Aston Villa manager Unai Emery tasted victory in his first game in charge as his side beat Manchester United 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday, the visitors’ first defeat in 10 matches in all competitions.
Former Arsenal boss Emery was given a warm welcome by home supporters ahead of the match, and he could not have wished for a better start to life back in the Premier League as Villa raced into a two-goal lead inside 11 minutes.
Leon Bailey arrowed a strike into the bottom corner to give Villa the lead, before Lucas Digne curled a sublime free kick past the despairing dive of United goalkeeper David de Gea, much to Emery’s delight on the touchline.
United improved a great deal as the half wore on, creating several openings before Luke Shaw’s strike took a huge deflection off Jacob Ramsey and found the net on the cusp of halftime to give the visitors hope.
Those hopes were quickly dashed, however, as Ramsey made amends, finding the top corner four minutes into the second half to restore Villa’s two-goal advantage.
Tempers flared as the match reached its climax, but United could not muster a comeback, losing for the first time at Villa Park in the league since 1995 to stay fifth in the standings as a well-deserved victory lifted Villa to 14th.
Meawhile, Newcastle United produced another ruthlessly impressive display in a 4-1 win over struggling Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday, with Miguel Almiron bagging his seventh goal in as many games.
Quickfire second-half goals from Chris Wood and Joe Willock all but sealed a fourth straight win for Newcastle, with Bruno Guimaraes adding a late flourish after Romain Perraud’s consolation goal for the hosts.
After a frantic and fast-paced opening half-hour, a quick Newcastle break put Almiron through on goal and he dribbled past Ainsley Maitland-Niles before calmly rolling the ball past goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu with 35 minutes on the clock.
Newcastle made a quiet start to the second half but doubled their lead with their first attack after the break when Jacob Murphy found Wood in the box and the substitute fired a brilliant shot into the bottom corner after 58 minutes.
Kieran Trippier slipped a delightful through ball for Willock to latch on to and poke past Bazunu four minutes later before Perraud pulled back a goal in the 89th minute in stunning fashion, cutting inside the sliding Dan Burn and curling his shot into the net.
The visitors were relentless, however, and restored their three-goal advantage in the first minute of stoppage time when Allan Saint-Maximin set up Guimaraes outside the box and the midfielder curled a brilliant effort past the diving Bazunu.
The result lifted Newcastle provisionally into third place on 27 points from 14 games, before Tottenham Hotspur’s game against Liverpool later on Sunday, while Southampton remain 18th on 12 points.
Elsewhere, Michael Olise scored a 94th-minute goal as Crystal Palace earned a first away win of the season with a 2-1 victory over a sloppy West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday, but the home side were aggrieved that they did not get a late penalty.
Olise netted the decisive goal when his shot from the edge of the box took a big deflection and looped into the back of the net for Palace’s first away success since April.
They climb to ninth in the table with 19 points from 13 games, while West Ham are in 15th with 14 points from 14 games.
Said Benrahma had put West Ham ahead in the 20th minute with a thunderous strike from outside the box, but the home side lacked rhythm in a poor performance that will be frustrating for manager David Moyes.
West Ham defender Thilo Kehrer’s error gifted possession to Eberechi Eze and he slipped Wilfried Zaha in on goal, the latter’s powerful shot arrowing into the net in the 41st.
With the score at 1-1, West Ham thought they should have had a chance to potentially win the game with 10 minutes left when substitute Michail Antonio appeared to be pulled back in the box by Marc Guehi. Referee Paul Tierney awarded a spot kick but changed his decision after a review.