Aston Villa’s Carabao Cup run came to and end on Thursday following a 4-2 loss to Manchester United.
Villa led twice in the third-round tie at Old Trafford, but a flurry of defensive and goalkeeping follies ultimately doomed Unai Emery’s side. Villa had beaten United, 3-1, in Premier League action on Sunday.
A scoreless first half paved the way for Ollie Watkins to put the guests ahead, 1-0, in the 48th minute. Watkins took a Jacob Ramsey pass in stride and cooly beat David de Gea on the break from the left side.
Less than two minutes later, Bruno Fernandes broke in behind the Villa backline and found a surging Anthony Martial, who scored a tap-in into a gaping Villa net (1-1).
Villa went back ahead (2-1) in the 61st minute, when substitute Leon Bailey saw his narrow attempt at goal deflected into the Man Utd goal off the foot of defender Diogo Dalot.
Then came the classic Villa collapse.
Marcus Rashford scored in the 67th minute after Tyrone Mings slipped in the Villa box, Fernandes put United ahead in the 78th minute when Villa keeper Robin Olsen played the ball directly into his feet, and Scott McTominay added insult to injury in stoppage time when he, a defensive midfielder, got in behind the Villa defense and redirected a right-sided cross.
Manchester United 4-2 Aston Villa: post-match quotes
Emery told VillaTV after the match: “I think we needed to improve in the second half, we were speaking about how we could take more time to use our possession on the pitch and attack the final third.
“And we started the second half trying to go more forwards. We scored two goals but they reacted so quickly and, really, we were thinking it’s a good moment for us and to keep our same competitive way in the second half.
“But at the end, in the last 15 minutes, and I think it’s only in this match, we lost, really, our mentality.”
Watkins, who played well in both matches against United this week, added: “We’re obviously disappointed to lose after taking the lead twice.
“I felt we looked comfortable, and we created a lot of chances. It was an exciting game in the second half, but we’re disappointed to come away with nothing.”
Villa are back in action on Sunday when they visit Brighton and Hove Albion for their final Premier League contest before the World Cup break.
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