United surrender two-goal lead as Aston Villa produce a second-half comeback in Perth

Manchester United 2 - 2 Aston Villa


Manchester United narrowly failed to make it four wins out of four as a dominant first half wasn't enough to beat Premier League opponents Aston Villa.

In very trying conditions, with a heavily dug-up pitch and a spell of very heavy rain during the first half, United still managed to continue their good pre-season with some highly commendable football in the first half.

Harry Maguire saw his early header saved after Luke Shaw delivered a pinpoint cross from a corner. Throughout the first half United dominated Villa, their build-up was patient yet incisive; in recent years the former has been much more apparent than the latter during the majority of United's games. Jadon Sancho volleyed home the opener after a spell of delightful passing movement, which worked its way through the whole team before Luke Shaw crossed to find his fellow countryman lurking at the back post.

United continued to control proceedings, and doubled their money when Polish defender Matty Cash turned the ball into his own net after a superb ball from Fred found Sancho racing in behind, whose cross found Rashford before Cash intervened to accidentally steer United into a two-goal lead.

In the second half, the balance of the game changed completely. Aston Villa made a considerable number of second-half changes, with winger Leon Bailey in particular sparking their second-half resurgence. The Jamaican produced a brilliant finish into the bottom corner to give Villa confidence.

From then on, United were on the back foot.

Numerous chances fell the way of the Birmingham side, but some good defending, including a sliding block from Harry Maguire, kept them at bay for the majority of the second half. Among a number of other changes for United, academy product Hannibal Mejbri was introduced to the fray, whose fiery determination and grit gave the game an added spice during the final half hour. United looked to be on their way to a fourth consecutive win on tour, but ex-Arsenal defender Calum Chambers had other ideas as his header from a late corner gave Aston Villa a morale-boosting draw.

Erik ten Hag will undoubtedly be disappointed after his side dropped a two-goal lead, especially considering Aston Villa were devoid of providing any real threat in the first half. However, perhaps the Dutchman will see this as a silver lining, as his team have now been warned of the effects that short lapses in concentration can have on the result of any game; it serves as a lesson which must be learnt before the competitive season starts, beginning with United's Premier League opener against Brighton in just over two weeks' time.

What's next?

This game ends United's pre-season tour, but they still have a couple more games to play before they embark on another Premier League campaign. Part of the squad will travel to Oslo to play Atletico Madrid next Saturday, while the remaining players will travel to Old Trafford to face Rayo Vallecano a day later.

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