© PA Photos
Ashley Young, who was jeered by the home crowd throughout the first half, had United's first chance with a curling effort that landed just wide of Brad Guzan's post.
The hosts looked dangerous on the counter-attack but lacked quality in the final third of the pitch, with Andreas Weimann wasting a glorious opportunity to pick out Stephen Ireland inside the area.
United came into the game as the first half progressed, as Young and Antonio Valencia started to enjoy more time on the ball on either wing.
Ireland threatened to open the scoring before the break for Villa with a powerful strike that flew past the post.
However, it was Weimann who made up for his earlier mistake to give Villa the lead on the stroke of half-time from the edge of the box following good work from Christian Benteke.