Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United fought back to beat Aston Villa after a fly-by protest by fans calling for manager David Moyes to be sacked.

A plane carrying an anti-Moyes banner was booed by some home fans as it flew over Old Trafford in the second minute.

Ashley Westwood's curling free-kick put Villa ahead but Rooney quickly headed United level, then scored from the spot after Leandro Bacuna fouled Juan Mata.

Mata slotted home a third before Javier Hernandez made it 4-1 in injury time.

David Moyes says most fans support him

Villa striker Christian Benteke missed two good second-half chances but, crucially for their under-pressure manager, United were convincing winners and Moyes enjoyed a very public show of support.

The aerial message organised by disgruntled United fans read "Wrong One - Moyes Out", but it was not well received by supporters inside the ground when it appeared overhead.

Just as significant was the reaction to Moyes emerging from the tunnel ahead of kick-off - before his players, unusually - with applause from all four sides of Old Trafford greeting his arrival.

That backing could easily have wavered when Westwood expertly bent a free-kick over the United wall and beyond a diving David De Gea in the 13th minute.

But the United fans continued to sing Moyes's name and saw their side level seven minutes later when Rooney expertly steered Shinji Kagawa's cross into the corner of the net.

The fly-by protest calling for Manchester United manager David Moyes to be sacked

The home side improved as the game went on, and took the lead just before half-time when Kagawa's pass, intended for Rooney, ran through to Mata inside the box. He turned inside Bacuna but was sent tumbling as the Villa defender dived in, and Rooney made no mistake from the spot.

Villa had their chances, with Benteke mis-kicking in front of goal from Westwood's cross and then heading over from a Marc Albrighton delivery.

Those misses were punished just before the hour when Marouane Fellaini helped the ball into Mata's path inside the box and the Spanish playmaker fired home his first goal since joining United for £37m in January.

Rooney ends home goal drought

Wayne Rooney's goals against Aston Villa were his first at Old Trafford since he found the net in a 3-2 win over Stoke on 26 October, ending a run of 11 home games in all competitions without scoring.

Rooney's brace also moves him up to fourth place in the all-time Premier League goalscorers list, with 171, behind Alan Shearer (260), Andy Cole (187) and Thierry Henry (175).

By now the hosts were finding plenty of space in and around the Villa area, but there were still some gaps in their defence too.

Benteke should have done better when he beat the offside trap to meet Ciaran Clark's ball into the box, but he failed to make a proper connection.

Bayern Munich, who visit Old Trafford in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, are unlikely to be so wasteful, but this time United's defensive lapses never threatened to spoil their victory.

Hernandez converted Adnan Januzaj's inviting cross to make it 4-1 in stoppage time and, at the final whistle, Moyes left the arena in the same way he had arrived - to loud applause.

Manchester United manager David Moyes: "Wayne Rooney has played great all season.

Scoreline harsh, says Lambert

"I said to him in the dressing room after the game that he is doing a great job for the team. He is getting the goals that we need and his all-round form and play have been very good too."

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert: "I thought 4-1 was harsh on us. We started the game great and scored a really good goal and we were looking pretty good.

"But then we conceded a pretty poor first goal and it was a clear penalty to United, no arguments about that.

"Just after the restart we had two incredible chances to peg it back and you have got to take chances like that.

"That is no criticism of Christian Benteke because he has scored vital goals for us and he will continue to do so but, on another day, we score a couple of goals and it becomes a different game."

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Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (5)

Manchester United

  • 01 de Gea
  • 02 Rafael Booked (Carrick - 45' )
  • 28 Büttner Booked
  • 24 Fletcher
  • 15 Vidic
  • 04 Jones
  • 18 Young
  • 31 Fellaini
  • 10 Rooney (Hernández - 75' )
  • 08 Mata
  • 26 Kagawa (Januzaj - 68' )

Substitutes

  • 11 Giggs
  • 14 Hernández
  • 16 Carrick
  • 17 Nani
  • 19 Welbeck
  • 40 Amos
  • 44 Januzaj

Aston Villa

  • 01 Guzan
  • 07 Bacuna Booked
  • 23 Bertrand Booked
  • 16 Delph
  • 04 Vlaar
  • 06 Clark Booked
  • 12 Albrighton (Lowton - 78' Booked )
  • 15 Westwood
  • 20 Benteke
  • 10 Weimann
  • 11 Agbonlahor (Tonev - 71' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Bennett
  • 13 Steer
  • 18 Sylla
  • 24 Tonev
  • 29 Holt
  • 34 Lowton
  • 37 Robinson
Ref: Martin Atkinson
Att: 75,368

Match Stats

Shots

9 10

On target

6 1

Corners

0 5

Fouls

10 17

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Manchester United 4, Aston Villa 1.

