For the fourth time in seven seasons, Aston Villa and Man United have been paired together in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. There’s been some absolute crackers between the two teams on the previous three occasions they’ve faced each other.
During season 2001/2, the Villains raced into a two-goal lead thanks to Ian Taylor and a Phil Neville own-goal. However, the match (screened on BBC) turned on its head in the final fifteen minutes, with goals from Solskjaer and Van Nistelrooy (2) capping a dramatic comeback.
Two seasons later and it was Villa who took the lead once again thanks to Gareth Barry. This time United had Paul Scholes to thank for hauling them level before scoring the winner moments later. It was a repeat scoreline last season at Old Trafford with Solskjaer and Larsson ensuring the Red Devils continued their supremacy over Villa.
Manager Martin O’Neill will have cause for optimism this time around, despite a 4-1 mauling by United in the league this season. Many consider Villa were unfortunate to lose against Arsenal on Saturday and there are signs that his young team are improving all the time.