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English Premier League

Coutinho Punishes Man Utd On Premier League Return

Phillipe Coutinho bagged a goal and an assist on his Premier League return as Aston Villa dented Manchester United's top-four push on Saturday evening.

Premier League

Result: Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester United

Date: 15 January 2022

Venue: Villa Park

Man United were without Cristiano Ronaldo due to a hip injury, as the Red Devils made three enforced changes, with Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay suspended while Marcus Rashford had a dead leg and Phillippe Coutinho was was on the bench for Villa after a loan move from Barcelona.

Ralf Rangnick's charges had a perfect start after getting the opener in the sixth minute thanks to a howler by Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who fumbled a tame shot from Bruno Fernandes through his legs.

United were taking the game by the scruff of the neck but Martinez redeemed himself with two big saves inside the first half-an-hour to deny Mason Greenwood on two separate occasions.

Villa ew signing Lucas Digne delivered a good cross that was flicked at the near post by Emiliano Buendia but he was denied by goalkeeper David de Gea and just before the halftime break the full-back fired a half-volley that was smothered by De Gea.

The game was opening up from end to end in the opening exchanges of the second stanza, with Martinez and De Gea pulling massive saves.

Fernandes eventually doubled the lead for Rangnick's men in the 67th minute with a clinical strike into the roof of the net after Fred won possession high up the pitch and setup the Portuguese.

Gerrard eventually brought on Coutinho for his debut just after that in place of Morgan Sanson for fresh legs in midfield and Jacob Ramsey pulled a goal back 13 minutes before time with a stunning strike into the top corner after a deflected pass from the Brazilian.

Coutinho found the equaliser for Villa in the last eight minutes with a simple close-range finish after Ramsey went through on goal down the left flank.

The game was opening up in the dying minutes, with both sides searching for the winner but neither could get clear chances as they settled for a share of the spoils.

Click through the gallery below to see the highest-paid players at United this season: 

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