The Red Devils knocked Villa out of the FA Cup in the third round at Old Trafford before travelling to Villa Park for back-to-back matches with Steven Gerrard’s men.
Bruno Fernandes fired United into the lead in the opening 10 minutes, with the 27-year-old Portuguese midfielder completing his brace in the second half.
However, Gerrard’s men rallied back from 2-0 down as Jacob Ramsey fired a superb strike past David de Gea late in the second half.
Philippe Coutinho, who was signed from Barcelona on a loan deal, came off the bench and scored Villa’s equaliser after being picked out by Ramsey.
Rangnick only had six outfield substitutes for the 2-2 draw with Villa amid injuries, COVID-19 absentees and players reporting for the Africa Cup of Nations.
The United interim manager claimed after the match that Martial, who has been linked with a January exit from Old Trafford, “didn't” want to be in the squad.
“He [Martial] didn't want to be in the squad,” he said.
“He would have been in the squad normally but he didn't want to and that was the reason why he didn't travel with us yesterday [Friday].”
Man Utd interim manager Ralf Rangnick says Anthony Martial didn't want to be in the squad for their 2-2 draw with Aston Villa in the Premier League 😳 pic.twitter.com/D3009cJMmJ— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 15, 2022
Martial took to Instagram and hit back at Rangnick’s claim by insisting that he would “never disrespect” United or the fans by refusing to play.
“I will never refuse to play a match for Man Utd,” he wrote in a message posted on Instagram Stories.
“I've been here for seven years and I never disrespected and will never disrespect the club and the fans.”
Martial had informed Rangnick of his desire to leave United in the January window and has attracted interest from Newcastle, Sevilla, Barcelona and Juventus.
Sevilla offered to take the 26-year-old United wantaway on a loan deal, but the Red Devils are pushing for Martial’s sale and turned down the approach.
Martial, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2015 from Monaco, inked a new United deal in 2019 and his current contract will expire in 2024.
The France international has scored 79 times in 268 appearances for United, with Martial lifting a Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup during his time at the club.
Featured Image Credit: Manchester United/Sky Sports
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