|1||Van der Sar|
Sar clung on well low to his left.
On a lush playing surface United were playing some coherent football, with Giggs, Rooney and Carlos Tevez in particular looking lively, but were finding high-flying Villa a little more difficult to break down than Stoke the previous week.
On the half-hour James Milner whipped in a dangerous cross from the right which Ferdinand hacked away at second attempt with Agbonlahor ready to pounce.
Seven minutes before the break Ji-sung Park had an excellent chance to break the deadlock after running onto Rooney’s pass in the box, but the Korean took too much time on the ball and was dispossessed by Ashley Young.
The same duo were involved in another opportunity a minute later but Park was inches away from converting Rooney’s low right-wing cross.
Nemanja Vidic then headed a Giggs free-kick narrowly wide as United finished the half in the ascendency.
Villa came out with more intent to cause United problems and van der Sar was called into action again to tip over Ashley Young’s left-foot curler. Laursen headed over a resultant corner when well placed in the centre of the box.