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Corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line, Edwin Van der Sar makes a save.
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
Michael Carrick challenges Kyle Walker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Kyle Walker.
Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
Outswinging corner taken by Ashley Young from the right by-line.
Wayne Rooney takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.
Ashley Young takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James Collins by Dimitar Berbatov. Richard Dunne takes the free kick.
Shot from deep inside the area by Dimitar Berbatov goes over the bar.
Luis Nani takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
Nigel Reo-Coker comes on in place of Stewart Downing.
Effort on goal by Luis Nani from just outside the area goes harmlessly over the target.
Gabriel Agbonlahor on for Stiliyan Petrov.
The official flags Ashley Young offside. Edwin Van der Sar takes the free kick.
Foul by Ciaran Clark on Luis Nani, free kick awarded. Ryan Giggs restarts play with the free kick.
Ashley Young takes a shot.
Marc Albrighton goes off and Emile Heskey comes on. Ryan Giggs challenges Stewart Downing unfairly and gives away a free kick. James Collins restarts play with the free kick.
Luis Nani takes a shot. Blocked by Richard Dunne.
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Blocked by James Collins.
Foul by Michael Carrick on Stiliyan Petrov, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by James Collins.
Corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing, Header from deep inside the penalty area by Richard Dunne goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
Ryan Giggs takes a shot. Stiliyan Petrov gets a block in.
Goal scored by Nemanja Vidic from the edge of the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Man Utd 3-1 Aston Villa.Assist by Wayne Rooney.
Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line played to the near post, Darren Bent manages to make a clearance.
Corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani.
Marc Albrighton takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
Unfair challenge on Luis Nani by Ciaran Clark results in a free kick. Luis Nani takes the direct free kick.
Patrice Evra fouled by Jean Makoun, the ref awards a free kick. Oliveira Anderson restarts play with the free kick.
Shot from just outside the box by Michael Carrick goes over the bar.
A goal is scored by Darren Bent from close range high into the middle of the goal. Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa.Assist by Stewart Downing.
The offside flag is raised against Wayne Rooney. Brad Friedel restarts play with the free kick.
Marc Albrighton fouled by John O'Shea, the ref awards a free kick. Ashley Young produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
Oliveira Anderson is penalised for a handball. Free kick taken by Jean Makoun.
Stewart Downing takes a shot. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.
The referee blows for offside. Edwin Van der Sar restarts play with the free kick.
Corner taken by Luis Nani played to the near post, clearance by Darren Bent.
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Brad Friedel.
Wayne Rooney grabs a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 2-0 Aston Villa.Luis Nani provided the assist for the goal.
Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line, clearance by Richard Dunne.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Richard Dunne. Free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
Jean Makoun fouled by Oliveira Anderson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed by Stewart Downing.
Dimitar Berbatov has a headed effort from close in and clears the bar.
Shot by Patrice Evra. Save by Brad Friedel.
Oliveira Anderson replaces Darren Fletcher. Kyle Walker challenges Patrice Evra unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Nemanja Vidic.
Ryan Giggs takes a shot. Save by Brad Friedel.
Foul by Darren Bent on Nemanja Vidic, free kick awarded. Rio Ferdinand takes the free kick.
Kyle Walker is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Edwin Van der Sar restarts play with the free kick.
Stewart Downing takes a shot. Blocked by Rio Ferdinand.
Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Giggs, James Collins manages to make a clearance.
Luis Nani takes a shot. Brad Friedel makes a save.
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ashley Young.
Darren Bent takes a shot. Edwin Van der Sar makes a save.
A cross is delivered by Wayne Rooney, Brad Friedel makes a save.
The referee blows for offside against Wayne Rooney. James Collins takes the indirect free kick.
Darren Bent is caught offside. Free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
Darren Bent takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
The ball is swung over by Wayne Rooney, clearance made by James Collins.
Luis Nani takes a shot from just outside the penalty area which clears the crossbar.
Richard Dunne concedes a free kick for a foul on Wayne Rooney. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
Wayne Rooney finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Man Utd 1-0 Aston Villa.Assist by Edwin Van der Sar.
Marc Albrighton is penalised for a handball. Direct free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. James Collins takes the indirect free kick.
Sir Alex Ferguson should have significant reinforcements to his defence when Manchester United bid to extend their unbeaten run to 24 games when they tackle Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
Patrice Evra will return after a short trip to France following a family bereavement, Edwin van der Sar will reclaim a starting spot off Anders Lindegaard and Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Rafael are all likely to be given the all-clear after recent injuries.
Dimitar Berbatov also sat out Saturday's FA Cup win at Southampton, although whether Wayne Rooney will partner him in attack in Sunday's Barclays Premier League match is open to debate given Javier Hernandez has scored in his last two games.
Van der Sar begins the slow descent to the end of his career insisting motivation is not going to be a problem.
The Dutchman confirmed on Thursday that he would retire at the end of the season, bringing an end to a stellar 20-year career.
Yet there must be an unspoken concern about how the announcement will affect the veteran's performances.
After all, Ferguson openly admits that when he announced his retirement for 2002, it had an adverse affect on United's performances.
However, Van der Sar does not feel the same will apply to him.
The 40-year-old remains driven and motivated, and his sheer love of being outdoors ensures his training performances will not suffer.
"I don't see motivation until the end of the season being a problem at all," he said.
