Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez produced one of the blunders of the season to give Manchester United the lead less than four months after he mocked Old Trafford
The Argentine, 29, bundled a long-range effort from Bruno Fernandes through his own legs following a free kick in the sixth minute at Villa Park.
The disastrous error came less than four months after Martinez infamously taunted Old Trafford following Fernandes’ costly penalty miss.
The Portuguese playmaker fired his last-gasp spot kick high over the bar as Villa held on to earn a 1-0 victory over the Red Devils in late September.
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Therefore, it was no surprise to see Fernandes celebrate his goal emphatically as he claimed revenge over his old adversary.
Martinez, meanwhile, had to bounce back from the uncharacteristic mistake quickly as United looked to build on their bright start and increase their lead.
The former Arsenal star – who joined Villa in a £20million transfer in September 2020 – made a fine stop to deny Mason Greenwood later in the first half and was also alert to a powerful effort from Alex Telles.
Martinez was named Villa’s Player of the Season after his first campaign with the Midlands club, and he has made a total of 58 appearances.
At the other end of the pitch, David de Gea continued his fine form with a brilliant save to deny Emilaino Buendia’s header from close range as the hosts grew into the match.
During a feisty first half, Lucas Digne and Nemanja Matic were shown yellow cards for heavy tackles and Matty Cash was fortunate to avoid a booking for a late challenge on Anthony Elanga.
The visitors were without talismanic forward Ronaldo, so Edinson Cavani was tasked with leading the attack and United produced one of their most-fluent performances of recent fixtures in the opening 20 minutes.
Steven Gerrard’s side recovered midway through the first 45 minutes as Buendia began to pull the strings from midfield.
Digne – who joined in a £25million transfer from Everton earlier this week – had one of Villa’s best chances right before the interval after latching onto Cash’s cross and firing at De Gea.