Game #5039

Season | 2008-09 |

Matchday | #23 |
League Game | #14 |
Premier League Match-week | #14 |  
Manager Game | #106 |
Saturday, 22 November 2008
Premier League | Home | Manchester United | Villa Park | 42,585 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

KO | 17.30 |
Referee | Chris Foy | 
HT Score | 0-0 |
FT Score | 0-0 |
FT Result | Drew |
Last 5 Games | LWLWD | 

League Position | 4th | +1 |

Line Up |

GK Brad Friedel |
RB Luke Young |
CB Martin Laursen |
CB Curtis Davies |
BOOKED | 77' |
M Steve Sidwell | SUB OFF | 81' |
M Stiliyan Petrov |
M Nigel Reo-Coker |
M Gareth Barry |
W Ashley Young |
W James Milner |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |

Substitutes |

CF John Carew for M Steve Sidwell | 81’ |

Unused Substitutes |

GK Brad Guzan
CB Zat Knight
M Craig Gardner
CF Marlon Harewood
M Moustapha Salifou
LB Nicky Shorey

Cards |

 Yellow | Curtis Davies | 77’ |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.13 | 

Oldest Player | GK Brad Friedel | 37.54 |

Youngest Player | F Gabby Agbonlahor | 22.13 |

Match Stats
Possession F | 37
Possession A | 63
Shots F | 8
Shots A | 7
Shots on Target F | 4
Shots on Target A | 2
Corners F | 3
Corners A | 6
Fouls F | 12
Fouls A | 16

Match Report

Sky Sports

Saturday, 22 November 2008

United stutter at stubborn Villa


Manchester United failed to capitalise on stumbles by their title rivals after being held to a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa.

The Premier League’s top two Chelsea and Liverpool had endured frustrating home draws earlier in the day to give United the chance to close the gap at the top.


But, despite controlling the tempo of the game for long periods, the champions were unable to extend their long winning sequence at Villa Park.

Wayne Rooney had United’s best chance of the match in the second half, but he lashed wildly over the bar from close range after being played in by an astute pass by Michael Carrick.

Villa similarly failed to seriously trouble the opposition keeper, but could have been awarded a penalty on 58 minutes when Nemanja Vidic’s shirt tug on Gabriel Agbonlahor was not spotted by the referee.


The result lifts Villa into fourth spot after Arsenal lost at Manchester City to further boost Martin O’Neill’s side’s credentials for claiming a UEFA Champions League spot.

Hefty challenge

Gabriel Agbonlahor - Villa’s only out-and-out striker - was on the receiving end of a hefty early challenge from behind by fit-again United defender Rio Ferdinand but shook it off and was on the end of the first decent chance of the game.

A long free-kick by Luke Young was headed on by Villa captain Martin Laursen and the first-time effort from Agbonlahor was not truly struck and hit straight at United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar.

Villa keeper Brad Friedel was called into meaningful action for the first time after 14 minutes to turn aside a swerving drive from Cristiano Ronaldo, who had cut inside the recalled Nigel Reo-Coker with ease.

Van der Sar went down at his left-hand post to comfortably save a 20-yard effort from Reo-Coker after he had made a powerful break from the halfway line.

Ronaldo fouled Stiliyan Petrov in an area ideal for the free-kick skills of Ashley Young in a central position but it was James Milner who stepped forward and scuffed his low shot across the face of goal.

The game opened up more towards half-time and Ashley Young produced a superb tackle to deny Ji-Sung Park in the Villa box as the South Korean prepared to shoot after being found in space by Rooney.

Rooney set up another possible opportunity for Park when he arced a low ball across the area but the United player just failed to make contact.

Most of the play took place in the Villa half after a bright start by the home side and Nemanja Vidic arrowed a header just wide at the far post from Ryan Giggs’ free-kick.

*Under the cosh*

Villa began the second half promisingly and Ashley Young almost caught Van der Sar out of position with a curling effort from 20 yards out which looked destined for the top corner until the Dutchman recovered to tip it over the bar.

United came under the cosh during the early stages of the second period as Villa peppered their box with a succession of crosses and Steve Sidwell had a fierce drive from the edge of the box blocked by Vidic.

O’Neill was incensed when referee Chris Foy awarded no foul against Vidic after he held on to the shirt of Agbonlahor when the striker was in full flight as he cut in from the left flank into the penalty area,

However, the home side were relieved to see Rooney squander a golden opportunity after 62 minutes.

Carrick’s overhead kick dropped into the path of the England striker, who volleyed high and wide when he would have been expected to at least hit the target.

Sir Alex Ferguson made his first substitution after 71 minutes with Nani replacing Carlos Tevez.

Van der Sar went down to his right to cling onto a testing low drive across him from Ashley Young, before Curtis Davies became the first player to be booked after a 76th minute touchline foul on Ronaldo.

Ferguson’s side pressed for a winner in the closing stages but rarely looked like finding it, completing an unusual day when none of the Premier League’s so-called ‘big four’ could muster a goal between them.