Aston Villa manager Unai Emery got a taste of victory in his first game in charge as his side beat Manchester United 3-1 in the English Premier League, the visitors’ first defeat in 10 games in all competitions.
Former Arsenal manager Emery was given a warm welcome by the home fans before the match and couldn’t have wished for a better start to the Premier League as Villa built a two-goal lead in 11 minutes.
Leon Bailey fired a shot into the bottom corner to give Villa the lead, before Lucas Digne fired a sublime free kick that beat United goalkeeper David de Gea’s desperate dive to the delight of Emery on the touchline.
United improved greatly as the half wore on, creating several openings, before Luke Shaw’s shot went wide of Jacob Ramsey and found the net on the cusp of halftime to give the visitors hope.
Those hopes were quickly dashed, as Ramsey made amends, finding the top corner four minutes into the second half to restore Villa’s two-goal lead.
Tempers flared as the match reached its climax, but United were unable to recover, losing for the first time at Villa Park in the league since 1995 to remain fifth in the standings, as a well-deserved victory lifted Villa to 14th.
United had gone 23 games unbeaten at Villa Park in the Premier League, the longest streak without losing one team against another in English league history, but the writing was on the wall from the start.
Ramsey set up Jamaican winger Bailey in goal and he finished off the opening goal, the first goal United have conceded from open play in more than 12 hours of football in all competitions.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors, when Ramsey won a free-kick and winger Digne finished off an unstoppable shot into the net.
United finally found their feet just after the half-hour mark, with Emiliano Martinez on Villa’s goal forced to make two excellent saves to deny youngster Alejandro Garnacho and captain of the day Cristiano Ronaldo.
Shaw’s shot didn’t seem to go into the net, but Ramsey’s big back deflection didn’t give Martinez a chance.
That stroke of luck proved to be only consolation for a below-par United side, as Ramsey, who had managed United irregularly all afternoon, fired in an Ollie Watkins pass to restore Villa’s two-goal lead.
Each of the previous nine managers to have faced United in their first Premier League game in charge had lost, with the Spaniard becoming only the fourth to start with a win with a new team against the 20-time champions of the league. highest category.
Meanwhile, a 63rd-minute foot strike on the goal line by Brazilian defender Gabriel gave Arsenal a 1–0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and lifted them back to the top of the Premier League.
Lurking at the far post, Gabriel was at the end of a Bukayo Saka corner that sailed over a line of Chelsea defenders.
The well-deserved victory in a highly charged London derby sent Arsenal within two points of Manchester City on 34 points and left the Blues’ second-best team languishing in seventh place, 13 points behind.