Darren Fletcher was greeted fondly by the travelling Manchester United fans at Villa Park this afternoon when he came on to the pitch to warm up at half-time. “There’s only one Darren Fletcher!” the crowd sang on repeat, and “Darren Fletcher, football genius!” which he applauded in response.

He came on to replace Giggs with 70 minutes played, his first football since Boxing Day 2012, and David Moyes reckons the midfielder looked like he had never been out of the team.

“To people who do have illnesses, it says to keep going and believing, and Darren has done that,” said Moyes. “I thought when he came on it looked like he had never been away. I was really impressed because we are not sure where he is. He has had a few reserve games and has been training, and you can never tell until he gets into the senior games. I don’t want to put pressure on him and say that is Darren Fletcher back because you just never know.”