A victory at last! After back to back defeats in the league since their 2-0 win in the Champions League, it was time for the Red Champions to prove what they are made off. Liverpool had gone two points clear at the top of the league with a dramatic 1-0 victory away to Fulham on Saturday; United could not afford to clinch anything less than a win.
Aston Villa had the better of the game in the first quarter of an hour but it was the home side who took the lead through the World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Red Devils were given a free-kick in the penalty area after 13 minutes. Nani, Giggs and Ronaldo were all over the ball and the last word went to the 24-year-old Portuguese playmaker. Cristiano Ronaldoâ€™s shot from the free-kick was too hard for Villaâ€™s goal keeper to catch.
Ronaldoâ€™s goal seemed to have eased the pressure on the unsteady Red Devils; however, the relief of being ahead didnâ€™t last long. John Carew equalized for Aston Villa midway during the first period. Unitedâ€™s misery could only worsen when Agbonlahor beat the offside trap and head the ball home after 65 minutes, meaning that Van der Sar had conceded eight goals in four games; the home side were stunned!
Time was running out and the fear of losing the top spot to Liverpool at the end of the day was growing fast. Could the Theatre of Dreams turn into a World of Nightmares?
Less than fifteen minutes of the normal nineteen remained on the clock and the 1-2 score line was already pushing some Manchester United fans to leave the stadium. But the decisive moment was just moments away from happeningâ€¦
Manchester United were desperate to turn things around and with their unconvincing performance on the day, it even seemed like their shocking miserable form was going to continue. But there came the World Player of Year and Portugal Captain Cristiano Ronaldo to make it 2-2 â€“ which explained that Ronaldo had scored all of Manchester Unitedâ€™s four goals since Vidicâ€™s opener against Inter Milan in Europe.
His left-footed low shot that drove the ball in the bottom corner of the net suddenly transformed the atmosphere at Old Trafford. The EPL defending champions had find a way back out of nowhere.
Manchester United kept searching for the winner which they finally got in injury time through 17-year-old Italian Macheda. The former Lazio kid had stolen all three points for United on his debut as a substitute.
Each of Manchester Unitedâ€™s goals proved to be very much important in this hard-fought game; Cristiano Ronaldoâ€™s brace â€“ which took his tally to 20 goals this season â€“ was the source of Unitedâ€™s confidence and strength in the dying minutes of the encounter.
So 3-2 was the final score line, meaning that Aston Villa had been denied the possibility of ending their dreadful record against United since the 80s.
Written by: Angela Asante