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Man Utd denied winning end to pre-season tour as Aston Villa hit back for draw

Jadon Sancho was on the scoresheet again for United but Calum Chambers’ last-gasp header earned Villa a 2-2 draw.

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Jadon Sancho was on the scoresheet again for Manchester United (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

Jadon Sancho was on the scoresheet again for Manchester United (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

Jadon Sancho was on the scoresheet again for Manchester United (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

Manchester United were pegged back by a last-gasp Calum Chambers header as Aston Villa fought back to deny Erik ten Hag a winning end to their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.

The final friendly of the Red Devils’ four-game trip had been in jeopardy due to the impact of heavy downpours on an already cut-up surface, but the referee gave the go-ahead following a pitch inspection.

Thankfully both sides appeared to avoid injury on the poor surface at the otherwise impressive Optus Stadium in Perth, where a crowd of 58,228 saw Steven Gerrard’s Villa overturn a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at the death.

Jadon Sancho volleyed home his third goal of the tour at the end of a fine team move to open the scoring in a first half that ended with Marcus Rashford’s strike deflecting in off Matty Cash.

Leon Bailey pulled one back with a superb solo goal shortly after his half-time introduction and Chambers’ headed home his corner with the last touch of the night as David De Gea was caught in no-man’s land.

United captain Harry Maguire did not face any noticeable negativity days after being booed in Melbourne and went close to an early opener as Emiliano Martinez saved his header from a Luke Shaw corner.

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Marcus Rashford helped put United 2-0 up (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

Marcus Rashford helped put United 2-0 up (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

AP/PA Images

Marcus Rashford helped put United 2-0 up (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

Cash sent a fizzing strike just across the face of goal on a rare Villa voyage forwards, with United dominating play for the most part and the dangerous Sancho finding the net at the end of a fine team move.

United swept play from right to left and Rashford played in the overlapping Shaw, who crossed for Sancho to volley home on the edge of the six-yard box in the 25th minute.

The heavens opened as the second half came to a conclusion but Ten Hag’s men kept their composure in monsoon conditions to score again.

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Substitute Leon Bailey impressed for Villa (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Substitute Leon Bailey impressed for Villa (Isaac Parkin/PA)

PA

Substitute Leon Bailey impressed for Villa (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Fred took possession inside his own half and his clipped ball put Sancho behind Villa’s backline, with the winger crossing for Rashford to get away a strike that went in off Cash in the 42nd minute.

Villa returned strongly from the half-time break. Ollie Watkins went close shortly before substitute Bailey brilliantly darted forwards, cut inside Victor Lindelof and bent a low shot beyond De Gea.

The Spaniard produced an excellent save in the 54th minute to tip over a deflected attempt by Bailey, who was proving a handful and was denied a leveller by sliding Maguire’s block having rounded the goalkeeper.

De Gea misread the resulting corner but Villa did not punish him – a poor decision that may be down to the conditions given someone had to run onto the pitch to chase a plastic chair that had blown away soon after.

Both sides made sweeping changes as the match wound down on a worsening pitch, taking the sting out of a clash that ended with Chambers rising to meet a Bailey corner as De Gea was caught out.


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