Anders Lindegaard: Another clean sheet for the Dane who seems to make a habit of stacking up shut-outs. Came out to fist the ball away on occasions but was rarely troubled by the lacklustre home side. His best save was a tip-over from a James Collins header in the second half but he'll have busier days.
Chris Smalling: Handled the speedy Gabriel Agbonlahor magnificently, making an early challenge to set out a marker and even outpacing the Villa star at one point. Always physical and stuck to his man throughout. A real talent who seems to love defending.
Nemanja Vidic: His powerful header away in the dying seconds, which also happened to pick out a team-mate, sums up the captain's contribution. A huge influence at the back and incredibly consistent, he was badly missed in the defeat to City but took care of Darren Bent all evening.
Rio Ferdinand: Unflappable and largely untested in his 64 minutes on the pitch. A neat ball wide to Ashley Young was one of many accurate passes and he snuffed out Villa's threat with ease, moving across to the flanks when necessary to use his experience.
Patrice Evra: Handled Marc Albrighton well and performed his defensive duties with minimum fuss. One needless concession of a corner aside, he was largely flawless and one intelligent header down the line to Young was an example of the support he provides to those going forward. Indeed, it was his pass to Nani that led to Phil Jones' goal.