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Live Reporting

Emma Sanders and Harry Poole

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    That's all from us tonight.

    We're back tomorrow with those four Premier League games.

    Thanks very much for your company!

  2. Saturday's Premier League games

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Here's what you can look forward to tomorrow, as eight more Premier League sides get their 2021 under way.

    The action returns at 12:30 GMT, as Tottenham host Leeds.

    As always, you'll be able to follow it all on the BBC Sport website.

    Tottenham v Leeds, Crystal Palace v Sheffield United, Brighton v Wolves, West Brom v Arsenal
  3. Post update

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    The video assistant referee did appear to take a good look at the penalty incident, before backing Michael Oliver's call.

    Paul Pogba wins a penalty for Man Utd
  4. 'Pogba tripped himself'

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Aston Villa

    Aston Villa manager Dean Smith speaking to Sky Sports: "First half we were miles off it. First 15 minutes felt like a testimonial. Then they injected some pace into it and deservedly went ahead.

    "I asked for more at half-time and we deserved to get back in the game. Our goalkeeper has had to make some good saves but they were all outside the box.

    "I thought it was a penalty at the time, but I looked at it after the game and saw he tripped himself. I don't see why Michael [Oliver] couldn't have looked at it. That's what VAR is for isn't it? He's tripped himself up. There's margins in football. I've seen it again, and I don't think it's a penalty.

    "We know we're on a good journey at the moment. We believe we've got five key arrivals to go with the players who are Premier League ready now.

    "This is only our second season in the division, but competing here and against Liverpool and Arsenal shows our journey is going well so far."

  5. 'I wasn't happy with the first half'

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Aston Villa

    Aston Villa boss Dean Smith speaking to BBC: "My view was it was a penalty from where I was stood. I thought Douglas Luiz got too tight with Paul Pogba but then I've just gone in and seen it back and I think he's just tripped himself up. I think there's enough doubt there to send the referee over to the screen.

    "I wasn't happy with the first half. We were miles off the levels where we have been. It felt like a testimonial pace then they deservedly had the lead at half time. I told the players we needed to be upping our levels.

    "We competed a lot better [in the second half], showed more quality and created chances. I'd take the second half performance all day long. A dubious penalty has lost us the game.

    "We came here last season and had a good go. It was a tough season. We felt we would be better this season. When you look at our performances and results, it shows we are very competitive in this league now which is what we wanted it to be."

  6. 'It felt like a cup final'

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Manchester United

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaking to Sky Sports: "It's two extra points if we lose at the end. Eric [Bailly] makes a fantastic block. I didn't enjoy the last ten minutes, we should have played the game out in a better way.

    "It felt like a cup final. We need to play our games better when we have the lead."

    "[Aston Villa] have improved massively and they've given us chances. We didn't stop the crosses well enough, but we've made some blocks and saves. I'm pleased with the three points."

    On Paul Pogba: "He's getting better and better. I think he played well today. They are a physical side and Paul's one of these guys who can get hold of it for us.

    "Don't get me wrong I'm delighted with the three points and the performance, but there's always stuff to improve on. Those extra two points are important.

    "We've improved. I think the league and the season is going to be so tight. We've just got to keep working and improving as a team.

    "Every time you win a game you take one step further. You've just got to accumulate the points. They all count the same.

    "We've got a big game on Wednesday against City, I'm not even thinking [about playing Liverpool] yet."

  7. 'We have improved a lot'

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Manchester United

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaking to BBC: "You are always delighted with three points. The performance was good and we created chances. We had a good save at the end and Eric Bailly made a fantastic block so that probably saved two points for us.

    "It was maybe a little too open and we wasted chances. We tried to play the Hollywood pass instead of securing the first one and using the space that was there."

    On Bruno Fernandes' penalty record: "He wants to take the penalties and that's the first thing. He is never afraid of missing. He has been very safe and is a confident man on the spot."

    On being level on points with Liverpool: "Of course we are happy with what we are doing. We have shown we have improved a lot in a year. We lost to Arsenal away last new year's day. We have improved immensely. We are getting fitter and fitter and stronger and stronger.

    "These players have a great age. They are learning and are hungry to learn which is important. They come in every day with a hunger and desire to be the best on match day. They have been focused."

    A positive 2021? "It can't be any worse than 2020 for any of us so fingers crossed for everyone."

