- Venue:Villa Park
- Referee:Walton, P
FULL TIME: ASTON VILLA 1-1 MANCHESTER UNITED. The Villa fans were getting on their side's back towards the end as they failed to pressurise the ten men regularly and, on balance, United probably deserved to take all three points in the end.
Downing's free-kick is missed by everyone before hitting Van Der Sar on the chest but Carew cannot react quick enough to head home.
Luis Valencia has been a very good outlet since he arrived at half time and he gives Luke Young more problems but his cross is well cut out.
A draw is still looking favourite here as we approach the final few moments - is there one last chance?
Carew goes down in the box...No penalty! The Norwegian striker turns Jonny Evans and falls in the area but the referee is not interested and waves play on.
Villa manage to get out of their own half and Cuellar drives to the byline to cut back towards the waiting Agbonlahor but Brown is there to cut it out.
Only one team look like they are going to create a match-winning chance here but United's legs are beginning to lag a little, could Villa finally assert themselves in the next ten minutes or so?
The game is being played in the Aston Villa half now with United pressing and probing for a winner.
If Villa have designs on forcing their way into the top four this season then these are the times they need to show it but they just don't seem to have it in them to beat the ten men.
More superb play from Rooney as he evades the attentions of three defenders with two delightful touches and forces a wonderful diving save from Friedel.
It does not look serious but Ferguson is replaced Ryan Giggs now with Dimitar Berbatov on - is that going for it?
Ryan Giggs is down with an injury at the moment, something to do with his arm, so play is stopped.
The ten men still look the better at the moment with VIlla struggling to impose themselves as they fail to keep hold of the ball.
Villa are on the back foot again now with United making the majority of the play and Fletcher lets fly from the edge of the box but Cuellar chucks his body in the way.
Another chance for the champions as Rooney collects the ball on the left flank and cuts back inside but his curling effort is over the bar.
Steve Sidwell is on for Villa now to replace Stiliyan Petrov in the heart of the midfield.
Antonio Valencia darts away down the right flank to eat the full back and cut the ball across the box but Friedel is there to make the save.
Ladies and gentlemen, Wayne Rooney! Wonderful football from the England man as he takes in Carrick's raking pass before holding off two defenders to fire inches wide of the far post. Friedel was scrambling.
Here we go! Martin O'Neill is going for it now as he takes of Fabian Delph and replaces him with John Carew.
That's a bit more like it from Villa and unsurprisingly its the industrious Milner at the heart of it as he drives to the edge of the box and stings the palms of Van Der Sar.
Still it is the visitors in the ascendancy with Giggs curling a delicious corner into the box and its Agbonlahor there to block Evans goalbound header.
Giggs orchestrating again as United pressurise from the left and Valencia has wandered into a central area to unleash a superb drive that rises only a fraction over the cross bar. Close!
Villa have been disappointing since the interval, they seem to be a bit pedestrian, maybe they are struggling to adapt to United's new look with Valencia on now.
United have started the second half the brighter you would have to say and Villa don't look too hungry to pressurise themselves.
Almost a explosive start to the second half with Darren Fletcher meeting Giggs' cross from the left but he fails to keep his header down.
The second half is underway - will it be as open? I hope so!
United are going to make a change at the break with Antonio Valencia replacing Paul Scholes. Interesting.
HALF TIME: ASTON VILLA 1-1 MANCHESTER UNITED. It's been all action here at Villa Park and, despite being down to ten men, United have passed the ball magnificently but Villa have to be favourites now.
Great goalkeeping! Giggs spots the run of Rooney through the centre but Friedel has timed his advance perfectly and he is there just in time to smother the ball before the England striker can get a toe to it.
Villa starting to apply the pressure a bit more vigorously with some direct running and quick passing - much better from the hosts.
Wayne Rooney has not had much of an impact so far and you would assume that with Villa a man up he will only get more isolated.
Having overcome the initial shock of being a man down you would have to say that United are applying a decent amount of pressure on the Villa defence.
Good save! Corner from the right from Giggs is headed out as far as Carrick on the edge of the box but he strikes it pure as he can and it if is a yard either side of the keeper then it's in, but Friedel can parry over.
Having seen further replays it seems to suggest that Nani's second foot joined in just before impact with the ball - still maybe a little harsh but you can see why the referee has dismissed him.
Villa are definitely on the front foot now as they look to capitalise on their man advantage immediately.
Oh dear! Nani is off for United after a slightly dodgy challenge but it's not two-footed and he does seem to take the ball. Fergie won't be happy. Big moment!
Jonny Evans picks up the first yellow card of the night.
United starting to get into a bit of a rhythm now with some good passing between the midfield triumvate of Scholes, Fletcher and Carrick keeping the Villa midfield men occupied.
Going behind really did spark the Red Devils into life with Collins having already made a superb block in the six yard box to stop Scholes levelling moments earlier.
ASTON VILLA 1-1 MANCHESTER UNITED. What was I saying about tight? Lovely cross from Nani but Giggs looks to have dragged his volley wide until it deflects into the corner off the unfortunate JAMES COLLINS.
ASTON VILLA 1-0 MANCHESTER UNITED. Villa lead! A good spell of pressure from the hosts and they now lead as Young's corner is headed perfectly over Van Der Sar by CARLOS CUELLAR.
If you had to pick a team on top it would just about be Villa at the moment but its quite tight in the middle of the park and the free-flowing football we are hoping for is yet to materialise.
