Manchester United have now picked up 15 points from losing positions so far this Premier League season and Sir Alex Ferguson's men seem quite comfortable playing catch up in each game. Chicharito came on in the second half to score two goals plus a goal that was eventually ruled an own goal, to give United all three points against a formidable Aston Villa side.
It is an odd thing but The Red Devils only look like world beaters when their backs are against the wall and they certainly were up against it at Villa Park on Saturday as a young Aston Villa team took a surprising 2-0 lead. In the first half, United looked lethargic and off the pace, never troubling Villa's defense. Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young who have provided a legitimate threat down the wings in recent games could not even get in one good cross between them and Villa's defense was up to the task each time. In a rare half of football, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney hardly registered a touch of the ball and most of United's play was centered in midfield where Paul Scholes looked, despite some great passes, like his age was catching up to him. Villa's clever play and effective counter-attack paid off when in the dying seconds of the first half, the superb Andreas Weimann coolly slammed home a cross from Christian Benteke. Benteke ran almost 50 yards with Smalling in pursuit but the Villa striker was able to shake the United defender off easily to provide the killer cross. United went into the break with Villa deservedly in the lead.
United began the second half exactly where they left off and were punished again by Weimann early when he tapped home another cross this time form Gabriel Agbonlahor. Two goals down after 50 minutes and United had to dig deep once again to save the match. With the introduction of Chicharito for the below par Young, United looked dangerous in attack and the Mexican striker continued his fine form for the club when he collected a fantastic pass from Scholes and was able to control it and put it through goalkeeper Brad Guzan's legs eight minutes later. The comeback was on and Chicharito was involved in United's next goal as well. Five minutes later, Chicharito was on the end of a nice cross from Rafael and was able to take a shot towards goal from a difficult angle. Replays showed that the ball did come off of Villa defender Ron Vlaar and the goal went down as an own goal but Chicharito was certainly claiming it. Villa never looked down and out however, and instead of throwing up their hands in defeat, they continued to cause problems for United, at one point forcing a fine save from David de Gea. The comeback was complete three minutes from time when Chicharito again popped up with a superb header from an equally superb free kick delivery from van Persie.
Villa were left shell-shocked at how United, once again, canceled their two goal lead and eventually snatched all three points away from them. United have cemented their position as comeback kings and it will be a tag they will not shy away from as they tend to play at their best when down. Chicharito made a significant difference in their play and fortunes, grabbing a brace for the club. Villa will feel seriously hard done by but perhaps can take away massive positives from their performance. United now move four points ahead of Chelsea who play on Sunday.
Man of the Match: Chicharito. The Mexican striker has proved in recent weeks why he must always be included in the team and can make an impact even off of the bench. Replays confirmed that Chicharito actually scored a brace and not a hat-trick but it is doubtful that anyone informed of this slight complication as he walked down the tunnel with the matchball.
Aston Villa: Brad Guzan; Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Enda Stevens, Matthew Lowton; Gabriel Agbonlahor, Ashley Westwood, Barry Bannan (Fabian Delph), Andreas Weimann (Brett Holman); Stephen Ireland (Karim El Ahmadi), Christian Benteke
Manchester United: David de Gea; Rafael, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling; Antonio Valencia, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young (Chicharito), Paul Scholes (Tom Cleverley); Wayne Rooney (Anderson), Robin van PersieAndreas Weimann, Aston Villa, Chicharito, Manchester, Manchester United, Premier League, Robin van Persie, Soccer