Man United vs. Aston Villa result, reaction & highlights: Ronaldo-less Red Devils survive VAR scare in FA Cup

Man United vs. Aston Villa result, reaction & highlights: Ronaldo-less Red Devils survive VAR scare in FA Cup

Steven Gerrard’s first trip to Old Trafford as a manager ended in an agonizing defeat, as his impressive Aston Villa side fell 1-0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup 3rd Round.

In the opposite dugout to Gerrard, Ralf Rangnick responded to recent pressure by switching to a 4-2-3-1 formation and bringing Bruno Fernandes back into the team.

The Portuguese star was upstaged by Scott McTominay, though, as the holding midfielder connected with a cross from partner Fred to seal United’s victory.

MORE: FA Cup 4th Round draw results

A United team without Cristiano Ronaldo held on despite intense pressure from the visitors, who were controversially denied an equalizer by VAR in the second half.

Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings threatened throughout, but it’s the Red Devils who go marching on to a 4th Round home tie against Middlesbrough, continuing the search for FA Cup No.13 and a first trophy since 2017.

Final score
Man United 1-0 Aston Villa
McTominay (8)

Manager reaction
Ralf Rangnick, speaking to the BBC: “I think we showed a reaction after the Wolves game, that is what everyone expected from us.

“We had a look [at the VAR decision] in the dugout and when I saw the situation for me it was clear – the player who blocked Edinson Cavani was offside in the very moment when the ball came in.”

“When VAR is there and they make a decision you have to accept it. There is nothing you can do to change it.

The easy way out is to blame luck and the officials, we won’t do that.

“Very tough. We are out of the FA Cup and coming into this job I saw this competition as an opportunity to have a good run in it.

“We dominated for large parts but we were not ruthless enough. I’ve seen enough tonight in terms of the performance to know that I can get to where I want to get to but we need to learn and learn quickly.

“We need to be more ruthless moving forward, defending crosses we need to be tighter. We cannot be having people with free headers in our six-yard box.”

Man United vs. Aston Villa as-it-happened
FULL-TIME: It’s over! Man United through to the 4th Round. That was a spirited display from Gerrard’s men, who deserved more from the night.

STOP IT @JesseLingard 🥺 #EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/B2LlZniWDz

— Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 10, 2022
91st min: Elanga gets the crowd on their feet with a ball across the area, but none of his teammates are there to slot it in.

90th min: Six minutes of added time!

88th min: Konsa is down with blood on his face, after being caught by Shaw when challenging for a corner. Oliver deems it accidental, though.

85th min: A few boos can be heard as a double substitution is made by Rangnick. Fernandes is taken off to chants of “Bruno” alongside Rashford. Jesse Lingard and Anthony Elanga are on. Meanwhile for Villa, Jaden Philogene-Bidace replaces Ramsey.

84th min: The Old Trafford faithful crying for several players to shoot, but none oblige. The Red Devils have calmed the game down, at least.

81st min: Luiz plays an aerial ball towards Ings on the run, and again Lindelof fails to deal with the danger. Ings can’t make the most of it, though, and Villa’s frustrating search goes on.

79th min: Gerrard makes his first substitution. Anwar El Ghazi on for Buendia, who has impressed here.

74th min: Big chance for Greenwood! The 20-year-old has acres of space down the right, but in a two-on-one situation, he decides to shoot instead of squaring it to Rashford, who is strangely on his heels and misses out on a spillage from the goalkeeper.

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