  8. 'Have to keep mentality of winning and winning'

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Manchester United

    Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes speaking to BBC: "We knew they [Aston Villa] play really well. They have qualities and are doing well in the league. We did well and created more chances than before but scored less goals. The most important thing is three points though."

    On taking penalties: "I feel like I have to make the penalty go on goal but it's important to score and it doesn't matter how. You need to win the games no matter how. I am confident when I take the penalty otherwise I would pass for somebody else."

    On Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying United have improved: "I agree with that because against Leicester we conceded a goal at the end. The only mistake we made today was we had more chances to score again and maybe we have to close the game more quickly. We don't score the third one and they press us until the end."

    On being level with Liverpool: "Of course but it's far away the end of the Premier League so we have to keep going, train hard and try to keep winning. You have to keep this mentality of winning and winning."

    On fixtures: "When you dream to play in the Premier League you think of this - the Boxing day and the first day of new year. Everyone wants to be with family but this year was a different one and hopefully next year can be a better one."

  9. 33 goal involvements in 30 PL games for Fernandes

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    What else can you say about this man?

    What an impact Bruno Fernandes has had at Old Trafford.

    View more on twitter
  10. 'A draw would have been fair'

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Aston Villa

    Aston Villa defender Matty Cash speaking to BBC: "Manchester United are a top side and play some good football but we had our chances to score. A draw would have been a fair result but we pushed until the end like we have all season and were unlucky not to get one.

    "They are hard to break down and on the counter-attack are really good. We were unfortunate. All season we have played some good stuff and picked good results up away from home.

    "The game was in their hands a little in the first half so we said we would fight until the end. It fell to me [at the end] and I put my foot through it but it was a good save."

  11. 'We're here now'

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Manchester United

    Manchester United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka speaking to Sky Sports: "[The win] shows how much work we’re putting in, how much of a performance that was."

    On his cross for Anthony Martial's opener: "I could just hear voices - back post, front post - I just went with the front post and put it there."

    On Aston Villa's equaliser: "They played a quick [free-kick] and it’s unfortunate, but as you can see, we hit back.

    "[The win] means a lot, it shows where we’ve come from, from the start of the season.

    "We’re just taking it game by game. It was a late start for us, we were in catch-up [mode], but we’re here now. No excuses."

  12. Post update

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    That first meeting of the season between Manchester United and Liverpool is scheduled for 17 January, at Anfield.

    The return fixture at Old Trafford is in May. Imagine if it's this tight by then!

  13. Get Involved

    #bbcfootball or text 81111 (UK only)

    SMS Message: Two biggest clubs in the country neck and neck. A LIV/UTD title race would be awesome if we had fans at the grounds. from Andy
    Andy
    SMS Message: Can't wait for Liverpool v United now. Can't remember the last time this fixture counted so much for both teams. Leave the bus at home please Ole from George P
    George P
  14. Post update

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    As Mark Lawrenson says, though, even in defeat Aston Villa must take immense pride in their progress.

    Perhaps disappointed to leave Old Trafford empty-handed tonight and with the potential to move third should they win their game in hand.

    That extra game is against Man City later this month...

    The views of the managers coming up!

  15. Post update

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka says United's belief is building now.

    Could they challenge Liverpool?

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are now unbeaten in 10 Premier League games, since losing to Arsenal at Old Trafford on 1 November.

    Let me know your thoughts on #bbcfootball and 81111 (UK only).

  16. Post update

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Mark Lawrenson

    Former Liverpool defender on BBC Radio 5 Live

    From Aston Villa's point of view, don't change.

    They look a good side. It's a big result for Manchester United and you can see it.

    It's massive celebrations. You'd think they had just won the Champions League!

  17. Post update

    FT: Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    There you go Manchester United fans. How does that feel?

    Level with Liverpool - and four points clear of Leicester in third.

    Villa are sixth, but still have one game in hand on the sides above them.

    pREMIER lEAGUE TABLE
  18. FULL-TIME

    Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    All over!

    Manchester United move level with Premier League leaders Liverpool!

    That was an excellent game.

  19. Post update

    Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Great block by Eric Bailly!

    The Manchester United defender throws himself in front of Kienan Davis' shot and that might just have saved his side!

  20. SUBSTITUTION

    Man Utd 2-1 Aston Villa

    Axel Tuanzebe is on for Fred as United look to waste some time.

    Can Villa force one more chance? They have everyone up but they just can't find the final pass at the moment...