Defeat at Man United will hurt Steven Gerrard but Aston Villa manager has ace up his sleeve for return fixture

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Aston Villa can consider themselves a little hard done by after being knocked out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford.

It can’t be said that Man United were worthy winners, even though they edged the game by the slenderest of margins.

Two goals being ruled out, one after a long VAR debate was harsh on the visitors who stayed on the front foot throughout and managed to silence the Theatre of Dreams for long periods.

That in itself told anyone watching that Steven Gerrard’s game plan was working.

With a bit more luck in front of goal, and care in possession from the striker’s, Villa would’ve taken the game to extra-time at the very least.

As it turned out, it won’t be their name in the hat for the next round, but they have an immediate chance for revenge given that they host the Red Devils in the Premier League on Saturday evening.

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Playing the game at Villa Park could see an entirely different complexion to the game, and Gerrard will have an ace up his sleeve for that game.

According to the official Aston Villa Twitter account, Philippe Coutinho passed his medical on Monday and is just awaiting his work permit before joining his new team-mates.

The Brazilian is likely to be champing at the bit to prove that Gerrard was right to sign his old Liverpool team-mate, and where better to re-announce yourself to the wider footballing world again than with a quality performance against Man United.

Gerrard is clear what his former colleague will bring to the side too.

“Philippe is currently in the process of finalising his immigration papers and we are looking forward to getting him on the training pitch with the group on Wednesday at Bodymoor,” he said to the official Aston Villa website.

“He is an outstanding footballer who boasts a highly impressive CV laced with plenty of elite honours.

“I am really pleased that we have been able to bring him on board and I am looking forward to working with him.

“He is a player I enjoyed playing with previously and I know the rest of the squad here at Aston Villa will benefit from his quality and experience. His presence will be invaluable given injuries and the AFCON tournament have reduced our attacking options.”

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