Radamel Falcao rescued a point for Manchester United at Villa Park on Saturday with a brilliant second-half header as the Reds were held 1-1 by ten-man Aston Villa.
The Barclays Premier League’s lowest scorers took the lead against the run of play on 18 minutes through Christian Benteke’s fine finish, before Falcao struck early in the second period to earn a draw for United, who remain third in the table.
Louis van Gaal stuck with the same system which helped United overcome Liverpool last Sunday but he made two changes to the first XI with Darren Fletcher coming in for the ill Marouane Fellaini and Falcao starting his first match, in place of James Wilson, since Everton at home at the start of October.
It was Falcao’s strike partner, the in-form Robin van Persie, who had United’s first sightings of goal during a rather cagey opening quarter to the game. The first came on three minutes when the Dutchman was well found after a good surge down the left by former Villa winger Ashley Young, but van Persie scuffed his effort across the box rather than towards goal. He did manage to connect brilliantly with a superb cross-field pass from Wayne Rooney on 17 minutes however, but his right-foot volley was well gathered by Brad Guzan.
Despite not creating a whole host of openings, it had been all United up to that point so it came as something as a shock to everyone inside Villa Park when Paul Lambert’s side made the breakthrough a minute later.
Fabian Delph hoisted a free-kick into the box which was brought down by Benteke at the back post. The striker twisted and turned his way past Jonny