Aston Villa vs Manchester United LIVE: Premier League result and final score after Philippe Coutinho equaliser

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Follow live reaction as Philippe Coutinho scored the equalising goal on his Aston Villa debut to secure a 2-2 draw with Manchester United in the Premier League. United looked set to claim their second win over Steven Gerrard’s side in a week but Coutinho’s introduction changed the game as he set one up and scored another to complete a wild comeback at Villa Park.

Just five days on from knocking Villa out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford, United were handed an early lead as goalkeeper Emi Martinez allowed a Fernandes shot from range through his legs. Villa responded well and David de Gea was forced into a couple of important stops at the other end, and it was the hosts who were on top when Fernandes added his second on 67 minutes.

It came just as Villa were preparing to bring on Coutinho, and the Brazilian had a hand in the hosts pulling a goal back as Jacob Ramsey fired a finish past De Gea with 15 minutes left to play. Coutinho then finished Ramsey’s cross from close range to complete the comeback.

Follow all the reaction to Aston Villa vs Manchester United below:

Aston Villa vs Manchester United

  • Kick-off is at 5:30pm GMT

  • 6’: Howler from Martinez sees United take early lead

  • 67’: Fernandes punishes Villa and doubles United’s lead

  • 76’: Ramsey pulls one back to give Villa late hope

  • 82’: Coutinho sends Villa Park wild with debut goal to equalise

Aston Villa FC 2 - 2 Manchester United FC

Philippe Coutinho leads Aston Villa comeback against Manchester United on dream Premier League return

19:58 , Michael Jones

Manchester United were still in celebratory mode when the switch finally happened. Philippe Coutinho had been on the touchline waiting to make his Aston Villa bow, but had to watch Bruno Fernandes score a second before then replacing Morgan Sanson.

The game felt lost at the point of his introduction: the hosts best period had preceded the Portugal international’s thundered finish on 67 minutes, moments before the change was made. Villa faced a steep climb, after Emi Martinez’s howler in the opening stages.

Villa were cooked at 2-0, but Coutinho - desperate to remind the world, and vitally himself - of his gifts delivered an altogether different recipe.

Philippe Coutinho leads Aston Villa comeback against Man United on dream return

Reaction from Philippe Coutinho

19:50 , Michael Jones

Super sub Philippe Coutinho spoke to Sky Sports after the game about the result and returning to the Premier League. He said:

I missed these games and the Premier League. I’m very happy to be here with my new teammates. It was a good start, we kept believing until the end, but we didn’t lose.

“There have been many ups and downs. It is in the past, I’m here and I’m focussed on the objectives of the club and the manager and I want to a good job to help my teammates and the club.”

Philippe Coutinho seals stirring Aston Villa comeback in Manchester United draw

19:44 , Michael Jones

Superb sub Philippe Coutinho sealed a stirring Aston Villa comeback as Steven Gerrard’s men fought back to claim a 2-2 Premier League draw with Manchester United

Having started the week by edging through to the FA Cup third round with a somewhat fortuitous win, Ralf Rangnick’s side looked on course for another hard-fought victory against Villa on Saturday evening.

A howler from Emiliano Martinez gifted Bruno Fernandes an early opener and the stand-in captain fired United further ahead at Villa Park, only for new boy Coutinho’s introduction to spark a fightback.

Philippe Coutinho seals stirring Aston Villa comeback in Manchester United draw

Aston Villa vs Man Utd player ratings: Philippe Coutinho rescues draw on Premier League return

19:41 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa rescued a 2-2 draw in the Premier League against Manchester United after mistakes led to both of the visitors goals. Here are the player ratings from Villa Park:

Player ratings as Philippe Coutinho rescues Aston Villa draw on Premier League return

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd

19:38 , Michael Jones

A remarkable comeback from Aston Villa means Manchester United squander the chance to get back into the top six. They remain in seventh place and are five points behind West Ham (4th) in the race for the top four.

Aston Villa stop their run of defeats with that draw. A point takes them above Brentford into 13th with the Bees set to play Liverpool tomorrow.

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd

19:35 , Michael Jones

Philippe Coutinho didn’t manage a goal or assist in any of his seven Premier League appearances against Manchester United while playing for Liverpool (480 minutes), but netted Villa’s equaliser just 14 minutes into his debut for the club.

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd

19:32 , Michael Jones

A dream debut for Philippe Coutinho.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Full-time: Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd

19:29 , Michael Jones

90+5 mins: Great work from Hause! A diagonal ball comes over to the far side of the box to Sancho. He picks out Van de Beek in the box and the substitute weaves into space and drills one at goal only for Hause to block it!

The final whistle goes and Aston Villa rescue a point. Jacob Ramsey was brilliant throughout and Philippe Coutinho’s cameo set up the first goal and scored the second. Villa Park has a new hero.

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd

19:26 , Michael Jones

90+2 mins: There’s a couple of minutes taken out of the game as Buendia lands awkwardly and stays on the deck. He does look in a bit of pain as he talks to the medics and gets helped off the pitch.

Villa win a free kick that Douglas Luiz flicks into the box. Hause gets to the header but softly knocks it to De Gea.

