Philippe Coutinho and Jacob Ramsey set each other up for late goals as Aston Villa stunned Manchester United with a 2-2 draw at Villa Park on Saturday.
United led 2-0 on a pair of Bruno Fernandes goals but just ran out of gas after a dominant first half. The Villans took control for the latter part of the first half but didn’t find the goal to make it 1-1, and wouldn’t felt unlucky to be down two.
But the second half was all Villa aside from Fernandes’ second goal, as Coutinho’s 68th-minute entry saw him assist Ramsey within 10 minutes before scoring the equalizer in the 81st minute.
Villa’s point moves it 13th with 23, while United inches to 32 points. That’s five points back of fourth-place West Ham.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United final score
Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester United
Scorers: Fernandes 6, 67′; Ramsey 77′, Coutinho 81′
Shot attempts: Aston Villa 13-13 Manchester United
Shots on goal: Aston Villa 9-6 Manchester United
Possession: Aston Villa 55-45 Manchester United
Three things we learned from Aston Villa vs Manchester United
1. Don’t sleep on Philippe: He had less than a quarter of an hour to make the difference, and Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho danced on Manchester United like he was still playing for Liverpool. His 32 minutes only saw about 16 touches of the ball, but one was an assist, another was a goal, and a third was a shot on target. He hasn’t been a featured player in some time, but Coutinho is not terribly far removed from a double-digit goal and assist season on loan to Bayern Munich. Steven Gerrard is tapping his temple like the famous meme right now, members only.
2. Rangnick’s men run out of steam: Those who criticized Cristiano Ronaldo’s pressing work rate would’ve been yelling, “See?!? See?!?” at their TV screens as Manchester United buzzed all over Villa in the opening 30 minutes, as it was the hosts were trying to hold firm under siege. But the Red Devils had no gas left in the tank during a second half of struggle, and Rangnick didn’t sub until the 78th minute (Jadon Sancho). Only two more followed as Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek said hello for 89th-minute cameos. It took all of one half to go from buzzing to buzz-sawed.
3. Villa’s left side electric: Lucas Digne looked like a man let out of a cage as he went from Rafa Benitez’s doghouse at Everton straight into Steven Gerrard’s first team. The ex-Barcelona man set the stage for Coutinho’s entry by combining with Ramsey and Emiliano Buendia to help Villa surge back. The left side was pretty much perfect aside from Digne’s yellow card, and perhaps this game could’ve fallen in the win column if star goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez didn’t bungle Fernandes’ early shot in true howler fashion
Man of the Match: Jacob Ramsey
The kid was buzzing and benefited well from Digne and Buendia around him. We’re talking a goal, assist, two shots, and a perfect 3-for-3 on dribbles.
Rare Martinez error puts Villa behind
Even the best players make bad plays and that’s certainly the case for Emiliano Martinez.
The Villa keeper has been amongst the most consistent performers in the league since leaving Arsenal and show-stopping saves are far more common than mistakes.
This, however, leaves no room for debate. It’s bad.
Philippe Coutinho didn’t need too many touches to make his impact on a draw, and he only had about a half an hour.
The Brazilian will be buzzing to get more time on the pitch as he joins Emiliano Buendia in supplying big-time service.
The goal, it’s just a cherry on top.