90:00 +3:11 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Manchester United 4, Aston Villa 1.

90:00 +2:23 Booking

Booking Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

90:00 +2:19

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

90:00 +2:19

Foul by Matthew Lowton (Aston Villa).

90:00 +0:20 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 4, Aston Villa 1. Javier Hernández (Manchester United) right footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Adnan Januzaj with a cross.

89:31

Attempt missed. Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Aleksandar Tonev.

87:25 Booking

Booking Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

87:21

Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:21

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

84:10

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

83:25

Hand ball by Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United).

80:10

Offside, Manchester United. David de Gea tries a through ball, but Adnan Januzaj is caught offside.

78:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Matthew Lowton replaces Marc Albrighton.

77:36

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:36

Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa).

77:00

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ciaran Clark.

75:57

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Nemanja Vidic.

75:29

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Phil Jones.

74:47 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Javier Hernández replaces Wayne Rooney.

74:20

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

71:55

Offside, Manchester United. Alexander Büttner tries a through ball, but Juan Mata is caught offside.

70:49

Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nemanja Vidic.

70:20 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Aleksandar Tonev replaces Gabriel Agbonlahor.

69:52

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:52

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

68:56

Attempt saved. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexander Büttner.

67:35 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Adnan Januzaj replaces Shinji Kagawa.

67:08

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

67:08

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

63:09 Booking

Booking Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

62:59

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:59

Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa).

62:21

Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

62:21

Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

60:31

Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

60:31

Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:45

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Alexander Büttner.

56:53 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 3, Aston Villa 1. Juan Mata (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

55:34

Darren Fletcher (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

55:34

Foul by Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa).

54:00

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:00

Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa).

53:48

Attempt missed. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Fabian Delph.

53:03

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross.

49:07

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Michael Carrick.

48:05

Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

48:05

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

45:47

Foul by Juan Mata (Manchester United).

45:47

Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

45:00

Second Half begins Manchester United 2, Aston Villa 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Manchester United. Michael Carrick replaces Rafael.

45:00 +2:15 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Manchester United 2, Aston Villa 1.

44:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 2, Aston Villa 1. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

44:00 Booking

Booking Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

43:51

Penalty Manchester United. Juan Mata draws a foul in the penalty area.

43:51

Penalty conceded by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) after a foul in the penalty area.

42:54

Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

36:44

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Nemanja Vidic.

34:51

Alexander Büttner (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

34:51

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

34:26

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

34:26

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

32:39

Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).

32:39

Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:34

Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

31:34

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

29:35

Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

29:35

Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

26:35

Attempt blocked. Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross.

25:59

Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

25:59

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa).

25:25

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

25:25

Foul by Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa).

22:10

Foul by Alexander Büttner (Manchester United).

22:10

Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:34

Attempt blocked. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Juan Mata.

20:58

Attempt blocked. Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Andreas Weimann.

19:31 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 1, Aston Villa 1. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Shinji Kagawa with a cross.

18:38

Offside, Aston Villa. Brad Guzan tries a through ball, but Gabriel Agbonlahor is caught offside.

17:54

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

17:14

Delay in match Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

16:17

Attempt missed. Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Marc Albrighton with a cross following a set piece situation.

15:53 Booking

Booking Alexander Büttner (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card.

15:07

Foul by Alexander Büttner (Manchester United).

15:07

Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

12:13 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Manchester United 0, Aston Villa 1. Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

11:14 Booking

Booking Rafael (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

11:10

Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

11:10

Foul by Rafael (Manchester United).

8:56

Attempt missed. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Juan Mata with a cross following a set piece situation.

8:14

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

8:14

Rafael (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

7:20

Offside, Aston Villa. Brad Guzan tries a through ball, but Gabriel Agbonlahor is caught offside.

6:41

Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

6:41

Foul by Rafael (Manchester United).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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