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd

19:22 , Michael Jones

90 mins: Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard replace Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood. There’s four minutes of added time to play, that’s plenty of time for a winning goal. This game deserves one.

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd

19:20 , Michael Jones

87 mins: Digne is played into space on the left and passes it inside to Buendia. He lays it off to Coutinho who runs onto a shot that Ramsey gets in the way of. He still finds the target but De Gea gets in behind it and keeps the effort out.

Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd

19:18 , Michael Jones

84 mins: Six minutes or so to play at Villa Park with both teams searching for a winner. It has been a fantastic comeback from Villa but United have moved onto the front foot. Sancho feeds it inside to Fernandes but he loses possession and Villa sweep forward on the counter. Buendia tries to pick out Coutinho but the pass gets intercepted. Which way is this one going to go?

GOAL! Aston Villa 2 - 2 Man Utd (Coutinho, 81’)⚽️

19:13 , Michael Jones

81 mins: It’s the equaliser! And it’s Philippe Coutinho! Ollie Watkins passes the ball up to Emiliano Buendia who threads a lovely pass into the box for Jacob Ramsey. He times his run to perfection before slotting it across to Coutinho arriving at the back post for an easy tap in!

Aston Villa 1 - 2 Man Utd

19:12 , Michael Jones

80 mins: Jadon Sancho has come on for Manchester United replacing Anthony Elanga on the left side. Bruno Fernandes attempts to get United moving again with an enterprising run down that side. He brings the ball into the box and tries to cross it but Douglas Luiz slides in front of the ball and blocks it.

10 minutes to go and all three results still possible here. Can United cling on or will Villa score an equalier?

GOAL! Aston Villa 1 - 2 Man Utd (Ramsey, 77’)⚽️

19:10 , Michael Jones

77 mins: Villa are back in the game! Carney Chukwuemeka replaces Danny Ings for Aston Villa and gets involved immediately. Coutinho uses him in a one-two to get the ball into the box before squaring it to Ramsey. Ramsey gets around Fred and smokes his shot into the top corner! Game on at Villa Park.

Aston Villa 0 - 2 Man Utd

19:06 , Michael Jones

72 mins: Douglas Luiz floats a free kick into the box for Matty Cash. He does well to fend off Elanga and pick out Ings in the box. Ings attempts to play Coutinho in on goal but Matic sticks out a leg to intercept the ball. He knocks it back ot De Gea who has to boot to out of the box to end the attack.

Aston Villa 0 - 2 Man Utd

19:02 , Michael Jones

69 mins: Here comes Philippe Coutinho! A frustrated Morgan Sanson is the man replaced, he’d had a pretty decent game up until his last touch.

Both United goals have come from Aston Villa mistakes which is what will annoy Steven Gerrard the most. They were on top and now find themselves needing two goals to save the game.

GOAL! Aston Villa 0 - 2 Man Utd (Fernandes, 67’)⚽️

18:58 , Michael Jones

67 mins: Against the run of play! Morgan Sanson is caught on the ball and panics sending it back towards his own goal where Fred is waiting. He collects the ball and comes inside as Fernandes drives into the box. Fred slots the ball over to him and the Portuguese blasts it into the back of the net off the underside of the crossbar!

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:58 , Michael Jones

66 mins: Chance! The build-up play from Villa is lovely. Buendia gives the ball to Watkins who slips it into the box for Cash’s overlapping run. Ings darts into the six-yard box and waits for the cutback but when it comes he’s closed out but two United defenders and can’t turn the ball towards goal. Villa are getting closer though, it won’t be long before they equalise at this rate.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:55 , Michael Jones

63 mins: Close! Better from the visitors. Fred sends Greenwood sprinting down the right wing on a counter-attack and Greenwood goes on a fine solo run. He carries the ball into the box looking to cut onto his left-foot. Ramsey forces him to the byline though and Greenwood shoots with his right. The effort is always heading away from goal and curls wide of the back post.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:52 , Michael Jones

60 mins: Chance! Matty Cash is spared some blushes after an attempted clearance sends the ball into the path of Anthony Elanga. He chests the ball down and darts to the left before sending a shot inches wide of the left-hand post!

That’s been United’s best moment of the second half and it came from an Aston Villa mistake.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:49 , Michael Jones

57 mins: Chance! Digne breezes around Dalot and takes the ball down the left side of the box for Villa. He cuts it back to Buendia who hits a first time shot at goal but sends the chance straight into the hands of De Gea.

United’s goalkeeper is being called into action too often, the visitors need to get a foothold in the game, Villa are bossing it at the minute.

Another well worked move from Villa sees them quickly switch the play over to Digne in space on the left. He carries the ball into the box and shoots but rattles the chance into the side-netting.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:46 , Michael Jones

54 mins: Aston Villa have picked up where they left off in the first half. They’re all over Man Utd’s final third forcing the defenders out of position and working crosses into the box.

Watkins clips Fernandes as he tries to clear United’s lines. The Portuguese stays down to earn his team a respite and doesn’t take too kindly to Watkins pulling him back to his feet.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:43 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Save! De Gea to the rescue again. Watkins brings the ball down the left wing and passes it inside to Jacob Ramsey. He plays a one-two with Buendia to get into space in the box before shifting the ball to the left of Lindelof and firing a shot towards the bottom corner. De Gea dives low and pushes the shot wide of the post!

