alot more than just a hardman, he can get the ball down and play it too.
      Think he probably needs another loan next season, but definitely i fancy his chances of making it here in the future along with will keane, whose another that i think will be absolute quality in a few years.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        17 April 2012 at 12:18

        @tonymontanna4united: From what I’m reading he could feature very well in a 3 man midfield. As for LB replacement, we really shouldn’t let go of Fryers, the lad is top drawer.

        • tonymontanna4united

          17 April 2012 at 12:52

          @Moscow is my heaven: Hes the type of player who could play in a 2/3 man midfield, play at RB, play at CB, and excel in every position. I personally would like to see him brought on the tour in the summer, as i think unless he gets a loan to a PL team, he should stay here and get given games with the 1st team here and there.
          As for fryers, well i agree 100%. Hes another i really like the look of. Infact i was all for starting him in the everton game after the 6-1 to city, such was the performance from evra and some of the established elder players who really let the team down that day.
          Wouldnt surprise me in the slightest though if hes off. Pogba will most likely join him an all, and we’ll see scholes and evra get new contracts instead 🙄

    • Ian

      18 April 2012 at 08:14

      He’s put weight on and he’s back at the club earlier than expected, doesn’t scream of a roaring success does it. I heard was liked and doing well earlier in the season but that initial promise seems to have faded. He played on Monday v Mewcastle in the Reserves 6-3 win and did the simple stuff brilliantly, Pogba was a pedestrian in comparison. The team was a throwback to last seasons academy.

  4. Adie

    17 April 2012 at 20:19

    any feed on Davide Petrucci, heard a lot about this young kid, hopefully he shud be included in pre-season, seems very much in the Carrick mould. Should be given a shot at First Team imo.

    • Ian

      18 April 2012 at 08:09

      Hang on, let me get this straight….

      You’ve heard good things – tells me you haven’t actually seen him play

      Deserves a shot at the 1st team imo – so a player deserves to be promoted IYO which is based on hearsay.

      A very strange comment you’ve made there tbh, maybe I’m being a bit harsh but it doesn’t make any sense to me.

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