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More frustration for Ole as United held by Villa

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered another frustrating afternoon as his team were held to a 2-2 draw at home to lowly Aston Villa at Old Trafford yesterday.

Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings tries to brush off the attention of Man United forward Marcus Rashford during an intense battle
Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings tries to brush off the attention of Man United forward Marcus Rashford during an intense battle

After a wide open start to the game, Jack Grealish fired Villa ahead in the 11th minute, cutting in from the left and then expertly curling the ball into the far, top corner.

Villa substitute Trezeguet had the ball in the net in the 29th minute but his effort was ruled out for offside and three minutes before the break United got a barely deserved equaliser.

A short corner led to Andreas Pereira floating in a deep cross which Marcus Rashford rose well to head against the post with the ball bouncing in off helpless Villa keeper Tom Heaton.

It was another corner routine which led to United taking the lead in the 64th, this time Fred’s cross was inadvertently headed to the back post by Villa striker Wesley and United’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof nodded home.

But the lead lasted only two minutes before Villa got back on level terms, the impressive Matt Targett chipping the ball into the box to an unmarked Tyrone Mings who volleyed home. While the defender looked offside, VAR correctly ruled the goal was valid.

United are ninth on 18 points with Villa 15th on 15.

Meanwhile, Leicester City reclaimed second spot in the Premier League in dramatic fashion as Kelechi Iheanacho’s stoppage-time goal earned them a 2-1 victory over luckless Everton yesterday.

Jamie Vardy had equalised for Leicester in the 68th minute after Richarlison had given Everton a deserved first-half lead.

A draw would have been a fair result and a boost for under-pressure Everton boss Marco Silva but Foxes substitute Iheanacho fired home after a late counter-attack to seal a sixth successive league win for Leicester.

The goal was initially disallowed for offside but after an agonising VAR wait the decision was overturned, sparking scenes of joy for the hosts and dejection for Everton.

Leicester moved back above Manchester City and are three points ahead of the champions with 32 from 14 games, eight behind Liverpool.

Caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg could not end Arsenal’s long wait for a win as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s double only salvaged a 2-2 draw at struggling Norwich yesterday.

The Canaries twice led through Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell only for Aubameyang to level, first from the penalty spot and then with a clinical finish after the break.

But Arsenal also had goalkeeper Bernd Leno to thank for coming away with a point as the German saved brilliantly from Kenny McLean, Pukki and Emiliano Buendia.

Unai Emery was sacked as Arsenal manager after seven games without a win in all competitions that had seen the Gunners fall well off the pace in the race for a top-four finish.

Ljungberg remains a fans’ favourite from his title-winning days as an Arsenal player, but he suffered the same problems as his predecessor as the visitors’ firepower up front was needed to cover up their defensive problems.

Granit Xhaka returned to the Arsenal side for the first time in the Premier League since an explosive clash with the club’s fans as he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month that cost him the captaincy among four changes from Emery’s last starting line-up in the league.

Results

Leicester City 2-1 Everton; Manchester United 2-2 Aston Villa; Wolverhampton Wanderers; 1-1 Sheffield United; Norwich City 2-2 Arsenal. Reuters/AFP.