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:40 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Save! Cavani gets on the end of a simple forward ball and heads it into the box for Elanga who sweeps in from the left. He hits a good shot at goal but Martinez parries the ball to safety.

It’s been a scratchy start to the second half for United as Matic brings Buendia down with another late challenge. He’s already been booked so needs to be careful.

Second half: Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:38 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Ezri Konsa hasn’t come back out after half-time and is replaced with Kortney Hause. Villa get the match back underway, and slowly work the ball back to the goalkeeper. He boots it back into the middle of the pitch where Morgan Sanson takes the ball over to the right wing. Fernandes comes flying across and slides into a tackle that cleans out Sanson and results in a yellow card.

Sign up to The Independent’s free weekly sports newsletters

18:33 , Michael Jones

To sign up to our free sport newsletters for regular updates straight to your inbox.

Whether you would like a weekly rundown direct from our chief football writer Miguel Delaney or you want weekly sport digest from our sport editor Ben Burrows you can sign up by clicking here and scrolling to the sport section.

News | The Independent | Today's headlines and latest breaking news | The Independent

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:30 , Michael Jones

As it stands Manchester United will move above Tottenham into sixth and be just three points behind West Ham with a game in hand. Villa have the second half to get back into the game and it could be a matter of which side starts better.

United made the quicker, more aggressive start to the first half and if they do so again it could be tough work for Steven Gerrard’s men.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:26 , Michael Jones

Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, only Mo Salah (45) and Harry Kane (34) have scored more goals than Bruno Fernandes (32), while only James Ward-Prowse (7) has scored more goals from outside the box than the Portuguese (6).

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Half-time: Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:22 , Michael Jones

45+5 mins: A shocking mistake from Emi Martinez has given Manchester United the lead at Villa Park. Both teams have had their chances with Martinez redeeming himself to keep out Mason Greenwood from close range. Emiliano Buendia came close to an equaliser for Villa but David De Gea’s reactionary save denied him.

So, it’s advantage United but there’s plenty in the game for Villa to stage a comeback.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:20 , Michael Jones

45+4 mins: Elanga meets a cross from Dalot and shoots from outside the box. His effort is deflected behind and United play the resultant corner short. The ball comes back to Fernandes who now has a better angle to cross but his ball into the area is easily dealt with by Villa.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:18 , Michael Jones

45+2 mins: Konsa is back on his feet and strolls off the pitch. United restart the game with a throw and knock the ball back to David De Gea. They’re happy to run down the clock until the break.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:17 , Michael Jones

45 mins: There’s a break in play as Ezri Konsa is getting some treatment on the pitch. He’s been down for a couple of minutes with a grimace on his face.

There’s going to be an additional three minutes to play when the game resumes.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:15 , Michael Jones

42 mins: There’s been a few heavy tackles going in over the last five/ten minutes or so. Elanga is brought down and responds by colliding into Konsa.

Despite this Villa still have the momentum. Cash flies down the right side and whips a cross into the box. He skips through to the arriving Digne on the opposite and he blasts a first time effort at goal but De Gea is there again and he keeps it out at the near post!

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:11 , Michael Jones

39 mins: This is a great spell for Villa. Buendia is making nuisance of himself with runs into the box and little, dainty passes. Digne sends a diagonal ball over to the right side but Cash can’t keep it in play.

Villa win the ball back almost immediately and work it down the left wing. The burst into United’s final third and pull the ball back to the edge of the box for Ings. He lets it run to Douglas Luiz but there isn’t enough pace on the ball to reach him. Fernandes collects it and Luiz flies into a heavy tackle, bringing him down and giving United a chance to get the ball clear with a free kick.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:07 , Michael Jones

36 mins: Save! Aston Villa have stepped it up a gear and Man Utd look shaky at the back. The home side work the ball into the box and win back-to-back corners. Douglas Luiz swings the second one in from the right and picks out Buendia making a run across the near post. He wins the header and whips the ball towards goal only to be denied by David De Gea! It’s sharp save from the Man Utd goalkeeper who spotted it late but managed to palm it away.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:04 , Michael Jones

33 mins: Nemanja Matic arrives late to challenge Danny Ings on the ball. Ings has already played the pass when he’s brought down by the midfielder who collects a yellow card. Douglas Luiz curls the free kick into the Man Utd box but it’s won by a defender and headed to Fred. He runs it out of the box and United work the ball neatly into midfield.

Chance! Sanson nicks the ball off Cavani in the middle of the pitch and slots it over to Buendia. He drives to the box and plays Watkins in on the left side. Watkins shoots and attempts to curl it towards the far corner. He hits it well enough but the direction is off and De Gea is left with an easy save.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

18:00 , Michael Jones

30 mins: Alex Telles goes for goal from the resultant free kick and drives a shot straight at Emi Martinez. The Villa goalkeeper punches the ball out of the box but it drop to Mason Greenwood. He brings it down and shifts to the right before hitting a low effort towards the bottom corner. Martinez jumps across to cover the shot and watches as it rolls wide of goal.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

17:58 , Michael Jones

27 mins: Philippe Coutinho is warming up on the sidelines for Aston Villa. Not vigorously but he’s going through a few stretches and the odd jog.

