Unai Emery’s first game at the helm saw Aston Villa beat Manchester United 3-1 at Villa Park.
Emery last faced United in the 2021/22 Champions League campaign with Villareal losing both games, one thanks to an injury time Cristiano Ronaldo winner and the other a strong 2-0 victory in Michael Carrick’s first game as caretaker manager. However, despite these victories, many fans will look back on the 2021 Europa League final in which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United lost 2-1 to Emery’s Villareal, still grudging the Spanish boss.
Aston Villa went into the game with one win in six games, whereas United had four wins in six games.
United and Villa had played each other 195 times, with United winning 102, drawing 42 and losing 51. Thus, results favoured the Manchester side, but Emery’s men challenged this and claimed a thoroughly deserved victory.
Villa started the game excellently with Leon Bailey scoring within seven minutes.
It turned from bad to worse for Ten Hag’s men as Lucas Digne smashed in a well-placed freekick in the 11th minute.
United looked to get back into the game, beginning to control possession better after a shaky start, but struggled to find that potent killer instinct offensively.
It took a 45th minute deflected shot from Luke Shaw to break through Villa’s resilient defence giving this on form United side hope for the 2nd half.
However, this hope was instantly torn away as in the 49th minute Jacob Ramsey belted in a top corner finish from inside the box to squash any momentum the Red Devils had.
United then piled on the pressure to try salvage something from the game but failed to create anything clear cut as Emi Martinez dominated the penalty area.
Ten Hag made a triple substitution which saw Anthony Martial, Tyrell Malacia and Anthony Elanga come on in the hope of avoiding ending their seven-game unbeaten run.
The substitutes failed to make the desired impact as Villa began to gradually slow the game down and seal this historic victory.
Ultimately, Villa stayed firm and secured a historic first home win against Manchester United since 1955 to top off a brilliant first game for Unai Emery.
On Thursday, the fixture is reversed as United host Villa at Old Trafford in the League Cup 3rd round.
Ten Hag will be hoping for a much better performance hoping to get them through to the 4th round in the hunt for long overdue silverware at Old Trafford.