Considering Aston Villa have only won once in the last 43 games against Manchester United, a point at Old Trafford was decent going for Dean Smith’s young and evolving team.
In the first half, it looked like United were there for the taking and when Jack Grealish’s beautiful curling effort sailed in past David de Gea, it looked like Villa might repeat the feat of 2009, when Gabby Agbonlahor’s single goal gave Villa the three points.
United grew stonger as the game went on, although ultimately they struggled to find any sustained fluidity amongst their ranks going forward. Anthony Martial hustling Villa’s backline, looked their most likely hope of securing a winner.
After United turned Grealish’s opener around to lead 2-1, Villa never felt out of it though. When the equaliser came though, there was a bizarre feel to it.
As Tyrone Mings volleyed home, he did so like a player who was convinced he was offside. He showed no sign of emotion as he picked himself off the floor. Most the players on the pitch thought VAR would confirm it as offside, but in the end, it was a case of well done Mings for playing to the whistle. Both the linesman and VAR were happy that the England international’s strike was all good.
After losing three tough fixtures on a trot, Dean Smith’s men have got back on track with a home win against Newcastle and an away point. If they can continue to pick up points on their travels – this was the only the second time they had got a positive away result – then backed up with frequent home wins, they should be fine this season.
In the context of recent matches against United, this point at Old Trafford can only be considered a positive result compared to some of the games we’ve played against them in recent decades, as we discussed on the recent bonus podcast (listen below) released over the weekend.
In a light-hearted show, we looked back at some of the memories that haunt us as Villa supporters, and that help fuel the ‘hate’ towards United. The ghosts of Sir Alex, Ronaldo, Macheda, Djemba Djemba and Király (amongst others), all come back to haunt us, as we search for a silver lining.
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Bonus: The Anti-Preview – Villan Hatred of Manchester United
When you get beat 14 consecutive times by a team, you swiftly begin to despise them. In the case of Manchester United, it’s not personal, it’s just a matter of all those ‘Fergie Time’ wins, Federico Macheda and them selling us Djemba Djemba (amongst other duds).
In a bonus off-the-cuff show, recorded straight after Episode 92 of the main show, we take a trip down memory lane of playing Manchester United in the past few decades. We discuss the curse of Ronaldo and how Sir Alex had our number, while we try to cling on to Wembley 1994 and Gabby’s header at Old Trafford in 2009.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Dan Rodgers – @avfc_vilr
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Ben Redding – @benired
Producer – David Michael
Once we take the lead (as we often do) we need to go for the proverbial jugular and get the next goal. United were there for the taking. We missed a great opportunity. AND Mings- clear the bloody ball the first time- your damn posing for the cameras led to the equalizer!!
Credit where it’s due it was in the end a good result, just imagine what might have been if we had a good striker, don’t want in any way to put a damper on this result but Wesley is no PL striker and we must do something about it in January and I’m sure we will be fine.
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