Diogo Dalot gets high up the right wing and carries the ball to the edge of the box. Lucas Digne slides into a wild challenge and hacks the Man Utd right-back down picking up a yellow card in the process.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

17:54 , Michael Jones

24 mins: Penalty shout for United. Elanga bursts into the box from the left and is tracked by Sanson. There’s a slight coming together and Elange goes down. The ball comes loose and falls to Cavani who snatches at a shot and pulls it wide of the back post. VAR takes a look at the incident and decides there isn’t enough contact to give United a penalty.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

17:52 , Michael Jones

21 mins: Matic makes a forward run through the middle and is given the ball by Fernandes. He gets to the box but can’t slip in Elanga before he loses possession.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

17:50 , Michael Jones

18 mins: Save! Redemption for Emi Martinez! Telles swings a cross into the box from the left wing and tries to pick out Edinson Cavani. The striker manages to squueze in front of Lucas Digne but can’t guide the ball at goal. He misses it but the ball breaks for Mason Greenwood. He runs into a shot and blasts it at goal but Martinez is out quickly to charge him down and make a vital save for Villa!

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

17:46 , Michael Jones

15 mins: Lucas Digne makes a run down the left wing and tries to collect a chipped pass from Tyrone Mings but he’s quickly put under pressure from Victor Lindelof and can’t keep the ball in play.

One of the big differences for United today is their energy levels. They’re playing at pace, passing quickly and closing down the ball well.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

17:43 , Michael Jones

12 mins: Chance! Manchester United come close to a second as Fred flicks the ball into the left side of the box. Cash is rooted to the spot and Elanga leaps over him to win the ball in the air. He gets a good connection on the ball but fires it into the wrong side of the netting.

Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd

17:40 , Michael Jones

9 mins: This has already been a different performance from Manchester United. Alex Telles and Anthony Elanga look really sharp on the left wing and Bruno Fernandes will gain lots of confidence from the goal.

Morgan Sanson tricks his way between Fernandes and Elanga before driving towards the box. He’s closed down by Telles who leaves the ball for Raphael Varane and the centre-back completes the clearance.

GOAL! Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man Utd (Fernandes, 6’)⚽️

17:38 , Michael Jones

6 mins: United are in front! Telles is brought down now deep in Villa’s half and United win another free kick in a dangerous area. Telles and Fernandes stand over the deadball, situated just wide of the box on the left. Telles gently rolls it to Fernandes who brings it inside and blasts one at goal. It flies through the cluster of bodies and bounces just in front of Emi Martinez.

This is a howler from the goalkeeper! The ball bounces up nicely and Martinez attempts to collect the ball into his chest. He drops it and the ball bounces through his legs and crosses the line!

Aston Villa 0 - 0 Man Utd

17:34 , Michael Jones

4 mins: Fernandes delivers consecutive corners into the Aston Villa box but neither really trouble the home side. Elanga is given the ball on the left wing and draws Cash into a making a foul. Telles curls the resultant free kick into the six-yard box but Ollie Watkins pops up at the near post to deal with the cross.

Aston Villa 0 - 0 Man Utd

17:32 , Michael Jones

3 mins: Good defending from Ezri Konsa. Alex Telles chips the ball into the box as Anthony Elanga makes a run in behind Matty Cash. Konsa comes across, beats Elanga to the ball and heads it behind for a corner.

Aston Villa 0 - 0 Man Utd

17:31 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Manchester United get the game underway with Bruno Fernandes kicking it back to Nemanja Matic. It’s quickly worked over to the right wing where Diogo Dalot runs the ball out of play.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd

17:27 , Michael Jones

There’s a good atmosphere inside Villa Park. Philippe Coutinho stayed out after the warm-ups to wave to the fans and get them in the zone. Bruno Fernandes captains Manchester United today and leads out the visitors. They need to put in a good performance tonight but Aston Villa will be difficult to beat.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Ralf Rangnick wants Manchester United players to hold each other to account

17:20 , Michael Jones

Ralf Rangnick has encouraged Manchester United’s players to hold each other to account after Cristiano Ronaldo warned their poor season will continue if their mentality does not improve.

Having edged past Aston Villa 1-0 in the FA Cup third round on Monday, the sides will go toe-to-toe once again in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

United enter the weekend seventh in the standings after things unravelled following a positive summer in which Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Ronaldo arrived.

Ralf Rangnick wants Manchester United players to hold each other to account

Aston Villa vs Man Utd

17:16 , Michael Jones

Will we see Philippe Coutinho today?

Coutinho was directly involved in 77 goals in 152 Premier League matches for Liverpool between 2013-17, scoring 41 and setting up 36.

He scored on his most recent competitive appearance against Manchester United, in Barcelona’s 3-0 Champions League quarter-final home victory in April 2019.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Aston Villa vs Man Utd

17:12 , Michael Jones

Bruno Fernandes has gone 12 away appearances without a goal for United since he scored a penalty in a 3-1 Premier League win at Villa Park last May.

