Wayne Rooney (7 mins)
Danny Welbeck (43 mins)
Wayne Rooney (73 mins)
Luis Nani ((90 + 3 mins) mins)
Barclays Premier League
, Apr 15, 2012
Ground: Old Trafford , Kickoff: 16:00 , Att 75,138
De Gea relishing every game Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is loving his first Barclays Premier League campaign.
After a difficult start to his Red Devils career, De Gea has emerged as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's key men on their drive towards a record 20th championship.
The Spain Under-21 international's resolve remains in tact, even after the 1-0 midweek defeat at Wigan.
And, ahead of Sunday's Old Trafford encounter with Aston Villa, De Gea has revealed how excited he is about the thought of what lies ahead.
"I am really enjoying it," he said.
"We can't wait for each game and I want the Aston Villa match to come round as quickly as possible.
"There is a little way to go yet and we still have plenty of work to do.
"But the dressing room is very positive. We intend to keep fighting and maintain that advantage." To that end, De Gea believes the shock defeat at Wigan might prove to be a good thing.
After a series of sluggish displays, United were overcome by a Latics outfit who controlled long periods of the game.
It provided a pretty stern reminder that victories cannot be taken for granted - a lesson De Gea is confident will be heeded.
"It was a disappointment but sometimes games like that can be a wake-up call," he said.
"It reminded us that anyone is capable of winning games in this league, against any opposition.
"It will make us even more focused going into these last five games and make sure we carry on that battle for the title." It brought to an end United's eight-match winning run, and also represented their first Premier League defeat since the beginning of January.
That loss at Newcastle provided the trigger for an amazing sequence of results, from which the Red Devils connected 34 points from a possible 36 - turning their status from potential runners-up behind Manchester City to champions elect.
Part of the reason, De Gea notes, is stability at the back, where Jonny Evans has impressed alongside Rio Ferdinand and either Rafael or Phil Jones have been consistent at right-back.
"Having the same players around doesn't just help me - it is the defenders themselves," said De Gea.
"It is a real positive for them because you get that consistency and continuity, which makes it far easier." Ferguson has confirmed Paul Scholes will return for United in midfield, while Javier Hernandez's place is at risk after an ineffective display at Wigan.
Portugal winger Nani will also hope to be a more central figure after making little impact on his return from an ankle injury.
Aston Villa newcomer Andreas Weimann is relishing his first visit to Old Trafford and hopes to help Alex McLeish's side pull off another shock result against United.
The Austrian Under-21 player has made an instant impact since breaking into the Villa first team with the winner against Fulham and a spectacular goal in Monday's draw against Stoke.
Now Weimann is hoping Villa can repeat their surprise win at Chelsea and draw at Liverpool when they face the Red Devils.
He said: "We are all looking forward because Old Trafford is a brilliant place and I think we will go there positive.
"They are the games as a young player you want to play in and I've never been to Old Trafford so to be involved will be brilliant.
"Manchester United have been a top team for years and to go there is special.
"But we are not going there thinking we are going to lose. We are going to try and get something out of the game.
"It's not long ago that Gabby (Agbonlahor) scored the winner there so why not again? "We drew against a big club away in Liverpool and won at another in Chelsea so why can't we do it again." Weimann, a product of Villa's academy, is also targeting earning a first senior call-up from his country.
He said: "That is a goal for me. I've played for the Under-21s and, to play for the first team of your country, is probably the biggest honour you can have.
"I have to try and get into that team. There are World Cup qualifiers in September. I'll just keep playing here, as many games as I can, and that will help me." Villa boss Alex McLeish will check on the fitness of Chris Herd and Stephen Warnock.
Herd suffered a head injury against Stoke while Warnock was substituted with an ankle problem. Charles N'Zogbia and Gary Gardner will be in contention to replace the duo if ruled out.
Man Utd vs Aston Villa
Last modified 18:17 15/04/12
Young in more diving controversy as United romp Ashley Young was branded "a disgrace" by fellow Premier League player Ryan Taylor after the Manchester United star was involved in yet another penalty controversy in the 4-0 hammering of Aston Villa.
