They made Pep Guardiola put the champagne back in the fridge.
Manchester United are being driven by sheer pride and, of course, Mason Greenwood.
Trailing at half time, United were in serious danger of handing over the title to champions-elect Manchester City.
But the second half turnaround was nothing short of remarkable and 19-year-old Greenwood wrote his name into the United record books with a precious piece of history which might also make him a late shout for the Euros.
Greenwood’s second half strike made it 16 goals for United in the Premier League which is more than Wayne Rooney (15), Marcus Rashford (13), Ryan Giggs (12) and even Cristiano Ronaldo managed with eight.
Incredibly, it was United’s tenth win from a losing position this season as they are the comeback kings and they have now not lost at Villa Park in 22 visits, since the opening day of the 1995/96 season and Alan Hansen’s infamous “you can’t win anything with kids” remark.
Back then, United went on to win the title which has long since been out of their grasp this year but they are making one hell of a last stand to make City boss Guardiola wait to be crowned champions.
And, incredibly, if they win all of their remaining games then they can finish with 82 points which would be the highest tally since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Of course it is not enough for United and their ambition to be top dogs again but if they can address a few obvious failings in the squad then they will surely be a lot closer next season.
Especially if they can build around the likes of Greenwood, strengthen in some key areas and show more consistency and defensive solidity to match the attacking flair.
This was the first of United’s three games in five days and, even though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may rest players against Leicester on Tuesday, they were not ready to surrender against Aston Villa.
United were not at their best in the first half and went behind after 24 minutes. It was a catalogue of errors as Scott McTominay and Fred dithered, Victor Lindelof allowed himself to be bullied by Bertrand Traore who then fired an unstoppable cross shot into the top corner.
But United came out a different team after the second half. Paul Pogba used his strength to hold off Douglas Luiz who had a nibble then a second as he pushed the United midfielder – and conceded a penalty for a clumsy challenge.
Up stepped Bruno Fernandes to send Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez the wrong way and score his 27th goal in all competitions which was also his 13th penalty of the season after 52 minutes.
Four minutes later, the game was turned on its head. Aaron Wan-Bissaka played the ball into Greenwood’s feet, the United forward fooled Villa defender Tyrone Mings with a sublime turn and then arrowed a 20 yard shot into the bottom corner.
Greenwood has been out of the England picture at senior level since breaking coronavirus rules being sent home from Iceland in disgrace but now, with the under-21s out of the European Championships, and the United striker in red-hot form it may be time for a recall.
United got a third after 87 minutes. Marcus Rashford’s teasing cross from the right found Edinson Cavani racing in and the United striker glanced home.
It got even worse for Villa in the last minute. Ollie Watkins had been booked in the first half, took a tumble under Dean Henderson’s challenge and referee Chris Kavanagh sent him off for a second yellow card. It seemed incredibly harsh as he did not even appeal.