Wayne Rooney was the hero as Manchester United came from behind to retain a knockout competition for the first time.
The game started off with fireworks as Nemanja Vidic pulled down Gabriel Agbonlahor in the penalty box and James Milner scored from the penalty spot to give Villa a 1-0 lead after only four minutes. They will debating for years in the second city whether the four deserved a red card.
There was no card of any color and six minutes later United were level. Richard Dunne was robbed by Dimitar Berbatov close to his own penalty area and though he made up the ground, in making his despairing tackle, Dunne only succeeded in rolling the ball into Owen’s path, offering the kind of instinctive first-time finish he has made a career out of.
Owen, playing in front of England boss Fabio Capello then strained a hamstring and had to be replaced by Rooney.
Then in the second half Rooney headed home a cross from man-of-the-match Valencia and United had the lead.
The Boy Wonder once again came to united’s rescue. If he continues this form through the rest of the season and into the World Cup, I don’t think there is any doubt that Rooney will become the fifth Manchester United play to win UEFA’s player of the year award.