Dean Smith says Aston Villa have suffered for too long at Old Trafford and credited his brave and bullish squad of players after their first win over Manchester United in 18 attempts.
The manager masterminded Villa’s first victory in United’s back yard for the first time since 2009 with Kortney Hause powering home in the 88th-minute.
Bruno Fernandes missed a stoppage-time penalty as Villa ran out winners to claim their third win from six played in the Premier League thus far.
Speaking to BirminghamLive , Smith said: “We’ve been close (to winning) in the last couple of years that we’ve played here. People will look at and say it’s a big result but it was an even bigger performance. We deserved the win as well and we had the bigger chances.
“I thought we were aggressive and brave against a front four of Ronaldo, Pogba, Fernandes and Greenwood and we stood resolute.
“We wanted to be brave. We were too passive in that first half at times but we wanted to go down that right-hand side. We got on the front foot, we felt we could get down the sides with Ollie’s running and Danny Ings’ running and build up with our wing-backs.
“What epitomised the performance and how brave it was was Matt Cash crossing for Matt Targett in the six-yard box and then putting it over. That just showed our attacking intent.”
Smith, who had his proud family watching on at Old Trafford, added: “It’s a big one, simply because we’ve suffered for so many years as a football club coming to Manchester United.
“The seeds of belief were sown at Chelsea the other week despite the scoreline, we took a lot of confidence from that game.
“But I’ve got a back three and Axel who wasn’t playing today who are all good in the air, athletic and very rarely get beat in one-vs-one situations.
“As much as I’m pleased with Hause coming in and getting that goal today, but also Tyrone who got some stick after Chelsea and we’ve gone back-to-back with clean sheets now.
“I’m really pleased with the group as a whole.”