Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United

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Januzaj 29′

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Adnan Januzaj

Adnan Januzaj scored his first Manchester United goal since 5 April 2014 against Newcastle

14 August 2015
Last updated at
22:25

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By Timothy Abraham
BBC Sport

Manchester United maintained their impressive record at Villa Park as they beat Aston Villa thanks to Adnan Januzaj's first-half strike.

Januzaj, who made a rare start having been linked with a loan move away, scored as United took their unbeaten run at the ground to 20 league matches.

The winger put United ahead when he got on the end of Juan Mata's incisive pass and finished from close range.

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

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Januzaj must do more than score – Van Gaal

Villa rarely threatened as the Red Devils kept a second clean sheet.

The victory lifted United to the top of the Premier League table for the first time since August 2013.

Memphis Depay had a chance to increase the margin of victory after the break when he was slipped in by Mata, but could only curl his shot past the post.

Villa only sporadically put the United defence under pressure with forward Gabby Agbonlahor's header from a corner the best chance that the home side could muster.

Relive Manchester United's win over Aston Villa

Rooney lacking threat in attack

Rooney touch map

Striker Wayne Rooney was supposed to be the main man up front this season but the early signs have been a little worrying for United.

As in the opening game against Tottenham the United and England skipper struggled to make an impact leading the line.

And it was not until injury time that he touched the ball in the opposition penalty area, as demonstrated in this graphic.

Manchester United manager Van Gaal said before the season started that

he may not buy another strikerÂ

because Rooney could carry the club's goalscoring burden.

The player himself

has set a target of 20 goals in this campaign.

but United have only managed three shots on target in two games.

Given Rooney's lack of impact against Villa, Van Gaal may well have to revise his thinking before the transfer window closes.

Aston Villa's lack of goals still a worry

Villa sold striker

Christian Benteke to Liverpool for £32.5m

this summer and they looked poorer for the striker's absence against United.

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood

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Villa a work in progress – Sherwood

Time well tell if two of the players Villa manager Tim Sherwood signed to replace him – Jordan Ayew and Rudy Gestede – can fill the powerful Belgium international's boots in attack.

"The boys gave everything for the cause but we didn't carry enough attacking threat," Sherwood said.

"The attacking force wasn't there. It may be down to personnel missing who might give us a little cutting edge."

Januzaj forces his way into Van Gaal's plans

Van Gaal sprung something of a surprise with his selection of Januzaj – who was not even in the match day squad for

his side's 1-0 win over Tottenham

in their opening game of the season – ahead of Ashley Young.

The youngster has been widely tipped to leave Old Trafford on loan, with

Sunderland and Everton among those linkedÂ

with season-long deals.

Although he looked a little short of fitness it was a good performance as the central playmaker in an attacking triumvirate behind Rooney.

"You have to wait until we have closed the transfer period," Van Gaal said of Januzaj's future.

"I am pleased with the goal because it was a wonderful goal but you have to do more than scoring a goal."

Men of the match

Chris Smalling, Gabby Agbonlahor

Chris Smalling put in a commanding performance as he helped United secure back-to-back clean sheets

Much has been made of Manchester United's need to sign a new centre-back but having restricted Aston Villa to just one shot on target in this encounter the Red Devils look tight at the back.

Daley Blind and Chris Smalling have formed a solid pairing at the heart of the United defence and both players impressed as they snuffed out whatever threat Villa posed in the final third of the pitch.

England international Smalling's commanding presence in the air and his confident reading of the game meant he probably shaded it ahead of Blind.

Reaction

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal:

"I think we played better than last week. For an away match I am very happy. We kept the ball better in the first 20 minutes, we scored a fantastic goal. After that we were a little bit nervous but in the second half we played very controlled football and could have scored more than one."

Ashley Young tweet

Aston Villa captain Micah Richards:

"If you look at our team from the beginning of last season to this season there are some really exciting players – good ball players in midfield with power and pace all over. It is exciting times, not the result we wanted but we move on."

The stats you need to know

  • Januzaj's goal ended his drought of 1,169 minutes in the Premier League. It was his first since April 2014 against Newcastle.
  • Rooney has not scored an away goal in the Premier League since November 2014.
  • Mata has two assists in his last 20 Premier League appearances – both have come against Aston Villa.
  • Villa have now won just one of their past 40 Premier League games against Manchester United.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (5)

Aston Villa

  • 01 Guzan
  • 07 Bacuna
  • 04 Richards
  • 06 Clark
  • 23 Amavi
  • 17 Veretout (Sánchez – 78' )
  • 08 Gueye Booked
  • 15 Westwood
  • 19 J.Ayew Booked
  • 11 Agbonlahor
  • 09 Sinclair (Gestede – 59' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Baker
  • 18 Richardson
  • 21 Hutton
  • 24 Sánchez
  • 27 Kozák
  • 31 Bunn
  • 39 Gestede

