In this one, Aston Villa took on Sheffield United to really kick off the upcoming crowded festive period of matches. With the recent history of results between these two sides, it was always going to be a interesting one.
There really wasn’t much to write home about in the first half at all, with no real threats to either goal.
The big talking points would have to be about the scrappiness of the play itself, and the physical play from both sides. United saw yellow twice in the first half, conceding upwards of five fouls.
After the break, the hosts came out with high pressure and created some chances off crosses into the box, and in the 50’ they took the lead. A quick, wide, creative move and a low ball in found a late runner and it was John Fleck there to pass it first-time past Tom Heaton.
Villa’s first chance came in the 55’ when a big switch from John McGinn to Anwar El Ghazi was crossed into Wesley. The striker got involved finally, and did well to hold off the defender and get a shot off but unfortunately smashed it into the side netting.
Just a couple of minutes later, El Ghazi crossed it again, this time to the far post, but Jack Grealish’s header was just not clean enough and it bounced inches wide in the 57’.
Kourtney Hause was having a solid Premier League debut, and was cautioned in the 64’ for a high boot just outside our defensive penalty area.
65’ and 69’ Villa made their first two changes. Douglas Luiz for Henri Lansbury as the first and then Jonathan Kodjia for Wesley as the second change.
Fleck scored his second of the game in the 72’ to give the hosts a comfortable 2-0 lead, getting behind the defense and finishing nicely again.
Villa were given a lifeline in the 79’ through a (correctly called) VAR-given penalty, but Jack Grealish stepped up and unfortunately smashed the spot kick off the bar and it was cleared to stay 2-0 to the hosts.
Final change for Villa was Trezeguet on for Anwar El Ghazi in the 80’, when Villa were really chasing the game hoping to get one back.
Sheffield could’ve had a third, but in the end, it was a final of 2-0 to the hosts.
Aston Villa have a home mid-week cup match against Liverpool, then two more important home fixtures against Southampton and Norwich.
10 defeats for Villa already this season, we move on and put our heads down to work.
Up the Villa.