Aston Villa hero Kortney Hause claimed it was not “too tough” to defend against Manchester United in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
The centre-back powered in a header from a corner in the 88th minute to give Dean Smith’s side a first away Premier League win over United since December 2009.
It looked as though Hause had handed the Red Devils a share of the spoils after he conceded a penalty in injury time for handball, but Bruno Fernandes missed from the spot for just the second time in 23 attempts in his United career, blazing the ball high into the Stretford End.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men lost 1-0 to West Ham in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, a game in which they attempted 27 shots but failed to find the net.
It was a similar story against Villa, United firing in 28 attempts but hitting the target with just four of them. It was the highest shots tally they have mustered without scoring in a league match since a goalless draw with Burnley in October 2016.
Hause, though, never felt Villa’s defence was especially stretched and only the late spot-kick had him particularly worried.
“We had the better chances,” he told BBC Sport. “We haven’t really had to defend too tough as a team, but we’ve come away with the three points and that’s all that matters. We’re happy.
“When they gave the penalty I was devastated and fuming with myself. Looking back I didn’t make myself any bigger. I’ve tried to bring my arms in so when Bruno blazed it over the bar I was relieved. I think it was justice in the end because I don’t think it was a penalty.
“The rules are the rules. All we can do as players is play the game and play it well and whatever decision the referees and VAR want to give we have to get on with it.”
Solskjaer was frustrated that Villa’s goal was allowed to stand, with Ollie Watkins having stood in front of De Gea while offside before Hause met the ball, as United went eight home league games without keeping a clean sheet for the first time since February 1972.
Smith, however, felt his side created the better chances and believed it would have been unfair had Fernandes snatched a point.
“We had two big [chances] in the first half,” he said. “We had one wing-back cross it to the other wing-back and Matt Targett put it over the bar, and then Ollie Watkins had a big chance where David de Gea’s miskicked it and then made a really good save.
“They had lots of little chances where we got in really good blocks. I thought we deserved the win: we were aggressive, and brave, and you have to be sometimes coming here.
“I thought it was a very harsh penalty; I’m not sure where he’s meant to put his arm. Justice was done when he missed it.”
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