The 27-year-old skipper saw Adnan Januzaj's first-half strike condemn his side to a 1-0 loss in Friday night's clash at Villa Park.
The claret and blues were far from overrun during the 90 minutes but missed another chance to record their first win over United at Villa Park since 1995, as Adnan Januzaj’s deflected 29th-minute goal saw the visitors seal all three points.
Tim Sherwood’s new look side featured five summer signings in the starting line-up, including Richards, and their lack of game together was evident in the attacking third of the pitch, as Villa struggled to create chances over the course of the match.
Nevertheless, Sherwood himself was quick to praise his team’s work-rate in his post-match interview, while his captain also took to Twitter after the defeat to both echo those sentiments and thank the sell-out crowd for their support.
Lads are still gelling and will get better with more games! I can't fault the lads for effort! Thank you to the fans again #AVFC— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) August 15, 2015
Richards happened to be one Villa’s better performers on the night, as the former Manchester City man proved rock solid at the back and should have had a penalty just before half-time after a tussle with Matteo Darmian in the box in the lead-up to a corner.
Already appointed skipper following Fabian Delph’s shock move to his old club, the 27-year-old defender has been given the chance to establish himself at centre-half after spending most of his career at the Etihad Stadium at right-back and, so far, the transition has been an almost seamless one.
Building a strong rapport with defensive partner Ciaran Clark since the start of pre-season, his displays in the Premier League opener at Bournemouth and Friday night’s defeat have earned him widespread praise among the claret and blue faithful and even seen Sherwood back him for an England recall.
If he can keep up that form going forward then, having arrived on a free transfer this summer, Villa will have got an absolute bargain.