Sunday 10 November 2013
Substitute Javier Hernandez inspired a stirring comeback as Manchester United came from 2-0 down to earn a 3-2 victory in a pulsating encounter at Villa Park.
Paul Lambert's Villa side shocked the Barclays Premier League leaders with two Andreas Weimann goals either side of half-time, but a Ron Vlaar own goal sandwiched between two Hernandez goals was enough to give Sir Alex Ferguson's visiting side a four-point lead at the top of the table.
The hosts, fielding seven players aged 23 years or younger, came out firing in the opening period and took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Weimann rifled a strike past David De Gea from a measured Christian Benteke cut back, which came after a powerful run down the left channel.
Shortly after the interval, Weimann doubled his and Villa's tally with a side-footed finish on 50 minutes.
But Hernandez, who came on as a half-time replacement for Ashley Young, sparked a Man Utd revival and pulled a goal back just before the hour mark, as he stroked the ball past goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Then the Mexico international played a key role in the leveller as his strike was deflected in by Villa defender Vlaar. The visitors piled on the pressure late on and Hernandez completed a fine comeback with a stooping header from a Robin van Persie free-kick three minutes from time.
The win was the 14th in Man Utd's last 16 matches and they took their tally of points gained from losing positions to a remarkable 15. Spirited comebacks proved to be a common theme of United's season as they went on to claim their 13th Premier League title by nine points in Ferguson’s last campaign in charge. They sealed the title with a 3-0 victory over Villa in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.
Lambert's Villa side went on to secure their Premier League status with a run of five wins from their last nine matches of the 2012/13 campaign.