Manchester United ended a four-game winless run across all competitions by beating Aston Villa 3-2 in Saturday’s encounter at Old Trafford.
The teams headed into the clash on a contrasting run of results with Villa having picked up 11 of the last 15 points available, while United had only managed four points in that time.
John McGinn had the game’s first chance after just four minutes when he unleashed an effort from inside the box which was repelled by the United defence.
Making a return to the starting lineup for the first time since November, Christian Eriksen drew a fine stop out of Emiliano Martinez from long range.
The deadlock was broken just shy of the midway point in the first half as an indirect free-kick from John McGinn flew beyond everyone and past Andre Onana.
Still yet to recover from going behind, United were dealt another blow five minutes later from a set-piece once again.
McGinn’s delivery to the back post from a corner was headed back across goal by Clement Lenglet and Leander Dendoncker was on hand to tuck the ball home from close range.
Marcus Rashford stung the palms of Martinez with a fierce drive in the 32nd minute but the Villa goalkeeper was up to the task.
Rashford was at it again in the final minute of the half when he was played through on goal by Bruno Fernandes before the Englishman dragged his effort wide.
That was the final noteworthy action of the opening 45 minutes at the end of which United went into the interval starting down the barrel of yet another defeat.
Erik ten Hag’s men had the ball in the back of the net four minutes into the second period, only for the VAR to rule out Alejandro Garnacho’s strike for offside.
However, Garnacho was not going to be denied 10 minutes later as he swept home a counter-attacking move with Rashford turning provider to drag United back into the contest.
Shortly after getting themselves back in the game, the Red Devils nearly conceded a third and needed a fine save from Onana to deny Leon Bailey from restoring Villa’s two-goal lead.
The away side threatened their hosts from another dead-ball situation moments later when Diego Carlos sent a looping header over the bar.
Garnacho doubled his tally in the 71st minute via a deflected effort which flew past Martinez to restore parity and set up a frenetic finale.
Having seen their advantage vanish, Villa came close to getting their noses in front almost immediately but for an excellent goal-line clearance from Jonny Evans to deny McGinn.
United’s equaliser reinvigorated the Old Trafford crowd who cheered on the player in search of a third goal which would arrive eight minutes from time.
Off the back of a rough patch in front of goal, Rasmus Hojlund finally opened his Premier League account in grand style as he produced an instinctive first-half finish from a loose ball inside the box.
United had their backs against the wall for the remainder of the contest but held firm to see out the win and move up into sixth place in the Premier League table.
Villa, meanwhile, have missed an opportunity to temporarily leapfrog Arsenal into second place and they remain third in the standings.
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