Boss’ fond Villa memories
Villa Park holds a special place in all United fans’ affections and the Reds travel to the Midlands in good heart this weekend.
With his side looking for another three points that will ensure top spot in the table is retained, Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed some of his favourite memories of playing away to Aston Villa after securing 12 Barclays Premier League wins at the ground.
Of course, the famous 1999 victory over Arsenal in the last-ever FA Cup semi-final replay and the 2004 triumph against the Gunners at the same stage of the competition also spring to mind when thinking of other fixtures at the venue.
“I think some of our performances have been terrific there,” he told ManUtd.com. “There are a couple of memories – when we were 2-0 down in the FA Cup in 2002. Ruud van Nistelrooy scored two goals, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got the other, as we came back to beat Villa 3-2.
“And we went there in the last game of the season in 1999/2000 needing four goals to reach 100. Teddy Sheringham scored in the second half to put us on 97 but we missed countless chances so the century eluded us.
“I was close to giving a young Darren Fletcher his debut that day – he was 15 – but the rules didn’t allow me to.”
Happy hunting grounds
United’s most productive away grounds for Premier League wins (W-D-L / F-A):
1. Goodison Park (14-3-4 / 39-21)
2. Villa Park (12-6-2 / 28-12)
3. White Hart Lane (12-5-3 / 35-22)
4. St James’ Park (10-5-4 / 35-27)
5. Anfield (10-4-7 / 29-30)