Man Utd keep Man City waiting for title with Villa victory

Defeat for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side would have handed the title to City and their local rivals would have enjoyed seeing Villa’s Bertrand Traore opening the scoring midway through the first half.

But United hit back with two goals in four minutes after the break, Bruno Fernandes equalising from the penalty spot before Mason Greenwood put them ahead.

United wrapped up the win thanks to substitute Edinson Cavani’s goal three minutes from time.

Victory left second-placed United 10 points behind leaders City, with 12 still on offer to the Red Devils from their final four league games.

United, however, face Leicester and Liverpool in the coming week and defeat in either of those matches will see City, beaten 2-1 at home to Chelsea on Saturday, crowned champions before Pep Guardiola’s men are away to Newcastle on Friday.

United kicked off having not lost a Premier League match at Villa Park since 1995, a year before current manager Solskjaer joined the club as a striker.

Villa’s hopes of ending that run against United were not helped by England international Jack Grealish’s ongoing absence due to a shin injury, with Egypt forward Trezeguet a long-term absentee as well.

Grealish looked on from the stands on Sunday as did England manager Gareth Southgate, himself a former Villa defender.

Villa went ahead against the run of play in the 24th minute.

Fred’s poor pass to Scott McTominay allowed John McGinn to gain possession, with Douglas Luiz playing in Traore.

The Burkina Faso international turned neatly and held off the challenge of Victor Lindelof before beating United goalkeeper Dean Henderson with a powerful shot into the far corner.

United nearly equalised five minutes before half-time but Greenwood’s low shot was pushed away by Emi Martinez.

But United were level in th 52nd minute when Fernandes scored from the spot after Paul Pogba was brought down in the box by Luiz.

And they led in the 56th minute after Aaron Wan-Bissaka found Greenwood inside the box, with the teenage England forward beating Martinez with a low shot.

Worryingly for United, defender Harry Maguire limped off 12 minutes from time.

But Cavani made the game safe with an 87th-minute glancing header from Marcus Rashford’s cross.

And there was still time for Villa’s Ollie Watkins to be sent off after he was shown a second yellow card for diving.

AFP

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