The “bad” Nani showed up and was sent off for a mindless two footed tackle on Stiliyan Petrov. He got no support from Sir Alex.
“It was a red card. It was a naive tackle. He is not a malicious player but he has gone in with his foot raised off the ground and we cannot complain about it.”
Aston Villa dominated the early phase with Fabian Delph and Ashley Young splitting open the game with their pace down the flanks. They drew first blood when Carlos Cuellar scored through a long, looping header over the 6’5″ Van Der Saar.
Man Utd drew level when James Collins deflected Ryan Giggs fierce volley past Friedel for an own goal. After Wayne Rooney, 10 own goals are the highest contributor to Man Utd’s scoring.
Nani was sent of soon thereafter and for the next hour or so, United played a man down and came closest to scoring again as Villa failed to capitalize on their numerical advantage. It was left to Brad Friedel to come up with some stunning saves particularly against Michael Carrick and Rooney.