Wayne Rooney converted the sixth-minute spot-kick and added another, with Danny Welbeck and Nani also on target as United responded in perfect fashion to Manchester City's six-goal salvo yesterday to re-establish a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Villa remain in trouble, six points clear of third-bottom Bolton, who also have a game in hand.
But, with four games to go, it is the battle at the top that is concentrating minds, and the behaviour of Young that is provoking ire.
Seven days ago, the former Aston Villa man was at the centre of a diving row when he went down under minimal contact from Shaun Derry.
As the FA upheld Derry's suspension, Young's behaviour was excused, even if his reputation took a knock.
Now there will be more questions about his willingness to bend the rules.
Newcastle's Taylor led the chorus of disapproval, branding Young "an absolute disgrace" on Twitter, adding: "He's the biggest cheat in the league. His antics are a joke." The comment was hastily removed, although not before reaction had flashed around the world.
England legend Gary Lineker suggested Young could end up with an unwanted reputation if he keeps reacting in this way.
In an era where forwards tend to go down under the slightest contact, Young's theatrical fall did come after he was touched by Ciaran Clark.
Not enough to tip the England man over, though, and the incident did Young little credit.
In the context of relieving the pressure in a title fight that has had new life injected into it by a combination of City finding their form again and United losing at Wigan, it was a present.
Rooney kept his nerve and sent Shay Given the wrong way.
It was his 30th goal of the season and the 10th time he has scored against Given, now top of the list of his favourite keepers.
United dominated thereafter. Given's reaction save denied Welbeck, recalled along with veteran midfielder Paul Scholes, who met two thunderous volleys perfectly.
Given kept out the first, the second whistled wide at astonishing speed.
Though clearly limited, Villa did enough to keep their band of supporters interested and both Clark and Stephen Ireland went close during rare counter-attacks.
United needed a second to calm any remaining nerves and Nathan Baker duly provided a gift shortly before the break.
In allowing Patrice Evra's low cross to run under his leg at the far-post, Baker presumably thought the ball was heading out for a goal-kick.
He was mistaken.
Instead, Welbeck slid in to nudge home from close range, his 11th goal of the season, but only his second since January.
It was a defensive lapse that has been so prominent in Villa's season to date and clearly the finishing line cannot come soon enough.
They do have some tricky hurdles to negotiate yet, though, including a home encounter with Bolton, and the loss of Clark, who was groggily helped off after trying to continue following an accidental clash with Patrice Evra, did not help matters.
His replacement, Emile Heskey, came closest for the visitors not long afterwards.
But after his header was tipped over by David de Gea, Rooney spurned a golden opportunity when he mis-hit a 10-yard effort and sent it bobbling harmlessly wide.
It was not long before another chance came Rooney's way.
And this time it ended up in the net, thanks to a significant deflection off James Collins.
Before Villa could restart, Rooney was replaced by Dimitar Berbatov.
It did not seem to be a change the striker was entirely in agreement with.
However, with the clock ticking down on Berbatov's mercurial United career, the home fans did welcome the Bulgarian enthusiastically.
It was Nani, who had been introduced for Young after an hour, who provided the final flourish, though, finishing Jonny Evans' lay-off in cool fashion before a trademark somersault celebration.
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Substitution||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Rating|
|1||David De Gea|
|21||Rafael Da Silva|
|22||Paul Scholes(sub 77)|
|18||Ashley Young(sub 60)|
|10||Wayne Rooney(sub 73)|
|9||Dimitar Berbatov(sub 73)|
|17||Luis Nani(sub 60)|
|23||Tom Cleverley(sub 77)|
|Player rating out of ten||Player name||Did they score?||Player's disciplinary record||Substitution||Rating|
|7||Stephen Ireland(sub 74)|
|21||Ciaran Clark(sub 63)|
|26||Andreas Weimann(sub 82)|
|10||Charles N'Zogbia(sub 82)|
|18||Emile Heskey(sub 63)|
|40||Samir Carruthers(sub 74)|
|Team||Man Utd||Aston Villa|