Match ends, Aston Villa 1, Manchester United 1.
- Falcao header cancels out Benteke goal
- Man Utd denied seventh straight win
- Agbonlahor sent off in second half
- United third, seven points off top
Ten-man Aston Villa ended Manchester United's six-game winning run with a hard-earned draw at Villa Park.
United dominated possession but fell behind to Christian Benteke's superb left-foot strike before Radamel Falcao headed them level after the break.
Gabriel Agbonlahor was dismissed for a challenge on Ashley Young, prompting United pressure and Michael Carrick's header was cleared off the line.
They could not force a winner and sit seven points behind leaders Chelsea.
The Blues could extend that lead if they win their game in hand at Stoke on Monday and United will look back at a timid first-half display as costly.
Manager Louis van Gaal asked his side to be better with ball before kick-off and they obliged with 76% of possession in the opening half an hour.
But against a Villa side without seven players because of injury or suspension, their dominance did not lead to clear-cut chances early on and they fell behind to Benteke's clinical finish.
He collected Fabian Delph's long free-kick to pull down inside the box, create space and fire into the top corner, giving fans hope of a first home win over United since 1995.
Villa's record is abysmal against the Red Devils, with just one win in 38 league outings and they will look to a smart David De Gea save from Benteke's early second-half header as a pivotal moment.
|Not used to seeing red...|
|Gabriel Agbonlahor was sent off for the first time in his 289-game Premier League career.|
From there on, United - operating a 3-4-3 system with Wayne Rooney in midfield - looked more probing and after Juan Mata and Robin van Persie were denied by keeper Brad Guzan, Falcao broke through.
His second goal for United arrived on his fourth league start and his header from Young's cross showcased the predator-like finishing he became so sought after for at Atletico Madrid.
In addition to earning a point, he completed 93% of his passes on the day and played a full 90 minutes for the first time but could not serve up a winner.
Lambert leapt from his bench in protest when Agbonlahor was shown a red card for what appeared an honest challenge on his former team-mate Young but the Villa boss will be delighted with the resilience his side showed thereafter.
Villa are the lowest-scoring side in England's top four divisions but defended admirably late on to move 12th in the table.
In the circumstances, they will likely be thrilled with a point, but United have now not lost in 19 games at Villa Park - the longest unbeaten away run in any fixture in top-flight history.
Carrick - again used in central defence - glanced a header goalwards from a corner but saw Jores Okore hook his effort clear and though Angel Di Maria was introduced from the bench, added cutting edge failed to materialise.
James Wilson also appeared from the bench and tested Guzan late on but Villa held out for a first point against United since 2010.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "We highlighted at the beginning we were down to bare bones in a system we weren't used to playing but I thought we looked great.
"I didn't think it was a sending off to be fair. Ashley Young has said to Brad Guzan that he made the foul on Gabriel Agbonlahor. That was not a sending off, everyone in the ground saw that.
"We changed the way we played, our passing was a lot better and we always have a threat up front. Look at the team, no Cleverley, Hutton, seven of them, a fantastic point."
- 1GuzanBooked at 75mins
- 23CissokhoSubstituted forBacunaat 80'minutes
- 10WeimannSubstituted forN'Zogbiaat 80'minutes
- 24C Sánchez
- 11AgbonlahorBooked at 65mins
- 1de Gea
- 25A ValenciaSubstituted forWilsonat 74'minutes
- 24FletcherSubstituted forBlackettat 45'minutesBooked at 75mins
- 20van PersieSubstituted forDi Maríaat 61'minutes
- 2da Silva
- 7Di María
- Lee Mason
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 1, Manchester United 1.
Attempt saved. James Wilson (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Michael Carrick.
Attempt saved. Carlos Sánchez (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fabian Delph.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jores Okore.
Phil Jones (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Charles N'Zogbia (Aston Villa).
Foul by Jonny Evans (Manchester United).
Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Fabian Delph.
Offside, Aston Villa. Leandro Bacuna tries a through ball, but Charles N'Zogbia is caught offside.
Offside, Aston Villa. Fabian Delph tries a through ball, but Charles N'Zogbia is caught offside.
Foul by Ashley Young (Manchester United).
Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Leandro Bacuna replaces Aly Cissokho.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Charles N'Zogbia replaces Andreas Weimann.
Foul by Tyler Blackett (Manchester United).
Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Jores Okore.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.