Burkina Faso’s Bertrand Traore in the 58th minute was not enough to secure at least a point for Aston Villa in a thrilling encounter with Manchester United on Friday night.
A resurgent Manchester United moved closed to Liverpool at the summit of the English Premier League (EPL) with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Villa at Old Trafford
The victory put them level on points and games played with champions and leaders Liverpool.
Manchester United trail their traditional rivals on goal difference with both teams on 33 points from 16 matches.
Liverpool travel to Southampton on Monday.
Manchester United stretched their unbeaten league run to 10 games as Bruno Fernandes capped another fine individual performance with a penalty kick.
This was after Bertrand Traore had cancelled out Anthony Martial’s opener for the home side.
The hosts had the upper hand in the first half and Martial forced an acrobatic save from Emiliano Martinez.
He later buried a superb diving header past the Aston Villa goalkeeper after Aaron-Wan Bissaka’s cross in the 40th minute.
The visitors came close through Ollie Watkins before Traore got on the end of a sharp Jack Grealish pass at the far post.
He beat Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea with a slick shot from close range in the 58th minute.
But Aston Villa’s joy was short-lived as Fernandes drilled his penalty kick into the bottom right corner three minutes later.
This came after Paul Pogba went down under a challenge from Douglas Luiz, with the spot-kick given after a VAR check.
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