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Man United go level on points with Liverpool after Aston Villa win

Man United go level on points with Liverpool after Aston Villa win
January 01
23:44 2021

Bruno Fernandes scored the match-winning penalty as Manchester United defeated Aston Villa 2-1 at Old Trafford in the English Premier League (EPL) match played on New Year’s Day.

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The Portuguese midfielder, who has led United’s upward turn in fortune since his arrival a year ago, dispatched a VAR-awarded penalty to cancel Villa’s equaliser after Anthony Martial had given the Red Devils a first-half lead.

Manchester United are now unbeaten in their last 16 Premier League matches against Aston Villa, and have won 36 games on New Year’s Day, more than any other side in the history of English Football League.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s home side took the lead on 40 minutes when Martial dispatched a header from Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s cross. The French striker ghosted between two defenders to give United a halftime lead.

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Aston Villa, who had defeated Liverpool 7-2 earlier in the season, did not back down and fashioned chances early in the second period and finally got their reward on 58 minutes.

A quickly taken free-kick saw Jack Grealish setup Bertrand Traore to slot beyond David de Gea for 1-1.

Man United, however, went to the opposite box and won a penalty from the restart through Paul Pogba.

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The French midfielder, who had his best game in a long while, was brought down by Douglas Luiz and the spot-kick was awarded after a VAR review.

It was United’s 27th penalty since Solskjaer took charge, and Fernandes buried his kick in the bottom left-hand corner for his 11th league goal of the season.

The win takes United to 33 points from 16 games, the same tally as Liverpool, the league leaders, but with an inferior goals difference to the champions.

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