 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Aston Villa vs Man Utd

17:09 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa are one of three clubs to have scored in all of their Premier League home games this season, alongside Liverpool and West Ham.

None of Villa’s last 16 Premier League games have ended level (W6 L10), with the Villans last having a longer run without a league draw between September 1964 and April 1965 (29 games).

Aston Villa vs Man Utd

17:05 , Michael Jones

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored eight goals in nine league starts versus Aston Villa. January is his most productive month, with 60 goals in 74 career league appearances but he’s not in Manchester United’s squad today.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the Premier League

17:00 , Michael Jones

The three matches that kicked off at 3pm have all finished. Joao Pedro rescued a point for Watford at St. James’ Park (1-1), Norwich held out to defeat Rafa Benitez’s Everton (2-1) and Wolves have swept aside Southampton (3-1).

What does that do to the Premier League table? Wolves are up to eighth and level on points with Manchester United. Norwich are off the bottom of the table and have leapfrogged Burnley and Newcastle. Meanwhile Watford remain a one above the drop zone after their draw with the Magpies.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd

16:54 , Michael Jones

Manchester United could lose their opening two league games of a calendar year for the first time since 1985 after losing to Wolves on January 3rd. They have equalled the club record of six Premier League defeats at the halfway stage of a season, previously set in 2001-02.

United have also dropped points in four of their last six away league matches.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd

16:51 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa have lost 10 of their last 14 competitive fixtures, including the last three in a row. Their total of 21 Premier League home defeats since returning to the top flight in 2019 is the most of any club.

They could go 17 top-flight matches without a draw for the first time since a run of 29 between September 1964 and April 1965.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Rangnick on Aston Villa

16:48 , Michael Jones

Manchester United interim boss, Ralf Rangnick, spoke about what he learned from Monday night’s FA Cup match in which Manchester United won 1-0 at Old Trafford. Rangnick said:

Well they played as we expected them to play. They’re a very flexible, versatile team with a lot of rotation during the game between their full-backs and their eights.

“We were prepared for that and I think we coped quite well with that. At times we had problems to control their second and third striker up front and, in the second half, I think that got a lot better and we controlled the game in the last 20-25 minutes.

“Now it’s about taking the next steps in the away game. Always being dangerous ourselves when we’re in possession of the ball, not have too many giveaway balls when we’re on the counter-attack. Make use of the spaces that were also there in the home game against Villa. This is what we’re all about.”

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Manchester United’s best hope of a top four finish? This is a slow Champions League race

16:44 , Michael Jones

You would think that after signing the Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorer, a four-time winner with Real Madrid and a 21-year-old prodigy who has played in its knockout stages twice already, Manchester United would be well on their way to achieving a top-four finish by now.

If only it were so simple.

Manchester United’s best hope of top-four? This is a slow Champions League race

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Head-to-head

16:40 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa won the reverse league fixture 1-0 and could do the double against Manchester United for the first time since the 1954-5 season. However, Villa’s current winless run of 22 Premier League home games against United is a top-flight record - they’ve drawn seven times and lost 15.

Villa’s most recent home league victory in this fixture was 3-1 in August 199 but they also won 3-0 here in the League Cup in 1999.

Manchester United were awarded a penalty in each of the last four Premier League meetings. Bruno Fernandes took all four, scoring the first three but missing at Old Trafford last September.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Team changes

16:36 , Michael Jones

Lucas Digne makes his debut for Aston Villa replaing Matt targett at left-back in the only change for Steven Gerrard’s men. Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia make up the forward line and Philippe Coutinho settles for a spot on the bench.

Cristiano Ronaldo is once again missing for Manchester United although, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho make the bench. Ralf Rangnick makes three changes to the team that lined-up against Villa on Monday night. Alex Telles is in for the suspended Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic replaces Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford is dropped for Anthony Elanga.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Line-ups

16:30 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa XI: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Sanson, Douglas Luiz, Ramsey, Buendia, Ings, Watkins

Man Utd XI: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles, Matic, Fred, Elanga, Fernandes, Greenwood, Cavani

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Recent results

16:29 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa can potentially jump up to 10th in the Premier League table if they comfortably beat Manchester United at Villa Park. Steven Gerrard’s men have lost their last three games across all competitions and will be looking to get back to winning ways today.

Manchester United are in need of points if they want to challenge for a top four finish. Last time out in the Premier League they were outplayed at home by Wolves who beat them 1-0 thanks to a late goal scored by Joao Moutinho. It remains United’s only defeat under Ralf Rangnick who keeps finding ways to pick up points despite lacklustre performance’s from his team.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Rangnick not worried about Rashford’s form

16:23 , Michael Jones

Marcus Rashford is struggling for form having only netted twice in the Premier League this season. He looked short of confidence against Aston Villa on Monday night but Man Utd’s interim boss isn’t too worried about the striker’s form saying:

As a striker we all know that it’s all about playing well scoring goals and getting assists. If that does not happen over a period of time, it is sometimes not easy. But he is trying to give his very best and he does show that in training.

“There have been a couple of training sessions over the past few weeks when he has performed at the highest level and that is why I have always given him the chance to play again.

