Manchester United 4-0 Aston Villa
Old Trafford, March 29th 2008
Three years ago today on a torrential evening at Old Trafford, Manchester United gave what was probably their finest display of attacking football in recent times as they put Aston Villa firmly to the sword in a 4-0 victory.
After seventeen minutes of throwing everything at Scott Carson’s goal, United finally got their breakthrough when Cristiano Ronaldo divinely flicked the ball into the net from 12 yards out. On the contrary to what we have become accustomed to recently, after taking the lead United’s tempo didn’t drop and one of many fast-paced, total-football-esque moves led to the second goal. Cristiano Ronaldo turned provider with a stunning cross that was headed in by Carlos Tevez.
United squandered chance after chance and the final score could, and should have been more.
Wayne Rooney scored twice in the second-half to make up for missing a gilt-edged chance soon after the restart. The first of his brace came after another Ronaldo flick that set Rooney free to coolly round Carson and make it 3-0. His second goal was the result of another wonderful United move, where he once more combined with Ronaldo, who’s deft touch set him up to finish with his right-foot and complete the game’s scoring.
In a season where he will be remembered for scoring 42 goals, this game demonstrated that Ronaldo was more than capable of turning provider for the benefit of the team by assisting each of United’s goals after he’d opened the scoring.
The type of performance on show is the kind that United fans long for these days; expansive, attacking football reminiscent of the “football taught by Matt Busby” – as the song goes.
United’s line-up that evening
29. Kuszczak; 6. Brown, 5, Ferdinand, 15. Vidic, 3. Evra; 16. Carrick, 18. Scholes, 11 Giggs, 7. Ronaldo; 10. Rooney, 32. Tevez. Substitutes: 8. Anderson, 4. Hargreaves, 22. O’Shea