Manchester United latest: Champions League draw & reaction to Villa win

Darren Fletcher

News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.

Manchester United beat Aston Villa 3-0 at Villa Park on Sunday.

Danny Welbeck netted a brace in the opening 20 minutes of the game and Tom Cleverley added a third in the second half to ensure the Red Devils took all three points. The Red Devils won without Robin van Persie who has been ruled out for up to a month with a thigh injury.

Manager David Moyes has called for referees to protect youngster Adnan Januzaj once again following the win over Villa, though boss Paul Lambert denied his team had targeted the teenage United star.

"I think in every game recently, I don't know how many tackles have been on Januzaj," said Moyes.

"That's why I'm annoyed with the fourth officials and the referees – before you know it the boy will get a sore one because he is definitely not getting protected by the officials.

"It's terrible what they are allowing to go on at the moment. This boy is an incredible talent, it's not necessarily the same player but I think they are queuing up and taking turns about who is going to kick him next. There were that many tackles on him from different players and I think it's something that referees are going to have to think about. They are queuing up to kick him," the boss added.

Lambert, however, responded stating:

“I don't think anybody could ever say we are the most physical side in the world. I don't think it was a malicious game."

United veteran Darren Fletcher returned to the squad for the trip to Villa and came on a 70th minute substitute for Ryan Giggs. The Scot hopes to be back for good following a lengthy spell out due to a bowel condition.

Fletcher told MUTV: "This is it, I'm back for good. This is hopefully the game, which means I'm back now. I seem to have come through the setbacks and health issues and I'm thankful for that. It's onwards and upwards now.

"I always believed I would come back, I kept that mindset. I think other people around me were trying to make me think otherwise, but I stayed strong and believed I would get back," he added.

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Meanwhile, United have drawn Olympiakos in the next round of the Champions League. The Red Devils will travel to Athens for the first leg of the tie on February 25th next year and then host the Greek champions at Old Trafford for the second leg on March 19th.

Finally, legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson was honoured with the BBC Diamond award at the Sports Personality of the Year award show on Sunday evening. The Scot made a speech thanking those he worked alongside and praised the players he had worked with, including United favourite Cristiano Ronaldo who sent him a heart-warming video message in tribute. David Moyes and Ryan Giggs were also in attendence and Sir Bobby Charlton presented the award to Ferguson.

What do you think of the Champions League draw?

image: © apasciuto

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