Big chance! Young is fouled by Evra on the right hand side and Downing's free-kick is met, uncontested, by Cuellar but he heads over the cross bar.
James Milner has been very bright so far and his eye for goal is showing with another rasping drive that flies marginally over.
Lovely football from the visitors with Scholes and Rooney getting Giggs a yard of space but Richard Dunne is alive and alert to block the shot.
Now the other end with Nani winning and taking a free-kick that forces Friedel into a good diving stop.
Stewart Downing almost does his World Cup hopes no damage with a superb left footed drive that flashes a fraction wide of the post.
Decent response from the champions with Fletcher supporting Nani but his cross is too high for Rooney and Friedel claims.
Good start for the Villains with possibly their player of the year so far, James Milner, darting down the right and bringing a good catch from Van Der Sar.
We are underway in this huge game at Villa Park.
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Brown, Jonathan Evans, Evra, Scholes, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani, Rooney, Giggs.
Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Luke Young, Petrov, Ashley Young, Milner, Delph, Downing, Agbonlahor.
Manchester United have been in sensational form in recent weeks and in form duo Nani and Wayne Rooney are both in from the start.
Villa ended a 29 long year wait when they won at Old Trafford earlier in the season and the scorer of the only goal then, Gabby Agbonlahor, starts alone up front for them tonight.
Welcome to VIlla Park where fourth place chasing Aston Villa entertain title chasing Manchester United.
Aston Villa welcome high-flying Manchester United to Villa Park on Wednesday evening and the Red Devils are expected to pose a stern test for the Champions League qualifying pretenders.
Martin O'Neill's men sit in seventh place in the Premier League table but are just three points from a top-four berth.
A win against Sir Alex Ferguson's men would give them a massive lift as they enter a crucial period of the season.
However, United are in fine form after winning their previous four league fixtures in emphatic fashion. Burnley were on the end of a 3-0 hammering before a four-goal salvo from Wayne Rooney mauled Hull City 4-0.
Arsenal were defeated 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium and, on Saturday, the Reds crushed basement-boys Portsmouth 5-0 at Old Trafford.
They briefly returned to the top of the pile following the weekend win but Chelsea's victory against Arsenal knocked them off their perch and they sit two points behind Carlo Ancelotti's men.
With United's recent form, Villa will need to be on their guard but they are in fine form themselves.
January proved to be a fantastic month for the Midlands side as they remained unbeaten in their seven games in all competitions.
At the weekend they secured a commendable goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur as they once again proved their worth at the top end of the table.
Villa beat United at Old Trafford earlier in the season with Gabriel Agbonlahor nodding in Ashley Young's pin-point centre to seal the three points and they should use this as their inspiration this time around.
However, O'Neill is without the services of Stephen Warnock (calf) and Nigel Reo-Coker (ankle) while the visitors may welcome back commanding defender Nemanja Vidic, who has been nursing a calf injury.
Carlos Cuellar gave Aston Villa's marksmen a goalscoring lesson with his second goal of the season to earn a valuable point from a 1-1 draw against high-flying Manchester United.
Cuellar's enthusiastic and outstanding form typifies the high performance rate of the current Villa side as they took their fourth point off United this season.
In a dress rehearsal for the Carling Cup Final on February 28, United suffered a massive setback when Nani was sent off after 29 minutes.
The Portugal international, who has been outstanding since coming back into favour, will now miss the Carling Cup Final at Wembley.
Despite being reduced to ten men, United played with a great deal of resolution and earned a draw as a result of a 23rd-minute own goal by James Collins.
Aston Villa, seeking their first double over Manchester United in 55 years, had to be content with sharing the spoils but demonstrated that they are now formidable opposition.
Both teams operated 4-5-1 systems which quickly indicated a midfield battle. There was an emphasis on quick breaks but the early exchanges were generally even.
The best goalscoring attempt predictably came from a free-kick. Nani produced a powerful swirling shot which Brad Friedel pushed out with a diving save to his left.
With Villa mounting most of their attacks down the flanks it was obvious that United were aware of the situation as their four-man back-line was prepared to deal with the inevitable crosses from either Ashley Young or Stewart Downing.
But in the 18th minute United's defence was fooled when Cuellar stepped over Downing's right-wing cross. The ball went into the middle towards Richard Dunne and the loose ball bounced back to Cuellar to score against his old club with a looping header.
It was the first league goal scored at home by Villa since John Carew's winner against Stoke City on December 19.
Villa's joy was short-lived as four minutes later a mis-hit shot from Ryan Giggs clattered against Collins and into his own net for the equaliser.
The game took a dramatic turn in the 29th minute when the industrious Nani produced a full-blooded double tackle on Stiliyan Petrov within yards of referee Peter Walton who had no hesitation in producing a red card.
Antonio Valencia took over from an ineffective Paul Scholes at the start of the second half and after seven minutes blasted a good goalscoring effort over the bar.
United were indebted to Edwin van der Sar when Villa opened up the defence with passes by Luke Young and Gabby Agbonlahor to set up James Milner to crash in a low shot which the United goalkeeper saved.
Wayne Rooney, United's goalscoring machine, failed to add to his spectacular tally of 21 goals. The closest he came to scoring occurred in the 71st minute when he forced Friedel to tip his rising shot over the bar.
Shots off target