Man Utd contested the end of the pre-season tour as Aston Villa hit back with a draw

Manchester United were held back by a last-minute header from Calum Chambers as Aston Villa hit back to deny Erik ten Hag a successful end to his pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.

The final friendly of the Red Devils’ four-game journey had been in jeopardy due to the impact of heavy downpours on an already cut surface, but the referee gave the go-ahead after a pitch inspection.

Thankfully both sides seemed to avoid injury on the poor ground at Perth’s otherwise impressive Optus Stadium, where Steven Gerrard’s Villa reversed a two-goal deficit to end 2-2 in front of a crowd of 58,228.

Jadon Sancho scored his third goal of the tour at the end of a good team run home to open the scoring in a first half that ended with Marcus Rashford’s strike deflected off Matty Cash.

Leon Bailey equalized with a superb solo goal just after his half-time introduction and Chambers headed his corner home with the final touch of the evening when David De Gea was caught in no man’s land.

United captain Harry Maguire faced no noticeable negativity days after being booed in Melbourne and came close to an early opener when Emiliano Martinez saved his header from a Luke Shaw corner.

Marcus Rashford helped give United a 2-0 lead (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)


Cash sent a sizzling strike straight over the face of the goal on a rare Villa trip forward, with United dominating the game for the most part and the dangerous Sancho finding the net at the end of a good team movement.

United swept the game right to left and Rashford played into the overlapping Shaw, who crossed in for Sancho in the 25th minute to volley home on the edge of the six-yard box.

The skies opened as the second half drew to a close, but Ten Hag’s men kept their composure in monsoon conditions to score again.

Substitute Leon Bailey impressed for Villa (Isaac Parkin/PA)

(PA wire)

Fred grabbed the ball in his own half and his clipped ball put Sancho behind Villa’s back line, with the winger crossing for Rashford to escape a strike that was executed by Cash in the 42nd minute.

Villa came back strong from the half-time break. Ollie Watkins got close just before substitute Bailey, who fired brilliantly forward, penetrating Victor Lindelof and curling a low shot past De Gea.

The Spaniard made an excellent save in the 54th minute to tip over a deflected attempt by Bailey, who proved handful and denied an equalizer by slipping Maguire’s block after circling the keeper.

De Gea misinterpreted the resulting corner but Villa didn’t punish him – a poor decision that may have been due to the conditions, as someone had to run onto the pitch to chase a plastic chair that blew away moments later.

Both sides made sweeping changes as the game drew to a close on a deteriorating pitch, taking the sting out of a clash that ended with Chambers stepping up to take a Bailey corner when De Gea was caught. Man Utd contested the end of the pre-season tour as Aston Villa hit back with a draw

Fry Electronics Team

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