Moyes Out banner
The plane was met by booing at Old Trafford during the win over Aston Villa.

Manchester United manager David Moyes received a significant boost in his attempt to escape the sack, getting a vote of confidence from supporters when a plane carrying the message "Wrong One – Moyes Out" was booed when flown over Old Trafford during United's 4-1 hammering of Aston Villa.

Moyes had been told to expect the plane during the visit of Villa after a fans' statement confirmed that a protest against his tenure with the Premier League champions would be made on Saturday lunchtime.

The 50-year-old made the uncharacteristic move of taking his seat in the United dugout before the players emerged from the tunnel and was met by a standing ovation from the home support before a chorus of boos accompanied the appearance of the plane after kick-off.

The reaction is a clear indicator that while supporters on social media and club forums are beginning to turn against Moyes, United's core fan base remains willing to give the Scot time, just eight months after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson.

Wayne Rooney's first half double, Juan Mata's first United goal and Javier Hernandez's stoppage time tap-in saw them come from behind to beat Paul Lambert's Villa and keep the club in contention for a European place next season while temporarily silencing the doubters.

But a Premier League record six home defeats this season has put Moyes under heavy pressure from fans, who had watched two insipid performances in 3-0 defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City in the past fortnight.

The former Everton boss had promised not to be distracted by the pre-match protest from fans, who had clubbed together a reported £840 to pay for a banner calling for Moyes' sacking, but he can't have failed to notice the backing received from inside Old Trafford.

The banner, though largely criticised in the media, had the potential to be a watershed moment in Moyes' United career and attract the attention of the Glazer family but instead provided the opportunity for the champions' fans to pledge their support.

At full time Moyes went to the Stretford End to show his appreciation as United claimed a result that relieves the pressure and gives him a valuable lifeline.