Scott McTominay scored the only goal as Manchester United booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup courtesy of a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday evening.
The Scotland international rose highest to meet a Fred cross in the eighth minute, and it proved all-important in an evenly matched contest.
Ralf Rangnick’s men started brightly under the lights at Old Trafford and were rewarded when McTominay fired in a bullet header after Villa failed to deal with an earlier corner.
Steven Gerrard’s men almost equalised just after the half-hour mark when Ollie Watkins picked up the ball inside the box and produced a snapshot but it smashed against the crossbar as United survived.
Villa were the better team in the second half and almost equalised when Danny Ings reacted quickly in the penalty area and scored with aplomb, only for his goal to be ruled out for offside.
Mason Greenwood then forced a world-class save from Emi Martinez with a ferocious shot that was headed for the bottom left side of the goal, but the goalie made a wonderful stop.
Despite their late efforts, Villa could not break down United’s defense as they exited the competition.
United will now face Middlesborough in the fourth round.