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Man Utd knock four past Villa

A plane overhead suggests the removal of David Moyes at Manchester United.
A plane overhead suggests the removal of David Moyes at Manchester United.Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

With an airplane towing a banner suggesting the removal of David Moyes flying over Old Trafford, it was the players in the Manchester United shirt that rose to the challenge against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Though going down a goal early on, the hosts turned around a scoreline that those in the Stretford End have come to expect of their side through the years to win 4-1.

Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a well-executed free kick over the wall and into the left-hand corner of the net. Goalkeeper David De Gea might have been able to do more, but it looked as if his view was obstructed in front of him.

With the mood growing a little darker in the stands, it was midfielders Shinji Kagawa and Juan Mata that began to move into full gear.

In space on the left, Kagawa picked out an unmarked Wayne Rooney who headed home in the 20th minute. Mata’s dangerous run towards goal in front of Rooney drew the defender and left the England man in acres of space.

It was Kagawa again that created the second. While running at the defense, he placed an inch-perfect ball through the back line to Mata who was taken down for a clear penalty. Rooney calmly, and confidently, scored from the spot for his second.

Then, finally, it was the moment that the £37.5m man, Mata, had been waiting for.

A header into the box from fullback Alex Buttner created a scramble between the Villa defense and Marouane Fellaini. The ball scrapped about until it found Mata who deposited it in the left corner with a cool finish for United’s third goal.

Kagawa and Rooney were removed just after the hour mark - likely to be saved for the mid-week clash with Bayern Munich.

Adnan Januzaj, an apparent star in the making, created the fourth and final goal in the dying embers of the match. He latched on to a ball on the left flank and delivered a superb cross to Javier Hernandez who could not miss inside the six-yard box.

Christian Benteke, Villa’s target man, could have very easily had himself a hat trick. Instead, his multiple scoring chances were either scuffed, or headed over the bar. It was also an indication that United’s performance wasn’t as dominant as it may have appeared on paper.