An early headed goal by Scott McTominay proved decisive for Manchester United as they held on by the skin of their teeth to beat Aston Villa 1-0 in an absorbing FA Cup third round tie at Old Trafford on Monday.
While victory was a welcome relief for United manager Ralf Rangnick, it was a performance that showed just how much work he has to do if United are to challenge for silverware.
Villa will wonder how they bowed of the competition after responding to McTominay's eighth-minute opener with a dominant display, striking the woodwork twice, forcing David de Gea into several saves and having two goals disallowed.
McTominay glanced in Fred's curling delivery to give the hosts a flying start, but from then on they struggled to contain a lively Villa side who played the better football.
The reward for 12-time FA Cup champions United is a home draw against second-tier Middlesbrough.