The FA Cup could prove Manchester United’s salvation again – 32 years later.
It was in 1990 when Alex ferguson, was not knighted and continued his work at Old Trafford.
But run to the final and win the rematch Crystal Palace proved the catalyst for all that was to come.
Just before that run took place, a banner was put up at Old Trafford calling for Fergie to leave.
This is probably the lowest score the club has since.
It says something about United’s decline that supporters are now clinging to in the contest to provide some relief in a season that threatens to end up in mid-table mediocrity.
That is unless they plan to win the Champions League – no, I don’t think so either.
Last night’s victory came in the eighth minute Scott McTominay header but Aston Villa will find it difficult because they are the better team.
Their 50th minute ‘equalizer’ was ruled out by a protracted VAR decision that left them with a huge sense of injustice.
Ralf Rangnick will only be happy for victory, achieved without Cristiano Ronaldo who had suffered a hip injury, although there is now a clear difference in performance both directions due to his absence.
This is disgusting, but not great.
Still a 12-time winning team into the next round and a home meeting with Middlesbrough will open the door to the fifth round.
United started the game with the front foot and took the lead just eight minutes after finishing McFred.
The two midfield players combined to good effect as Fred made a superb low with his left foot and McTominay added the nod needed to help it in.
‘VAR is taking too long’ – Mark Halsey
By Mark Halsey
STEVEN GERRARD will be disappointed to see Danny Ings’ equalizer knocked out by a Jacob Ramsey tackle on Edinson Cavani.
The Aston Villa midfielder moved into Cavani’s path and blocked the Manchester United striker from heading the ball.
Ramsey was caught offside from a John McGinn free-kick and that is not an offense in itself.
But Ramsey’s movement affected Cavani’s ability to challenge the ball.
That means the Villa player interfered with the opponent under Rule 11: Offside.
Controversy is that it took too long for VAR and referee Michael Oliver to come to a decision.
And it’s also unfair that only FA Cup matches in the Premier League have VAR, and other teams don’t. It is bringing the integrity of the contest into question.
However, from that point until halftime it was Aston Villa who were at their peak and wondered how they were unbalanced at the break.
Manager Steven Gerrard turned and stared down at the Stretford End as he received a predictable welcome as he took to the field and his team was unchallenged by the Old Trafford crowd and also the experience when they were under pressure .
From Douglas Luiz’s corner, Victor Lindelof nearly gave an unwanted assist by nodding and Ollie Watkins failed to finish in the far corner.
Emiliano Buendia had a run and a cross that needed a touch but Danny Ings couldn’t get close.
John McGinn’s long-range effort was missed David de Gea.
Then, when Lindelof failed to control Tyrone Mings’ long pass, Watkins was in. He went back inside the retreating United defence and unleashed a shot wide of the post while De Gea was beaten.
Gerrard holds his head in despair, when will their reward come?
United were in disarray but at least got back into the game just before the break with long-range shots from Luke Shaw and McTominay reminding Villa that they still possessed their own threat.
It was a good first half between two strong sides.
They both wanted this and five minutes later Villa thought they were level
McGinn takes a free kick which Ezri Konsa heads back into the box, which misses to the post of Ings.
It was ultimately ruled out, but it is unclear whether it was offside, handball or fouled by Jacob Ramsey on Edinson Cavani.
It’s the latter in the end but the fans in the stadium aren’t the wiser
Villa’s sense of injustice was heightened when the flag was raised to deny them shortly after the game was restarted as this time Ings was correctly ruled offside as he broke through before passing to Watkins. , who went home.
The visitors didn’t give up and Matthew Cash’s thunderous shot into the corner near the goal was cautiously neutralized by De Gea.
United replied but when Marcus Rashford Rashford made a tight shot, the ball narrowly missed the post before goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to the discomfort of Stretford End.
Still United hold out when the game is over
A large banner above the tunnel was unfurled before the match began with images of Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and Roy Keane with the word ‘Standard’.
They are nowhere near the demands of this club and its fans.
Still a win is a win and that’s all you can say about it.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17281408/manchester-united-aston-villa-match-report-fa-cup/ McTominay header drags Rangnick’s men into FA Cup 4th round with VAR help