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Phil Jones goal keeps Man Utd within reach

Phil Jones goal keeps Man Utd within reach

Phil Jones' first goal of his league career was enough to ensure that Manchester United remained within touching distance of city rivals Man City at the top of the league. The former Blackburn defender bundled home Nani's cross in the 20th minute to ensure a 1-0 win over Aston Villa.

Man Utd needed three points today are face the prospect of both Tottenham leapfrogging them in the Premier League table, whilst Man City would also increase the gap at the top of the league by eight points.

This match would require a huge effort from United, as Ashley Young prepared to take on his former club at Villa Park.

Young enjoyed a mixed reaction throughout on his return to Villa, and his former club coped admirably throughout with Alan Hutton nullifying the threat of Young for most of the game.

However, Phil Jones today would be the hero with the only goal of the game. The impressive Nani found space down the flank to cross in for Jones - playing in midfield for most of the game - to bundle the ball home past Shay Given.

Aston Villa were no match for United throughout, but Anders Lindegaard had to be at his best to keep out James Collins late on from a header.

Unfortunately for both teams, their sides took a battering as Chicarito, Jermaine Jenas and Shay Given all came off with injuries.

An important three points for United, who will be hoping to keep up the pressure on City at the top of the table.