With four straight wins in the Premier League, Manchester United are on track for a return to the Champions League as the team goes from strength to strength under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes scored again - a penalty, contentiously awarded, for his seventh goal in 10 games since joining in January - and teenage striker Mason Greenwood powered home his fourth goal in the last three games.
Paul Pogba added the third in the second half with his first goal of an injury-affected season to complete a 3-0 win.
United stayed in fifth but moved to within a point of fourth-place Leicester, whose long stay in the top four could soon be over.
United were comfortable winners at Villa Park, but only after being sent on their way by a controversially awarded penalty.
Fernandes went to ground just inside the area even though he appeared to tread on the right ankle of Villa defender Ezri Konsa after spinning on the ball.
After a consultation with VAR, the on-field decision to award a penalty was upheld and Fernandes sent Pepe Reina the wrong way from the spot in the 27th minute.
It was United's 13th penalty of the season. No team has ever been awarded more in a single Premier League campaign.
The 18-year-old Greenwood then fired home a rising shot from the edge of the area in first-half stoppage time.
Pogba and Fernandes combined for the third goal, with Fernandes finding Pogba at the edge of the area from a corner before the Frenchman curled home a finish past Reina.
Villa manager Dean Smith was enraged with the decision to award United a penalty.
"It all changed around on the penalty decision," he told Sky Sports.
"I can understand Jon (referee Jon Moss) getting it wrong but if that goes to VAR, I don't know what they're looking at. It's a disgraceful decision."
Solskjaer disagreed with Smith's opinion.
"I don't think so. I think the boy, he's done a Zidane turn and the boy has stuck his leg out and Bruno has landed on him."
Meanwhile Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was lucky to escape with a point against Bournemouth.
Eddie Howe's relegation-haunted team had two disallowed goals in the dying moments of their 0-0 draw, which could prove costly to their Premier League survival.
Both incidents involved striker Josh King and the first was a header ruled out for offside with five minutes of regular time remaining.
A total of 12 minutes were added on due to lengthy stoppages, and Callum Wilson had his overhead-kick finish in the last minute scrapped because the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled King had handled the ball on its way in.
Bournemouth are now in third-to-last place, but are three points from safety with four games remaining.
Danny Ings kept himself in the running to win the Golden Boot with his 19th goal of the season for Southampton in a 1-1 draw at Everton.
The striker, three goals behind leading scorer Leicester's Jamie Vardy, scored in the 31st minute at Goodison Park only for Richarlison to score Everton's equaliser shortly before halftime.
Australian Associated Press