Report: United 0 Aston Villa 1
Manchester United were beaten by Aston Villa 1-0 in the Premier League at Old Trafford as Bruno Fernandes missed a penalty in an astonishing climax.
It was the Reds' first Premier League loss of the season with Villa’s Kortney Hause heading in the vital winner in the 88th minute.
United had a golden chance in added-on time as a House handball presented Fernandes with a spot-kick chance to snatch a point. But our Portuguese midfielder unfortunately skied the 12-yard shot into the crowd.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had reverted back to his league XI that had beaten West Ham in London last Sunday following the defeat here to the Hammers in midweek in the Carabao Cup.
But Villa proved a stubborn opponent and despite United finishing with an attack of Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood, we just couldn’t find the net and slipped to defeat.
FIRST HALF - PLENTY OF ACTION BUT NO UNITED BREAKTHROUGH
It was the bright opening from United that the manager had demanded after some recent slow starts.
Fernandes volleyed over from a Luke Shaw cross and then drilled a free-kick into Villa’s defensive wall. Ronaldo hit one wide and Greenwood was also lively.
But the pressure didn’t produce a goal and it was Villa who came closest and scared the life out of Old Trafford.
Matt Cash got past Shaw down the left and his cross was put over the bar into the Stretford End from only three yards out by Matt Targett.
Harry Maguire then delivered a poor back pass to David De Gea. The goalkeeper needed to stretch to get a touch but could only prod it out to Ollie Watkins, only for the visitors' striker to be denied by our number one.
It added up to a mixed opening in the end for the Reds but we survived Villa’s dangerous reaction to our start.
Shaw had to be replaced by Diogo Dalot after 34 minutes and our left-back walked gingerly down the tunnel, clearly suffering from an injury.
United’s tempo had faded as Villa began to get the upper hand in attack and a 39th-minute Ezri Konsa header from a corner posted further notice that this was developing into a real fight.
The Reds responded with a late flurry before the interval and Paul Pogba came so close in added-on time as a Fernandes corner was headed on by Raphael Varane and our midfielder made contact with a reaction header that flew just wide.
SECOND HALF - VILLA SNATCH VICTORY AS BRUNO SLIPS UP FROM THE SPOT
t was a difficult opening to the second half for United as Villa gained in confidence and kept us pegged back and unable to hurt the visitors.
Captain Maguire had suffered a leg injury and was limping around but still managed to get into the thick of it in the 64th minute when he appeared to be hauled down in the box by Konsa as he attempted to climb for a cross.
No penalty was given by referee Mike Dean and the injustice rallied the Old Trafford crowd and the noise level went up.
They were almost rewarded when Greenwood saw a shot saved.
Maguire couldn’t carry on and was replaced by Victor Lindelof after 66 minutes. As the Swede settled in the Reds found themselves back under pressure and Watkins had a shot brilliantly stopped by De Gea.
Greenwood had a series of drives blocked by a Villa defence that was holding out stubbornly as the Reds looked for a goal and change the momentum.
Pogba drove at the rearguard after 75 minutes and his footwork created an opening but Emiliano Martinez saved comfortably.
The Stretford End demanded the introduction of Cavani and it appeared Solskjaer had the very same thoughts and the Uruguayan came on in the 81st minute for Scott McTominay.
But before Cavani could get involved at the attacking end he was called upon in the 88th minute to defend a corner but couldn't get ahead of Hause who headed in at the near post from the set piece.
It was the same pair who were at the centre of the next major incident as the match reached a sensational climax.
Fernandes' cross was glanced on by sub Cavani and his header hit Villa scorer Hause on the arm. Referee Dean pointed to the spot instantly and his decision was rubber-stamped by VAR.
But United's lifeline was squandered when the normally dead-eye penalty taker Fernandes struck his spot-kick high over the bar into a stunned Stretford End.
LINE-UPS AND MATCH INFO
United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire (Lindelof 66), Shaw (Dalot 34), McTominay (Cavani 81), Fred, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Ronaldo.
Subs: Heaton, Martial, Lingard, Sancho, Matic, van de Beek.
Bookings: Shaw, Fred
Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Hause, Mings, Targett, Ramsey (Archer 85), Luiz, McGinn, Ings (Buendia 77), Watkins.
Subs: Steer, Traore, Young, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Chukwuemeka, Bogarde.
Goals: Hause (88)