Man Utd vs Aston Villa: Complete head-to-head record

Manchester United and Aston Villa have both enjoyed their peak at the summit of English top-flight football but at dramatically different times.

It was in a Villa fan’s coffee shop that the club’s board member William McGregor came up with the idea to establish an organised football league in 1888. Villa duly dominated the new division, racking up six titles by 1910.

A century later, Manchester United were at the forefront of the biggest shakeup in English football since McGregor’s decisive cup of Joe. United were the inaugural Premier League champions – incidentally pipping Villa to first place – and racked up 13 of the first 21 titles on offer.

Here’s a complete history of the rivalry that has been interwoven between each club’s period of dominance.

Portrait HoughtonPortrait Houghton

Aston Villa in their changed strip / Hulton Archive/GettyImages

Manchester United should have been buoyed by the absence of Aston Villa’s relentless goal-getter Tom ‘Pongo’ Waring when they travelled to Birmingham two days after Christmas 1930. Yet, even without their most prolific player, Villa racked up an obscene 7-0 scoreline.

United were in freefall. A 4-3 reverse at Old Trafford against Villa proved to be a prescient start to the season. United lost their first 12 league matches – the worst start of any team in Europe’s top five leagues until Serie A’s Benevento broke the unwanted record in 2017 – and by the new year, relegation was a matter of when rather than if.

Peter McParland is understandably defensive when the topic of conversation invariably turns to the 1957 FA Cup final. One of Aston Villa’s greatest-ever wingers bagged a match-winning brace at Wembley that day but left United’s goalkeeper Ray Wood with concussion after a collision in the sixth minute.

McParland’s powerful header and close-range blast flew past United’s centre-half Jackie Blanchflower, who had to take the place of Wood in the days before substitutes.

“Down the years when people have bought up the incident and reminded me I was the player who crashed into the United goalkeeper and then scored two goals, I say that: ‘No. I’m the player who won an FA Cup winner’s medal,'” McParland insisted decades after a game he has never been allowed to forget.

Federico Macheda was living the dream – literally. “I have dreamed of a day like this,” the 17-year-old striker panted after marking his Manchester United debut with a stoppage-time winner to down Aston Villa and keep Liverpool at bay in the title race.

Only afforded a spot on the bench due to Wayne Rooney’s injury and Dimitar Berbatov’s suspension, the Italy youth international had been expecting to watch Villa’s trip to United from his homeland ahead of a different match entirely.

Amid the euphoria, Ferguson typically kept his cool. “I told him ‘well done’,” the United boss bluntly reflected post-game. “It’s important to keep his feet on the ground.”

Gabriel AgbonlahorGabriel Agbonlahor

Gabby Agbonlahor scored Aston Villa’s only goal against Manchester United in a rare Old Trafford win / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Sir Alex Ferguson had never lost a league match at Old Trafford against Aston Villa before Gabby Agbonlahor snatched the only goal of the game in December 2009, but the legendary manager leaned upon a tried and tested gripe after the contest.

The United boss, so famed for demonstrably tapping his watch towards the fourth official, complained that calculating the requisite added time “has to be taken out of the referee’s hands”. Intriguingly, matches that United were losing lasted 79 seconds longer than average over the subsequent two years (per BBC).

“If you cannot find him, you will not play.” That was the message Ferguson relayed to his Manchester United team after signing Robin van Persie in the summer of 2012.

Rio Ferdinand, who is liable to a bit of hyperbole when recounting his playing days, remembered: “Sir Alex Ferguson brought us into a meeting room and showed us six or seven clips. He said: ‘He’s gonna win you the league if you pass him the ball like this.'”

That footage may very well have included Van Persie’s crisp volley against Everton during his final season at Arsenal. Wayne Rooney had fully absorbed Ferguson’s demands by April and teed Van Persie up for an almost identical goal. Letting a 30-yard drive soar across his body, Van Persie battered a volley of unparalleled technique into the far corner. It was the second in a hat-trick against Villa to seal the title Ferguson had predicted.

Man Utd vs Aston Villa – Complete H2H Record

Man Utd vs Aston Villa – Premier League H2H Record

Top scorers in Man Utd vs Aston Villa Premier League fixtures

Player

Team represented

Goals

Wayne Rooney

Man Utd

12

Cristiano Ronaldo

Man Utd

8

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Man Utd

6

Bruno Fernandes

Man Utd

6

David Beckham

Man Utd

4

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