Point Spreads » Soccer » Henrik Larsson leads Manchester United v Aston Villa

Henrik Larsson leads Manchester United v Aston Villa

by Thomas Jensen on Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Henrik Larsson leads Manchester United v Aston VillaThe first place Manchester United Red Devils are back in Old Trafford Stadium to host Aston Villa for the second time this week after defeating the “Birmi” squad 2-1 for the third round of the FA Cup last Sunday. This time they play for the Barclays’ Premiership Saturday mid morning.  Manchester United -400 v Aston Villas +1000 kicks off at 10:00 AM EST.

In their most recent match, Milan Baros cancelled out Henrik Larsson's debut goal for Manchester United but substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sank Aston Villa by scoring the second and decisive goal. The Norwegian striker has a habit of coming in and scoring crucial goals and this third round match was no exception.  Ole’s game winning score came in stoppage time, the striker's effort squirming under the body of goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly whose mistake cost Villa the game.  Aston looked to have secured a replay when substitute Baros equalized but Solskjaer’s last word sent them home with a loss, disqualifying them from the Cup competition.
 
Henrik Larsson marked his debut for United by finding his scoring touch and playing superbly and fluidly with his new team. It was a good day for Manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Larsson was quickly in the action and delivered a good ball into the area after two minutes that was headed clear by Liam Ridgewell.United pushed forward and Ji-Sung Park's shot was deflected to safety three minutes later following a flowing move involving Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney.   Larsson then knocked the ball back to Rooney 25 yards out in the 12th minute, only to see his effort clear the bar.

Henrik Larsson was certainly looking sharp at this stage and sent a header into the arms of goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly in the 14th minute. He came close after Cristiano Ronaldo's effort had been cleared high into the air. A minute later and Larsson turned quickly after being released by Rooney only for Kiraly to make yet another save.
Bet on Manchester United v Aston Villa at WagerWeb.com
 
Rooney should have made the breakthrough in the 21st minute but sent a weak effort into Kiraly's arms after being set up by Larsson. Kiraly then came to Villa's rescue after 30 minutes when he did well to get a hand to Rooney's effort following some trickery from Cristiano Ronaldo.  The England striker then delayed his shot a minute later after Larsson made the opening, allowing Wilfred Bouma to make a timely challenge. Villa were again forced on the back foot in the 37th minute and Larsson looked certain to score.  While he got a sweet enough touch on the ball, Kiraly stuck out a leg and made the clearance robbing him once again. United were on a roll at this stage and Larsson peeled away from his marker in stoppage time but could not get enough power on his header.
 
Villa retaliated, however, and Juan Pablo Angel found space inside the area, only to stray into an offside position. Ronaldo then raced forward after being released by Giggs in the 52nd minute but pulled his 20 yard effort wide of the target.  Larsson then marked his stellar debut and announced his arrival at Old Trafford by making the breakthrough in the 55th minute. He showed good composure after being picked out by Rooney in the area to rattle a shot past up to then saviour Kiraly.
 
Villa almost drew level in the 67th minute but Gary Cahill headed wide following a corner from Gavin McCann. Then two minutes later Osbourne got clear only for Kuszczak to make a crucial block but they eventually drew level in the 74th minute through substitute Milan Baros and the goal stunned United's supporters. The Czech striker took advantage of some slack marking to score from close range.  Larsson was rightly given a rousing reception in the 78th minute when he was replaced by Solskjaer. Rooney almost regained the lead for United in the 85th minute only to drag his effort wide. But then up stepped Solskjaer to score the winner for United in stoppage time.
 
WagerWeb.com has the Manchester United Red Devils at -400 (A $400 bet returns $100) and that just isn’t gonna happen for me. That type of risk is never one I am willing to put up with during a game. The unlikely Aston Villa is +1000 (A $100 bet returns $1,000) which is tempting but again highly improbable now that Larsson knows what to do.  I do have a different sentiment about this game on the total, I feel the UNDER 2.5 at +110 is a good price to take.

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