Aston Villa held at home by Man United

Aston Villa's Philippe Coutinho applauds at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park in Birmingham, England, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Philippe Coutinho came off the bench to score a late equalizer on his debut for Aston Villa in a 2-2 draw against Manchester United in the English Premier League on Saturday.

United had just taken a 2-0 lead, thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ second goal of the game, when Coutinho entered as a substitute to loud cheers at Villa Park.

The Brazil playmaker played a part in Jacob Ramsey’s 77th-minute goal that gave Villa hope, then turned in a low cross from Ramsey at the far post five minutes later in front of the Holte End.

It was a second match in six days between the teams, with United having edged a somewhat fortuitous 1-0 win in the FA Cup on Monday.

Ralf Rangnick’s side looked on course for another hard-fought victory against Villa after Emiliano Martinez let a long-range shot from Fernandes squirm through his grasp and through his legs in the sixth minute.

Fernandes, the stand-in captain with Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo still missing because of injuries, added a brilliant second in the 67th from a shot in off the crossbar after Villa lost possession in its own half.

Coutinho provided a wild end to a thrilling encounter that United started impressively without Ronaldo for a second straight game.

United stayed seventh, a point behind Tottenham having played two games more. Spurs were due to play Arsenal on Sunday but the game was called off on Saturday.