“As long as he does that, he will always make my list to be involved within the starting XI. Of course, it’s about showing that on a regular basis and continuously playing at a high level. For him though, like anyone else, there is still room for improvement.”

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Gerrard on playing United twice in a week

16:18 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard spoke about the unusual coincidence of facing Manchester United twice in the same week after their FA Cup meeting on Monday night.

Gerrard’s Villa were the better team on the night but were on the wrong side of the results. Scott McTominay sent United in front but Villa responded well, they had two goals disallowed and Gerrard said:

It’s a unique situation, playing the same team twice in a short space of time, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to bounce back.

“If we can find a similar level of performance, be a little bit more ruthless in the final third and the big calls on the night go in our favour, I’ve got no doubt we can get the result we want.”

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Manchester United welcome back four players for Aston Villa trip

16:14 , Michael Jones

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to be available for Manchester United, with Harry Maguire also in contention to play in Saturday’s Premier League trip to Aston Villa.

The Portuguese was left out of Monday night’s FA Cup tie with Villa as a precaution, with Jadon Sancho and Phil Jones also kept at home after picking up minor issues of their own.

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick provides Cristiano Ronaldo injury update

Aston Villa vs Man Utd: Injuries and absentees

16:11 , Michael Jones

Aston Villa will be missing the experience of Ashley Young and John McGinn for this evening’s match with Manchester United. Young has a broken toe and McGinn is banned.

The exciting prospect for Villa is whether Steven Gerrard gives debuts to new signings Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne but it may be too early for either player to start.

Manchester United also have tow players suspended with Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay missing. There is some doubt over Cristiano Ronaldo who missed Monday night’s cup fixture but he’s believes he will be fit for the game

Ralf Rangnick also confirmed that Harry Maguire, Phil Jones, and Jadon Sancho could all return to the squad after spells on the sidelines.

Aston Villa vs Man Utd

16:07 , Michael Jones

We’re over halfway through the 3pm kick offs and there are a few surprises. Chris Wood has made his debut for Newcastle but their match against Watford remains goalless.

Norwich have a shocking two goal lead over Everton at Carrow Road and look set to pick up their first Premier League win since November and in a close contest at Molineux Wolves have a 1-0 lead over Southampton thanks to a Raul Jimenez penalty.

There’s one more Premier League game to go today though as Aston Villa welcome Manchester United for the 5.30pm kick off. Man Utd managed to sneak past Steven Gerrard’s Villa in the FA Cup third round on Monday but they were the second best team for most of the game.

At home, and with new additions in the form of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne, Aston Villa will be confident of securing a positive result against Ralf Rangnick’s side.

Kevin De Bruyne’s sublime winner sinks Chelsea as Man City close in on another title

15:02 , Michael Jones

A goal fit to win any match, and that has almost certainly won the 2021-22 Premier League title.

Kevin De Bruyne’s sublime strike was a moment that suitably reflected Manchester City’s superiority, putting the defending champions 13 points clear of Chelsea after this 1-0 victory.

As if to similarly emphasise how some of that lead has been down to rivals’ own failings, Kepa Arrizabalaga might have done better for the goal.

That shouldn’t be to take away from De Bruyne’s strike, or City’s quality. As with the huge gap at the top of the table, and despite the narrow victory, they were so much better than Chelsea.

Kevin De Bruyne’s sublime winner sinks Chelsea as Man City close in on another title

Guardiola’s reaction

15:00 , Michael Jones

The reaction from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola who believes his team put in a fantastic performance against a stubborn Chelsea and when asked whether his side deserved the victory he said:

Absolute. They way we played, everything we have done. We cannot forget which team we played, the European champions. On the touchline you realise how incredible they are and you try to find the spaces but they defend well. They waited for the transition to punish and we won from one transition. But for how good they defended we created enough chances to win especially with the intention to go and try to win the game from minute one.

“The only problem we had after 1-0 is they stepped up and when you open the game at the end with Mason Mount,with Hudson-Odoi with Timo Werner and Lukaku now you’re in a dangerous position. Again, the team was incredible, we were brilliant.”

Tuchel on Lukaku’s performance

14:52 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel touched on the performance of Romelu Lukaku who failed to convert Chelsea’s biggest chance of the game and looked like a lonely figure up top. Tuchel said:

Sometimes he “[Romelu Lukaku] needs to do the service, I think he is included. He had many ball losses without any pressure and many ball losses in very promising circumstances.

Of course he had a huge chance so he’s included in this. We want to serve him but he’s part of the team and the performance up front especially in the first half can be better. We need to do better.

“We will never give up but if City keep winning every game we will never catch them.”

Five things we learned as Kevin De Bruyne strike extends Premier League gap

14:49 , Michael Jones

Manchester City increased their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 13 points as Kevin De Bruyne’s strike earned the defending champions a 1-0 win over second-placed Chelsea.

City dominated possession in the first half but Jack Grealish was denied an opening goal when Kepa Arrizabalaga blocked his shot with an outstretched leg. Romelu Lukaku went close after the break but saw a curling effort saved by Ederson.

