OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER — Manchester United play their first match since Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% stake in the club was officially announced on Christmas Eve.
The British billionaire, who was born in Greater Manchester and is also a boyhood United fan, said: “Our shared ambition is clear: we all want to see Manchester United back where we belong, at the very top of English, European and world football.”
United’s first task on this purported path back to the top sees the Theatre of Dreams welcome Aston Villa, a side thriving under Unai Emery and currently occupying a Champions League spot.
Emery’s Villains are 10 games unbeaten in all competitions but have just one win at Old Trafford since 2009.
The Sporting News is following the match live and providing live score updates and commentary.
Man United vs Aston Villa live score
|McGinn 22′, Lenglet 26′
Man United vs Aston Villa live updates, highlights from Premier League
35th minute: United have somewhat got themselves back in the game as they’re finding more space in behind. They really need to start creating more clear-cut chances. Rashford was the latest to test Emi Martinez, but it was straight at him.
27th minute: The Villa fans in the corner are now chanting ferociously at Erik ten Hag: “You’re getting sacked in the morning!”
26th minute: GOAL! 0-2 VILLA! The visitors continue to look dangerous and they’ve now scored from the corner as Lenglet tees up Dendoncker who was unmarked in the box.
22nd minute: GOAL! 0-1 VILLA! It’s a deep free-kick by John McGinn to the far post and everybody misses it as it nestles into the back of the net. There was a VAR check to ensure nobody was offside but it’s been confirmed as a goal.
20th minute: If the intensity of this match can continue for the rest of the 90 minutes, we should be in for a cracker. Both sides are looking vulnerable at the back with Villa staying true to their high defensive line.
15th minute: That’s the best transition of the game so far for United as they break down the right brilliantly. Hojlund lays it off to Fernandes who zips a pass in behind for Garnacho to chase but the play breaks down as Eriksen can’t find Rashford on the left, who was in on goal.
10th minute: On his first return to the starting XI since the trip to Newcastle at the start of the month, Rashford starts on the left with Garnacho moving to the right.
8th minute: Villa have certainly started on the front foot and Bailey is causing Dalot a few problems down the right flank.
4th minute: That didn’t take long. Despite the Glazers selling the 25% stake, United fans have begun their anti-Glazer chants.
1st minute: We’re underway at Old Trafford and the hosts get us underway.
5 minutes until kickoff: The players come out of the tunnel and kickoff is next!
15 minutes until kickoff: Following the announcement of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s 25% stake in the club, INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford, is due to be in attendance tonight. Ten Hag addressed the expected incoming at board level: “Sir Dave Brailsford wants to work with us, we want to work with him. I am looking forward to it.”
30 minutes until kickoff: Chatting to Amazon ahead of the match, Ten Hag said: “If you want to win you have to score, and we want to win.” United are without a goal in their last four matches…
1 hour until kickoff: Team news has just been official. Marcus Rashford and Christian Eriksen both return to the starting XI for United this evening, as does Diogo Dalot who replaces Luke Shaw at left-back as he is out with a minor issue.
🏟️ For one final time at Old Trafford in 2023…
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 26, 2023
Your Aston Villa at Old Trafford! 👊 pic.twitter.com/JT02pO7mLp
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 26, 2023
1 hour 30 mins until kickoff: Some Boxing Day stats for you this evening. Man United are unbeaten in their last 19 Boxing Day home games whereas the Villa have lost on Boxing Day in the last two Premier League seasons.
2 hours until kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of Manchester United vs. Aston Villa from Old Trafford. United will be desperate to put an end to their goal drought this evening, maybe they can take some inspiration from these historic strikes against Aston Villa.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 26, 2023
Man United vs Aston Villa lineups
Ten Hag’s injury list remains extensive with Victor Lindelof out for a while due to surgery and Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez out until the middle of January. Diogo Dalot is back from his one-match suspension after being sent off at Anfield and returns to the starting lineup.
Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans start as the centre-back partnership at the back.
Man United starting lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right): Onana (GK) — Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Dalot — Mainoo, Eriksen — Fernandes, Rashford, Garnacho — Hojlund.
Man United subs (12): Daniel Gore, Kambwala, Van de Beek, McTominay, Reguilón,
Bayindir, Mejbri, Antony, Pellistri.
Unai Emery has his own injury issues at the back as Tyrone Mings remains out long-term and Pau Torres is also unavailable. Matty Cash and key midfielder Boubacar Kamara are each suspended.
Aston Villa starting lineup (4-5-1, left to right): Martinez (GK) — Konsa, Carlos, Lenglet, Digne — Bailey, McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey, Dendoncker — Watkins.
Aston Villa subs (12): Iroegbunam, Álex Moreno, Proctor, Diaby, Pau Torres, Zaniolo,
Marschall, Chambers, Durán.
Man United vs Aston Villa live stream, TV channel
Here’s how to watch this Premier League match across selected areas of the world’s major regions:
USA: This game is being broadcast on the NBC USA Network with streaming available on Fubo.
Canada: Every Premier League game this season is live streaming exclusively via Fubo in Canada.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every match live and on demand on Optus Sport.
UK: This match is available to stream via Amazon Prime.