"There was a point last year when it was four degrees and the rain was pouring down. Ben Foster asked me whether I still wanted to do it in such rubbish weather. I said I loved it. That is still the case. I had a calf injury just after Christmas and was not able to go outside for 12 days.
"The only time I went outside was to get from the training building to the car, and then from the car to the house. After 12 days I wanted to go outside. That feeling will always be there. I want to train and I want to contribute to a team that deserves to win something."
With a presence already secured in the latter stages of both the Champions League and FA Cup, it promises to be a fabulous epitaph for Van der Sar's career.
Not that he goes in for such neat endings.
And there was certainly not a thought that he might carry on until United would win a trophy he deemed a suitable ending to his career.
"It would be strange thing to say I was going to carry on for another year just to do something. That would be like forcing things," he said.
"There is always a chance you could finish up with nothing. Sure, you would be disappointed if that is what happens. But that is not going to change what I achieved in the rest of my career."
Villa will give a late fitness test to Gabriel Agbonlahor.
The striker is suffering from a hamstring injury, and is doubtful for the match.
Defender Nathan Baker is suspended and also has a calf injury, while midfielder Fabian Delph is missing due to a knee complaint.
Villa finally completed the loan signing of United States midfielder Michael Bradley for the remainder of the season on transfer deadline day.
Bradley has made the temporary switch from Borussia Moenchengladbach after impressing Villa boss Gerard Houllier during last summer's World Cup in South
He became Villa's fourth signing of the transfer window after striker and £18million record signing Darren Bent, midfielder Jean Makoun and on-loan Tottenham defender Kyle Walker.
Bradley will provide competition for the likes of Nigel Reo-Coker, Barry Bannan, Makoun and Stiliyan Petrov in the centre of the park.
Houllier said: "Michael is 23 and is a very hard-working midfielder who can score goals and is versatile.
"I saw him play four times in the World Cup last summer so, in terms of scouting, you cannot say the work has not been done because I saw him just a few months ago.
"We are very happy to have him. Despite his age he is an experienced player. He will add to the squad and he will bring energy and legs in midfield when we need it."
Rooney at the double in win
Wayne Rooney produced an instant response to Sir Alex Ferguson's demand for the Manchester United striker to reach double figures this season with a brace for the Premier League leaders in their 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
It was the first time Rooney has scored two in a game for almost 11 months and, in front of England coach Fabio Capello, took his seasonal tally to five.
By way of a side issue, the striker's efforts also ensured United matched the efforts of the 1999 Treble-winners by matching their club record 29 league games unbeaten and at the same time maintaining a five-point advantage over Arsenal in the title race.
Not that Rooney's efforts, a brilliant goal after just 50 seconds and a tap-in during first-half stoppage time, ensured three points on their own.
Ferguson's side were also indebted to skipper Nemanja Vidic, who calmed nerves by driving home from 18 yards after Darren Bent had dragged Villa back into it.
Ferguson could hardly have timed his pre-match address better.
There were plenty who had wondered whether Javier Hernandez's recent goalscoring efforts might have earned the Mexican a starting berth alongside Dimitar Berbatov.
That was clearly not part of Ferguson's thinking, choosing his programme notes to extol Rooney's wider contribution.
Yet, amid the praise was also a target for the 25-year-old to aim for. Some distance short of the 34 he managed last term but a significant improvement on the three he went into the game with.
And Rooney wasted absolutely no time in responding.
There were just 50 seconds on the clock when Edwin van der Sar launched a clearance deep into Villa territory from just outside his own area.
Rooney took one touch to control, then belted the ball past Brad Friedel, Richard Dunne's lack of pace having already been cruelly exposed.
With the exception of one Bent effort, which Van der Sar saved low to his right, United dominated thereafter.
Berbatov failed to threaten with a couple of close-range efforts. Nani got a bit closer, one attempt bringing a brilliant save out of Friedel, whose appearance gave him the title of the oldest player in Villa history.
Ryan Giggs also made the veteran American work with a mazy run and shot that forced a low save by the post.
Yet, as injury-time approached, United were still waiting for that crucial second which would have set their minds at ease.
Having started the half by finding the net, it was appropriate Rooney should finish it that way too.
He would be the first to admit Nani deserved all the credit though.
Nipping about in that frustrating way of his, the Portugal winger looked up and saw Rooney at the far post.
The delivery was perfect, curling round the back of the Villa defence, too far out for Friedel to contemplate an interception, then dropping perfectly for Rooney, who tapped home with ease.
Yet what looked like an easy win, turned into a very nervous few minutes in the second half as Villa found some inspiration.
Ashley Young started it when he curled a 20-yard free-kick narrowly wide.
The England man was at the hub of Villa's attacks and when Anderson, Patrice Evra and Vidic all failed to prevent him prodding a pass out to Stewart Downing, suddenly United were in trouble.
Downing took out Rio Ferdinand with an excellent cross and Bent does what Gerard Houllier paid #23million for, finishing with ease.
When Marc Albrighton smacked an effort goalwards from 30 yards, alarm bells started ringing amongst the home support, who could not have imagined who would turn up to ease their nerves.
Vidic is not noted for scoring with anything other than his head.
But, having nodded the ball on to Rooney from a United corner, the Serbian hung around long enough to receive the return, striding on to it confidently before drilling past Friedel.
Berbatov should have scored near the end but inexplicably fired over from eight yards after Friedel had denied Nani.
The American was also called upon to repel Rooney's hat-trick bid before the final whistle, although after such a tortuous season, the England star could be pretty pleased with his contribution anyway.
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