The hosts took the lead in the 70th minute when De Bruyne curled in an excellent strike past Kepa from outside of the box,

Five things we learned as Kevin De Bruyne strike sees Man City close in on title

Thomas Tuchel reflects on the game

14:43 , Michael Jones

Thomas Tuchel gave his thoughts to Sky Sports after the match and explained how the work from his offensive players was not good enough to ensure Chelsea came away with at least a draw. He said:

The result yes [is disappointing] but this can happen. I think we deserved a draw, I think we defended very, very well and did not allow any big chances.

“One in the first half from a mistake from us but we were not under so much pressure that it was clear they would score. Performance wise this is okay, given that we had to change our back three again.

“Defensive wise I am absolutely okay with that performance, we deserved a draw, it would have been a fair result, but we don’t have it. We have won games like this against City and that feels very different but that is the way it is.

“We had eight or nine offensive transitions and zero touches in the box. That was a big problem today. Offensive wise the performance of the front players was simply a lack of position, a lack of timing and a lack of composure. We lost too many balls too easy and that was a big problem in our game today.”

Reaction from Kevin De Bruyne

14:34 , Michael Jones

Kevin De Bruyne spoke to Sky Sports after a match winning performance for Manchester City put the Premier League champions a firm step closer to regaining their title.

De Bruyne said:

Yeah, obviously it’s a big game and I think they came here with a very good plan, they were tight defensively, but we played a very good game. It’s nice to score the goal, it was important because it’s the only one but I think the team played very well today.

“We knew if we won today we’d make the gap bigger on them. We’ve been in this situation before where we are points ahead but a lot of things can change and the momentum can swing very quickly. I think the team was focused on the job that they needed to do and that’s the only thing that we can do.”

Man City vs Chelsea player ratings: Kevin De Bruyne stars with sensational match-winning strike

14:32 , Michael Jones

Manchester City have gone 13 points clear in the Premier League as they defeated Chelsea 1-0 thanks to a superb Kevin De Bruyne strike.

It was a game regarded as one Chelsea had to win as City are unlikely to drop many points for the rest of the season. But the Blues weren’t clinical enough in the final third.

Here are the player ratings from the Etihad Stadium:

Man City vs Chelsea player ratings as Kevin De Bruyne stars

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:29 , Michael Jones

No side has led the Premier League 13 points or more with 16 games to go and failed to lift the trophy at the end of the season. Manchester City are in prime position to regain their title now.

Liverpool have a couple of games in hand and could cut City’s lead to eight but it’s still a mountain to climb for the chasing pack.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:20 , Michael Jones

90 mins: Three minutes of added time to play. Man City are going to open up a 13 point lead if they can close out this game.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:18 , Michael Jones

87 mins: Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan come on for Manchester City replacing Phil Foden and - as of right now - matchwinner Kevin De Bruyne.

City are trying to manage the remaining time but Mount gets the ball into space on the right and swings a cross over to Lukaku. John Stones gets to the ball before the Chelsea striker and boots it clear.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:13 , Michael Jones

84 mins: Chance! Phil Foden has the chance to secure the points for Manchester City. Raheem Sterling brings the ball in from the right and lays it off to Foden. He lets the ball run across his body and hits one with his left foot. He doesn’t catch it quite right though and lifts the effort over the crossbar.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:10 , Michael Jones

81 mins: Chelsea win a free kick over on the left wing, deep in Man City’s half. It’s a good chance to work the ball into the box but it’s wasted by Callum Hudson-Odoi who knocks a flat cross into the penalty area that is easily cleared by Kevin De Bruyne.

Mason Mount is the final Chelsea change coming on to replace Marcos Alonso. Can he swing this match back in Chelsea’s favour? He’s only got about 10 minutes to make an impact.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:07 , Michael Jones

78 mins: Chance! Much better from Chelsea who move the ball quickly up the Kante. He plays it in behind for Azpilicueta on the overlap and and Chelsea’s captain slots a teasing ball into the six-yard area, Timo Werner lunges himself at the pass but it just evades him and Ederson scoops it up.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:06 , Michael Jones

75 mins: Chelsea have to open themselves up now as they go in search of an equaliser. That’s leaving space in the back line for Foden to exploit. Cancelo fires a diagonal ball up to Foden who’s positioned in the middle of Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva. As the ball drops Sarr wins the header and knocks it back to Kepa Arrizabalaga to end the attack.

Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea

14:02 , Michael Jones

72 mins: Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner are on for Chelsea. They were brought on just before Manchester City’s opener replacing Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic.

Chelsea have to go after City now. If they want to keep their title hopes alive they can’t lose this game.

GOAL! Man City 1 - 0 Chelsea (De Bruyne, 70’)⚽️

13:58 , Michael Jones

70 mins: What a goal! A long ball from Chelsea is won by City and the ball is knocked to Joao Cancelo. He feeds it up to Kevin De Bruyne who shakes off a tackle and goes on a run down the inside left channel. He cuts inside and brings the ball to the edge of the ‘D’ before curling a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner. Kepa Arrizabalaga leaps across but can’t reach it and the ball finishes in the back of the net! What a finish from Kevin De Bruyne.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:57 , Michael Jones

66 mins: Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner are warming up for Chelsea. N’Golo Kante flicks the ball up to Romelu Lukaku in the middle of the pitch. He turns it towards goal but is clipped by Rodri and goes down. The referee lets play go on and City quickly feed it over to Sterling on the right. He drives into the box and shoots. His effort goes through the legs of Sarr and narrowly wide of the back post! Good chance for City.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:52 , Michael Jones

63 mins: Save! A fine run from Grealish sees the forward brought down just outside the Chelsea penalty area. The City players try to convince the referee that the foul was made in the box but he’s not swayed and awards a free kick.

