By Charlene Cole
Monday 31 Mar 2008 18:47:06
Browse all Aston Villa FansOnline articles
Crushed by on song United
A spectacular 4-0 performance from Man United at home leaves Villa's travelling fans devastated. On a depressing evening at Old Trafford United stretched their Premiership lead by six points, after goals by Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney respectively secured all three points for the Reds.
Despite a promising opening from Villa, the visitors slumped to their third consecutive defeat.In the early stages Villa performed well seeing off threats when Nigel Reo-Coker blocked.Just a minute later a right foot drive from Ashley Young picked up from a Reo-Coker centre was deflected over the bar by Wes Brown.
Later on John Carew tried to get a piece of the action, shooting from the distance only to see his effort deflected by an alert Rio Ferdinand. To round off an action packed opening ten minutes Olof Mellberg in central defence sprung to the rescue, sliding in to deny Tevez at the 10th minute.
A minute later Ronaldo tested the waters shooting low from the edge of the box only to be denied by Scott Carson.Although it was not long till the hosts opened up the scoring when on the 17th minute Villa failed to clear a Ryan Giggs corner that Cristiano Ronaldo cleverly flicked with a back heel past Carson.
Undeterred Carew almost levelled less than two minutes after as he sent a low angled drive past the post when shooting from 25 yards.
United added a second to their tally soon after, doubling their advantage when live-wire Ronaldo crossed from the right and Carlos Tevez's downward header hit the back of the net.
Just before the interval Ashley Young spoilt a chance when he fired high over the bar after meeting a pass from Barry on the edge of the box.
After half time Villa set about braking the United defence as Bouma fired straight into Kuszcak's clutches, who was in goal in place of a rested Edwin Van der Sar.
Rooney had the opportunity to make it a treble on 49 but fired wide after swapping passes with Tevez. Shaun Maloney missed Villa's best chance of getting off the mark, after he raced to latch onto Carson's long clearance but his low shot drifted past the post.
Villa's main nemesis of the day Ronaldo was then denied on 52 when Carson deflected the Portuguese's rising shot.
However the moment was short lived when Rooney fired in his first of the game. He added to the scoreline after finding space in the Villa box to round Carson and slot in on 53.
Maloney tried to make a change to circumstances minutes later with an angled drive on the left but it was tipped onto the bar by the United keeper.
From then on the chances came thick and fast. Petrov's rising drive eclipsed the bar on 61 followed by a Tevez right footed effort going wide at the opposite end two minutes later.
Tevez again sixty seconds later looked to extend the lead again but ended up heading wide from an Owen Hargreaves right wing centre.
On 66 Gabriel Aghonlahor's header from a Young corner was intercepted by Brown. A sign of things to come was seen on 67 when Rooney shook the post with a right footed flick before adding to Villa's worsening nightmare when the striker added United's fourth and final goal by slotting home a Ronaldo pass on 70. Rooney was denied a hat-trick however when the linesman ruled him to be offside on 78.
In a last ditch attempt Maloney sliced a right footed shot wide on 88 ending the evening in disappointment.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson post match told BBC Sport: "The players reached a peak last week and we've continued that. They realise now it's a race to the line, we need consistency and real focus and we showed fantastic energy.

"The title doesn't feel that close for us, but there is great confidence in the way the team is playing and that's great at this time of the year."


Whilst Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill commented: "If you could ever try to set the benchmark, that's it. We came up against a team on top of their game; we have to admit they were splendid. He added: "There were things there to give us heart. The scoreline was pretty strong, but we had one or two chances that could have made it more respectable."



Man Utd: Kuszczak, Brown, Ferdinand (Hargreaves 62), Vidic, Evra (O'Shea 62), Ronaldo, Carrick (Anderson 61), Scholes, Giggs, Tevez, Rooney.
Subs Not Used: Foster, Park.

Booked: Vidic (60) 

Goals: Ronaldo 17, Tevez 33, Rooney 53, 70.

Aston Villa: Carson, Reo-Coker, Mellberg, Laursen, Bouma (Osbourne 80), Agbonlahor, Petrov, Barry, Young, Harewood (Salifou 69), Carew (Maloney 41).
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Knight.

Booked: Bouma (22) 

Att: 75,932

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

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