Manchester United

  • 20 Romero
  • 36 Darmian Booked
  • 12 Smalling
  • 17 Blind
  • 23 Shaw
  • 16 Carrick (Schweinsteiger – 60' )
  • 28 Schneiderlin
  • 08 Mata
  • 11 Januzaj (Herrera – 60' Booked )
  • 07 Depay (Young – 82' )
  • 10 Rooney

Substitutes

  • 14 Hernández
  • 18 Young
  • 21 Herrera
  • 25 A Valencia
  • 31 Schweinsteiger
  • 33 McNair
  • 50 Johnstone

Ref: Mike Dean Att: 42,200

Match Stats

Possession

46

54

Shots

5

9

On target

1

2

Corners

3

5

Fouls

14

10

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Manchester United 1.

90:00 +3:35 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Manchester United 1.

90:00 +0:48

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +0:48

Foul by Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa).

90:00 +0:11 Booking

Booking Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +0:05

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:05

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

87:22

Offside, Manchester United. Juan Mata tries a through ball, but Wayne Rooney is caught offside.

86:57

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

86:57

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

85:34

Offside, Manchester United. Morgan Schneiderlin tries a through ball, but Wayne Rooney is caught offside.

83:28 Booking

Booking Matteo Darmian (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

83:22

Foul by Matteo Darmian (Manchester United).

83:22

Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

81:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Ashley Young replaces Memphis Depay.

79:42

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Daley Blind.

77:58

Foul by Memphis Depay (Manchester United).

77:58

Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Carlos Sánchez replaces Jordan Veretout.

77:20

Attempt saved. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ander Herrera.

75:09

Foul by Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

75:09

Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:27

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

73:10 Booking

Booking Ander Herrera (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

73:08

Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

73:08

Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

72:27

Attempt missed. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Juan Mata with a through ball.

71:42

Ander Herrera (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

71:42

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

70:55 Booking

Booking Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

70:52

Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) has gone down, but that's a dive.

68:58

Attempt missed. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

67:55

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:55

Foul by Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa).

66:53

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Leandro Bacuna.

66:45

Attempt blocked. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is blocked. Assisted by Juan Mata.

66:20

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Leandro Bacuna.

65:37

Luke Shaw (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

65:37

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

64:36

Matteo Darmian (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

64:36

Foul by Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa).

63:19

Ander Herrera (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:19

Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa).

62:19

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jordan Amavi.

60:12

Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

60:12

Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

59:50 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Bastian Schweinsteiger replaces Michael Carrick.

59:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Ander Herrera replaces Adnan Januzaj.

58:13 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Rudy Gestede replaces Scott Sinclair.

57:25

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jordan Amavi.

56:07

Attempt blocked. Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Gabriel Agbonlahor.

55:03

Foul by Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United).

55:03

Jordan Veretout (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:40

Attempt saved. Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Ashley Westwood with a cross.

54:15

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Matteo Darmian.

52:58

Foul by Matteo Darmian (Manchester United).

52:58

Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

47:23

Attempt missed. Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

47:04

Daley Blind (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

47:04

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

45:48

Offside, Manchester United. Luke Shaw tries a through ball, but Wayne Rooney is caught offside.

45:00

Second Half begins Aston Villa 0, Manchester United 1.

45:00 +1:04 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Manchester United 1.

42:50

Offside, Aston Villa. Leandro Bacuna tries a through ball, but Jordan Ayew is caught offside.

39:13

Michael Carrick (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:13

Foul by Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa).

38:28

Foul by Michael Carrick (Manchester United).

38:28

Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:25

Attempt missed. Micah Richards (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Ashley Westwood with a cross following a corner.

36:50

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

29:50

Offside, Aston Villa. Ashley Westwood tries a through ball, but Gabriel Agbonlahor is caught offside.

28:07 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Aston Villa 0, Manchester United 1. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Juan Mata with a through ball.

26:42

Attempt missed. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Adnan Januzaj.

22:38

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Micah Richards.

22:36

Attempt blocked. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

21:52

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:52

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

21:02

Attempt blocked. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.

17:34

Memphis Depay (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

17:34

Foul by Idrissa Gueye (Aston Villa).

15:43

Attempt missed. Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United) header from the right side of the six yard box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Memphis Depay with a cross following a set piece situation.

14:49

Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

14:49

Foul by Micah Richards (Aston Villa).

11:31

Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

11:31

Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

6:39

Offside, Aston Villa. Ashley Westwood tries a through ball, but Scott Sinclair is caught offside.

5:13

Offside, Aston Villa. Idrissa Gueye tries a through ball, but Leandro Bacuna is caught offside.

1:22

Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United).

1:22

Micah Richards (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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