Aston Villa 1 Manchester United 4
Wayne Rooney struck twice and missed a penalty as Manchester United eased to victory against nine-man Aston Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor headed Villa into an early lead, but Rooney’s two composed finishes put United in front. Craig Gardner’s own goal gave United a third before half-time, and Nigel Reo-Coker was sent off on the hour. Keeper Scott Carson followed for a foul on Carlos Tevez, and even though Stuart Taylor saved Rooney’s spot-kick, Ryan Giggs added a deflected fourth.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson rested Cristiano Ronaldo and gave fellow countryman Nani a place in the starting line-up. Villa opened brightly and were ahead in the 11th minute when Ashley Young retrieved Gardner’s dangerous centre and crossed for Agbonlahor to flick a header beyond Edwin van der Sar. Tevez and Rooney looked a dangerous combination, and Carson did well to block the Argentine as the pressure mounted. But it took a lapse of concentration from Villa defender Zat Knight to allow United to draw level after 36 minutes.