Game #4744

Season | 2001-02 |

Matchday | #38 |

League Game | #27 |
Premier League Match-week | #26 |  

Manager Game | #2 |

Saturday, 23 February 2002

Premier League | Away | Manchester United | Old Trafford | 67,592 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Graham Taylor | 
KO | 13.00 |
Referee | Jeff Winter | 
HT Score | 0-0 |

FT Score | 0-1 |
FT Result | Lost |

Last 5 Games | WDDDL | 

League Position | 7th | - |

Line Up |

GK Peter Schmeichel | 
FB Mark Delaney | 
FB Jlloyd Samuel |
 SUB OFF | 79' |
LB Steve Staunton | 
CB Olof Mellberg | 
M Mustapha Hadji |
SUB OFF | 63' |
M George Boateng | 
M Gareth Barry | 
M Steve Stone | 
F Darius Vassell | 
CF Juan Pablo Ángel | 

Substitutes |

M Thomas Hitzlsperger for M Mustapha Hadji | 63’ | 
CF Dion Dublin for FB Jlloyd Samuel | 79’ | 

Unused Substitutes |

GK Peter Enckelman |
M Hassan Kachloul
F Boško Balaban

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.18 | 

Oldest Player | GK Peter Schmeichel | 38.29 |

Youngest Player | FB Jlloyd Samuel | 20.92 |

Match Report

BBC Sport

Saturday, 23 February, 200

Man Utd edge out Villa

Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s golden run continued as Manchester United cemented their position at the Premiership summit against Aston Villa. 


Van Nistelrooy struck his 29th goal of the season and ended United’s Old Trafford frustration against Graham Taylor’s Villa. 

It was hardly vintage Old Trafford fare - in fact in parts it was decidedly ordinary - but Sir Alex Ferguson will gratefully accept the victory to turn up the heat on their title rivals. 


And Van Nistelrooy was equally grateful to accept a gift from his Holland team-mate George Boateng in the 49th minute that set him up for his latest strike. 
 

The Premiership pace-setters dominated possession, but lacked a cutting edge until Van Nistelrooy’s vital intervention. 


Boss Taylor insisted his Villa side had come to Old Trafford to attack, but there was little evidence of such bold intent as they failed to trouble United’s defence. 
 

Villa goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel received a predictably rapturous reception on his return to Old Trafford - and United’s attack extended the generosity in a lack-lustre first half. 
 

Argentine Juan Sebastian Veron was one of few influential United figures, and he was the architect of a move that should have given his side an early lead. 
 

Veron’s fourth minute pass allowed Roy Keane to leave Van Nistelrooy clear, but he shot uncharacteristically wide. 

 

Schmeichel’s most uncomfortable moment in the opening period came when he plunged at the feet of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but otherwise he was well protected. 
 

Villa contributed to the lack of quality in the first half by constantly squandering possession, but they were not punished as United’s finishing was worse than wayward. 
 

England World Cup hopeful Darius Vassell was handed a more defensive role by boss Taylor, although he showed a flash of inspiration after 38 minutes when he sent an overhead kick wide. 
 

All Villa’s comfortable resistance was undone after 49 minutes - and Boateng was the culprit as he gifted Holland colleague Van Nistelrooy the opener. 
 

Boateng ran into trouble instead of clearing, and when Keane and Solskjaer robbed him, the predatory Van Nistelrooy was on hand to turn and beat Schmeichel. 
 

It was the signal for United to attempt to force home their advantage, with Veron troubling Schmeichel and Van Nistelrooy shooting narrowly off target. 
 

They failed to grab a second goal, but it was more than enough against a Villa side high on perspiration but short on inspiration. 


*Man Utd:* Barthez, Silvestre, Gary Neville, Blanc, Irwin (Johnsen 86), Beckham, Keane, Butt, Veron, Van Nistelrooy, Solskjaer.
*Subs Not Used:* Carroll, Scholes, Forlan, O’Shea. 

 

*Aston Villa:* Schmeichel, Delaney, Mellberg, Staunton, Barry, Samuel (Dublin 79), Boateng, Hadji (Hitzlsperger 63), Stone, Angel, Vassell. 
*Subs Not Used:* Enckelman, Balaban, Kachloul. 

 

*Att:* 67,592 
 

*Referee:* J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)