Mexican hotshot Javier Hernandez delivered the knock-out blow at Villa Park as Man United fought back from two-goals down to win 3-2 and maintain their place at the Premier League summit.
Villa were in dreamland after a Andreas Weimann double put the home side 2-0 up after 50 minutes, but their dreams of securing the club’s second ever win over United were shattered by the Mexican, as the visitor’s superior class saw them through what was a thrilling match.
United were at fault for his second, as Paul Scholes gave the ball away leaving the middle of the pitch completely open for the Villa counter-attack. Gabriel Agbonlahor received the ball on the left-wing and his across-goal pass found Weimann at the far post, getting the better of Rio Ferdinand in the process.
But it took only eight minutes for The Red Devils to strike back, Scholes making up for his earlier mistake by providing a perfect long-ball for Hernandez who controlled well and poked the ball through the oncoming Brad Guzan and into the net.
United’s second came from the Mexican again, his shot cannoning of Ron Vlaar into his own net, but you wouldn’t want to take the match-ball away from Hernandez, who should receive the credit after some tremendous skill and a powerful drive.
Villa tried all they could to hold on, but their opponents’ relentless attacks took their toll two minutes before time and Hernandez clinched the win with a headed goal close to goal following a looping Robin Van Persie free-kick.
It was another escape act from the league leaders, who strengthen their position at the top by going four points clear of Chelsea.
Paul Lambert, meanwhile, will find plenty of positives from his side’s efforts, but will certainly face a fresh barrage of controversy over his future at the club following another loss.