Kevin De Bruyne takes it and whips a shot towards the near post but Kepa Arrizabalaga is across nicely and palms the ball wide of goal.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:51 , Michael Jones

60 mins: Man City have injected a touch more pace into their attacking play with Foden playing Sterling into the box. He gets tackled by Sarr but the loose ball comes to Bernardo who follows Sterling into the area. He drives towards the byline and squares a pass into the six-yard area but Kepa safely scoops up the ball.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:46 , Michael Jones

57 mins: Walker makes a run down the wing and is fed the ball, he gives it to Sterling who dribbles into the box and goes down under pressure from three defenders. There’s a huge appeal for a penalty but the offside flag is up for the initial ball over to Walker.

City then win a corner that Foden curls in towards the near post. Azpilicueta heads it out to Lukaku who sends it over to Hakim Ziyech on the right. He attempts to kick start a counter-attack but loses possession.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:43 , Michael Jones

54 mins: An aerial pass is won by Kyle Walker who’s control of the ball takes it away from the box. Kovacic attempts to recover the now loose ball but Walker beats him to it and wins a corner as Kovacic clips him late. City win a free kick just outside Chelsea’s box. De Bruyne flicks it into the six-yard area but sends the ball straight into the hands of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:39 , Michael Jones

51 mins: Thomas Tuchel must have given Chelsea the hairdryer treatment because they’ve come out swinging after half-time. First Mateo Kovacic threads a fine pass into Lukaku who spins off Laporte and lines up a shot at goal. He drills a left-footed effort towards the far corner but Ederson leaps to his right and parries it away.

The next chance comes to Marcos Alonso. He’s in space on the inside left and Chelsea pass the ball over to him to set up a long-ranged effort. He hits it well enough but the shot continues to rise and goes over the crossbar.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:37 , Michael Jones

48 mins: Chance! It’s an early opportunity for Manchester City after N’Golo Kante gives the ball away with a poor pass towards Lukaku. Rodri prods it up to De Bruyne who runs into the left side of the box and curls a pass across goal. Sterling tries to get to the ball but goes down after a touch from Sarr and City appeal for a penalty!

VAR takes a look and agrees with the referee that play should go on.

Second half: Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:34 , Michael Jones

Kick off: Chelsea didn’t have a single shot in the first half, on or off target. They played primarily on the edge of their own final third and didn’t utilise Romelu Lukaku as an escape option.

There hasn’t been any changes from either team at the break.

Sign up to The Independent’s free weekly sports newsletters

13:28 , Michael Jones

To sign up to our free sport newsletters for regular updates straight to your inbox.

Whether you would like a weekly rundown direct from our chief football writer Miguel Delaney or you want weekly sport digest from our sport editor Ben Burrows you can sign up by clicking here and scrolling to the sport section.

News | The Independent | Today's headlines and latest breaking news | The Independent

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:25 , Michael Jones

Chelsea failed to attempt a shot in the first half at the Etihad. It was the first time they’ve failed to do so in a Premier League game under Thomas Tuchel and the first time overall since May 2018 vs Newcastle.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:22 , Michael Jones

There were some good battles in the first half. Raheem Sterling driving at Marcos Alonso - after the defender picked up an early yellow card - was probably the standout.

Chelsea’s attacking play has been non-existent though, much to the frustration of manager Thomas Tuchel.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Half-time: Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:18 , Michael Jones

45+1 mins: Chelsea hold on until half-time. It was a fairly one-sided 45 minutes in favour of Manchester City but the Blues head into the break on level terms.

Jack Grealish had the best chance of the half but Kepa Arrizabalaga made a good save to deny him the opening goal.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:14 , Michael Jones

42 mins: A scrappy period of possession for Chelsea sees them work hard just to keep hold of the ball instead of putting together a meaningful attack.

City win it back before too long and Cancelo threads it into the box for Grealish. He finds De Bruyne who snatches at a shot from the left and belts it well over the crossbar.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:11 , Michael Jones

39 mins: Chance! Probably the best chance of the half! Mateo Kovacic is put under pressure from Kevin De Bruyne deep in his own half and gets rid of the ball with a loose pass across to Jack Grealish. He knocks the ball into the box and looks to guide it arouns Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Chelsea goalkeeper gets a leg to the shot and somehow deflects it wide of the right-hand post.

Man City 0 - 0 Chelsea

13:07 , Michael Jones

36 mins: City win a throw in in Chelsea’s half and send the ball to Phil Foden. He brings the ball under control and drives through a bunch of Chelsea defenders to work the ball into the box. He slots a dangerous pass into the middle of the area but doesn’t have any teammates up with him. Alonso recovers the ball and wins a free kick after a little shove in the back from Sterling.

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting