Entering tonights game, Sheffield United had a chance to enter the weekend top of the league with a win, and Villa sat 4 points away from the playoffs.
A shaky start to the opening quarter of an hour for Villa led to some chances for the Blades, and an early corner was headed across and fired home by Billy Sharp. Sharp beats Tammy Abraham as the first player this season in the Championship to 20 goals, and it was only right that Tammy cleared the ball off the line, but unfortunately, the whole ball was over and the visitor’s led after 11’.
Villa had less than 30% possession in the opening 30 minutes, if that helps sum up the first half, but a few half chances here and there saw Villa finding their feet later in the half, and closing it out decently, with a window to still find a way back into this game.
A bright start to the second helped Villa think this might come true, but Billy Sharp had other thoughts in the 53’. A shot parried away from Kalinic found the head of a Sheffield player who headed the ball lofted to the back post and Kalinic got to it on the ground, but just barely. The ball just got into the Croatian keeper’s hands as Sharp pokes it out, but the referee allowed the goal and Villa’s hope became thinner.
Less than 10 minutes later, Sharp just about confirmed the three points for the visitors, as a deflected cross fell right to his head, completely unmarked. 3-0 to the blades, and Villa looked down and out in the 62’, as Sharp finds his hat trick.
Jonathan Kodjia and Mile Jedinak made way in the 65’ for Andre Green and Glenn Whelan, respectively. Both Kodjia and Jedinak made their first league starts in a while, but neither of them seemed up to the task. Kodjia had good spells, but a bit too lazy and Jedinak wasn’t to be bothered in that first half, finding his feet a little more in the second half before he was subbed off.
A first goal for Tyrone Mings in a Villa jersey brought one back off a Conor Hourihane corner in the 82’, but it was just a consolation goal, at that, right? WRONG.
Tammy Abraham followed in a shot from Tommy Elphick and buries it to make it 3-2 in the 85’, and suddenly Villa had a real chance at finding something from this game out of nowhere!
Two decent shouts for penalties for Villa were waved off after that as Tyrone Mings and then John McGinn were both pulled down in the box.
Then, in the five minutes of added time, it happened. A shanked clearance from the Sheffield defender gave the ball to John McGinn who clipped a ball back post, and the substitute Andre Green was there to head the ball home in the 94’, and rescue a point for Villa.
From 3-0 down, to 3-3 level, in the last 15 minutes of the game. Villa turn their heads and shift focus now to next week’s game at Brentford, Dean Smith’s ex-club.