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Post by forhad725 on Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:00 pm

Aston Villa 0-2 Man United: Rooney and Ronaldo dump Villa out of FA Cup

Rooney's stroke of genius late in the game sealed the Red Devils' victory over Villa (Action Images / Alex Morton)

Sunday January 06, 2008
ENGLAND (PA SPORT) - New England coach Fabio Capello saw Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney grab late goals for Manchester United to settle an uninspiring FA Cup third round clash at Villa Park.
Capello was able to cast his eye over a combined tally of nine players in the two starting line-ups who were eligible for England selection.
But it was Portuguese star Ronaldo who broke the deadlock with nine minutes remaining before substitute Rooney wrapped up the game in the dying seconds.
It means United have now won 13 successive matches against Villa.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side just about deserved their victory with Ryan Giggs and Rooney both squandering gilt-edged chances to settle the tie before Ronaldo struck.
Villa would have been disappointed with their lack of a cutting edge and United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar did not make a meaningful save in the entire 90 minutes.
Ferguson maintained his proud record of never having lost a third round tie in the competition.
There had been much pre-match hype about Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor being a contender for Capello's first England squad but he he failed to sparkle.
Capello took his place at the front of the directors' box where he was flanked by Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick and director of communications Adrian Bevington.
Agbonlahor gave an early demonstration of his pace to the Italian with a break down the left flank before squaring an inviting low cross towards Stiliyan Petrov.
But his first touch was a poor one and Van der Sar was able to collect.
Anderson was quick to spot a gap down the middle and made a powerful 50-yard run which ended with Scott Carson saving his left-footed drive from the edge of the Villa box at the second attempt.
Petrov was only just too high with a dipping 30-yard drive in an open-ended start to the game. Agbonlahor turned sharply but Rio Ferdinand was alert to the situation and blocked his shot.
United started to enjoy more of the play territorially with Anderson looking threatening in the centre of the park.
The Brazilian made another good break into the Villa box only to be eventually crowded out by the combined efforts of Nigel Reo-Coker and Wilfred Bouma.
John Carew had a rare sight of the goal after turning Ferdinand when running onto a Petrov pass but he could not convert.
Giggs missed a golden chance to put United ahead a minute before the interval after a mistake by Carson.
The on-loan Liverpool keeper should have dealt better with a dipping drive from Ronaldo but only parried it straight to Giggs.
But, with the goal at his mercy, the former Wales international pushed his shot wide and seemed surprised by the pace of the ball.
Villa began the second half brightly and Carew flicked on a Young centre which Van der Sar saved down to his right even though the ball was going wide.
Michael Carrick teed up Anderson on the edge of the Villa area and, although his shot contained plenty of power, it flew well wide of Carson's goal.
Petrov blocked a shot from Ronaldo and then Martin Laursen was relieved when he deflected a Nemanja Vidic header past his own post from a Giggs corner.
Rooney could have won the game for United after entering the action but he shot over the bar after exchanging passes with Ronaldo.
But with nine minutes left Ronaldo scrambled over the line from a Giggs centre for his 19th goal of the campaign.
And with 60 seconds remaining Rooney drilled a powerful shot past Carson into the corner of the net after Ronaldo's initial effort had been blocked.
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