FA Premier League
Sunday 19 December 1993
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
Cantona (21, 90), Ince (90)
ASTON VILLA 1
United: Schmeichel; Parker, Bruce, Pallister, Irwin; Kanchelskis, Ince, Keane, Sharpe (Giggs 80); Cantona, Hughes
Subs not used: Sealey, McClair
Aston Villa: Bosnich; Barrett, Teale , McGrath, Cox; Richardson, Atkinson, Parker, Small; Saunders (Daley 64), Whittingham
Subs not used: Spink, Cowans
United were top of the Premier League and ten points clear of closest rivals Leeds United when Aston Villa visited Old Trafford on 19 December 1993.
The Villans had been serious title contenders in the previous season, eventually finishing second as United ended a 26-year wait for a league championship. But Ron Atkinson's side were well off the pace in 1993/94 and were in ninth place when they arrived in Manchester six days before Christmas.
Action: Eric Cantona fired the Reds ahead from close range, having already been denied by the post in the first 20 minutes. Both sides traded chances and some bone-crunching tackles as United pressed for a second before Cantona wrapped the game up in stoppage time. Paul Ince added another within a minute before Neil Cox scored a consolation goal for Villa with almost the last kick of the game.
Reaction: The win over the Villans was part of a 22-game unbeaten run that saw the Reds retain the Premier League crown, despite a strong challenge from Blackburn Rovers. Big Ron’s side did enact some revenge, beating United in the League Cup final at Wembley to deny the Reds a domestic treble. United completed the double by thrashing Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final.