Premier League
Aston Villa0Man Utd3

Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United

Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck (left) scores his side's second against Aston Villa

Danny Welbeck scored twice as Manchester United avoided a third Premier League defeat in a row by overwhelming Aston Villa.

Welbeck's goals came in the space of three minutes - his opener coming when he slotted in after Adnan Januzaj's header rebounded off the post.

The England striker then slid in to score from Antonio Valencia's cross.

David Moyes

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Moyes glad to see Welbeck scoring

Villa struggled to cope with the visitors and Wayne Rooney set up Tom Cleverley to drive in a third.

United had picked up just two points from their previous four league matches but the style with which they saw off Villa hinted at a return of form and confidence.

The Red Devils are still 10 points behind top-flight leaders Arsenal and seven points adrift of the top four, but they made sure they did not lose a third Premier League game in succession for the first time since December 2001.

Villa had not beaten United at home since 1995 and that record only ever looked like being extended as they lost for the fifth time in eight league outings at their Midlands base.

The home side were hoping to take capitalise on United's poor form and applied some early pressure, with winger Marc Albrighton twice shooting from distance, only for his efforts to be comfortably saved by keeper David De Gea.

However, the visitors responded in emphatic fashion, with two goals from Welbeck putting them firmly in command by half-time.

Rafael's determination helped him cross from the right and, after the unmarked Januzaj's header came back off the inside of the post, Welbeck reacted quickest to side-foot in the rebound from six yards.

The home side barely had time to recover before falling further behind. Villa defender Nathan Baker gave the ball away and Welbeck laid a pass off to right-winger Valencia before charging into the area and beating Januzaj to slot in the Ecuadorian's low cross.

The uplift in United's demeanour from the two goals was palpable and they slickly scythed through Villa with a regularity and ease that threatened more goals.

The pace and trickery of Valencia was particularly potent, and he pulled the ball back for Rooney to drag a shot wide before threading a pass through to Welbeck, who angled his effort beyond Villa keeper Brad Guzan's right-hand post.

Paul Lambert

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Man Utd were clinical - Lambert

Villa rarely troubled De Gea as striker Christian Benteke continued to look out of sorts and notched up a 10th game without scoring.

And United wrapped up the win when the impressive Rooney slid a lovely weighted ball into the path of Cleverley, who scored his first league goal a year to the day since his last one.

Another positive note for United was the 70th-minute introduction of midfielder Darren Fletcher, who returned to first-team action for the first time since Boxing Day last year as he continues his recovery after bowel surgery.

See a photo gallery of all the action from Sunday's Premier League matches on the BBC Sport Facebook site.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert:

"I thought we started as well as we have done for a number of weeks but the first goal was poor as we should have stopped the cross.

"The second and third goals, we were in possession before they scored.

"The pleasing thing is we never gave up. The disappointing thing for me is the manner of the goals."

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 34LowtonBooked at 65mins
  • 14Luna
  • 15Westwood
  • 6ClarkBooked at 73mins
  • 2BakerBooked at 78mins
  • 8El AhmadiSubstituted forBacunaat 86'minutes
  • 18SyllaSubstituted forWeimannat 62'minutes
  • 20BentekeSubstituted forKozákat 79'minutes
  • 12Albrighton
  • 11AgbonlahorBooked at 50mins

Substitutes

  • 7Bacuna
  • 10Weimann
  • 13Steer
  • 21Bowery
  • 22Gardner
  • 24Tonev
  • 27Kozák

Man Utd

  • 1de GeaBooked at 50mins
  • 2Rafael
  • 3Evra
  • 23Cleverley
  • 4Jones
  • 6Evans
  • 25A Valencia
  • 11GiggsSubstituted forFletcherat 70'minutes
  • 19WelbeckBooked at 78mins
  • 10RooneySubstituted forZahaat 84'minutes
  • 44JanuzajSubstituted forYoungat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Ferdinand
  • 13Lindegaard
  • 18Young
  • 22Fabio
  • 24Fletcher
  • 28Büttner
  • 29Zaha
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
42,682

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamMan Utd
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home17
Away14
Shots on Target
Home6
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home15
Away8

Live Text

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal1611231635
2Liverpool1610332133
3Chelsea1610331433
4Man City1610242932
5Everton168711231
6Newcastle16835-127
7Tottenham16835-627
8Man Utd16745625
9Southampton16664524
10Swansea16556120
11Aston Villa16547-519
12Hull16547-619
13Stoke16466-518
14Norwich16538-1418
15Cardiff16457-1017
16West Brom16367-515
17West Ham16358-614
18Crystal Palace164111-1313
19Fulham164111-1513
20Sunderland162311-189
View full Premier League table

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