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Sheffield United v Aston Villa Live Commentary, 03/03/2021

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D. McGoldrick (30)
Bramall Lane


Thank you for following our coverage of tonight’s Premier League match-up between Sheffield United and Aston Villa. Until next time, stay safe!
Both of these sides return to Premier League action again at the weekend. Sheffield United host Southampton on Saturday afternoon whilst Aston Villa face Wolves in a West Midlands derby on Saturday evening.
The 10 men of Sheffield United claim a huge three points as they fend off Aston Villa at Bramall Lane. That was a monstrous defensive display from the hosts who snatch the victory thanks to McGoldrick’s close range finish in the first half. Jagielka was dismissed midway through the second 45 but the Blades stand strong to claim their fourth win of the season.
90' + 3' What a defensive effort this is from the 10 men of Sheffield United. Villa are throwing everybody forward, but the hosts are standing strong.
90' + 1' SAVE! It’s nearly a phenomenal finish from Konsa for Villa. The defender chests down a corner and unleashes a left-footed volley at goal. Ramsdale does brilliantly to claw the ball out though.
O. McBurnie
O. Burke
Sheffield United
89' The substitute is subbed as McBurnie replaces Burke upfront for the hosts. You'd imagine that's for his height with defending set pieces in the final stages.
88' This is quite the spectacle as Sheffield United crowd their own penalty area. Chris Wilder’s side literally have every single man behind the ball in an effort to capture three very valuable points here.
85' Time is really beginning to run out for Villa here. It must be extremely frustrating for their fans to watch as simple passes keep missing their targets in the final third. With the man advantage, you’d really expect better from the visitors especially if they have serious European qualification ambitions this season. 
83' Watkins is fouled by Stevens and the visitors have another dangerous free kick on the left wing. El Ghazi's delivery is extremely poor though and the hosts clear. 
K. Davis
Bertrand Traoré
Aston Villa
81' Another change for Aston Villa. This time Traore leaves the field as Davis takes his place. 
80' After the departure of McGoldrick, the hosts simply can’t keep possession in the Villa half. Every time the Blades clear the ball it’s back in front of their defence in no time. This will be a long last ten minutes for them.
78' BIG CHANCE! Watkins blocks two Sheffield United clearances and the ball breaks to Traore. The forward strikes from close range but Ampadu is there to block and save the day for the Blades.
76' After winning their opening four Premier League games this season, Aston Villa have won consecutive league matches just once since, doing so against West Brom and Crystal Palace in December. The visitors have 15 minutes left at Bramall Lane to try to break that record.
B. Osborn
D. McGoldrick
Sheffield United
73' Another substitution for the home side as Osborn comes on for the goalscorer McGoldrick. 
72' Again, Aston Villa work the ball into the Sheffield United box, but this time Watkins slices a cross straight over the host’s goal.
71' A sloppy ball from Targett eludes Barkley and rolls out for a Sheffield United goal kick. Unsuccessful plays by Villa like that will only fuel the hosts confidence during the final 20 minutes of play here at Bramall Lane.
M. Sanson
J. Ramsey
Aston Villa
69' The second is also a switch in midfield as Sanson comes on for Ramsey. 
R. Barkley
M. Nakamba
Aston Villa
68' A double switch for the visitors. The first sees Barkley replace Nakamba in midfield. 
67' SO CLOSE! Villa recycle the ball well and Traore lays the ball off to McGinn. The Scottish midfielder strikes at goal but Ampadu blocks the ball behind for a corner. That one was close to finding the top corner.
66' McGoldrick fouls Traore on the edge of the Sheffield United box and Villa have a very dangerous free kick. Konsa and Mings will come forward for this one.
64' Phil Jagielka is the second oldest player ever sent off in the Premier League (38y 198d), behind only Stuart Pearce in March 2001 for West Ham vs Everton (38y 341d).
62' Well, it’s certainly up to Aston Villa now to go and get a result from this match. With Sheffield United a man down and in torrid form at the moment, this is a huge chance for Villa to close the gap on the top four in the Premier League standings.
O. Burke
R. Brewster
Sheffield United
60' A swift change for Sheffield United following Jagielka’s sending off. Burke replaces Brewster for the hosts.
P. Jagielka
Red Card
Sheffield United
57' JAGIELKA IS SENT OFF!!! After a lengthy review from the referee, he deems that Jagielka was indeed the last man and the Sheffield United defender is dismissed. Some would say that's a harsh decision in truth. 
56' Jagielka hacks down El Ghazi and is shown a yellow card. Referee Robert Jones heads over to the VAR monitor however as he could have been the last man.
55' CROSSBAR! So close for Watkins and Villa. A ball is whipped in from the left wing and the forward produces a lovely flicked header from around 15 yards out that clips the crossbar over the helpless Ramsdale.
54' Sheffield United are just doing enough right now to hold onto their lead in this Premier League clash. The hosts look solid at the back and McGoldrick is proving to be a very helpful outlet upfront with his physical hold up play.
52' Well it looks like Barkley is getting ready to take to the field for Villa. The midfielder has just returned from a quick warm-up. 
50' BLOCK! McGinn finds Traore with a deft header just inside the Sheffield United box and the forward smashes a shot goalward. Jagielka however has different ideas and throws himself in the way of the strike. That’s fantastic defending from the veteran.
48' Aston Villa were far from their best in the first half and you’d imagine that they may have had a stern Dean Smith to deal with at the break. The visitors have started this half well though by pinning Sheffield United into their own half so far.
46' Both sets of players are back on the field and the second half begins!
With plenty of quality on the bench, expect to see Villa boss Dean Smith make some early changes in the second half if his side don’t immediately get back into this Premier League clash. Somebody like Barkley could prove key to unlocking this Sheffield United backline.
The hosts lead at the break thanks to an opener from forward McGoldrick midway through the first half. Both sides have had other chances in the opening 45 minutes and Villa have dominated the possession, but the away side head into the changing rooms a goal down.
D. McGoldrick
Yellow Card
Sheffield United
45' + 1' McGoldrick goes into the book for a rough foul on McGinn. 
44' Fleck and McGinn collide after both midfielders go in for a huge 50-50 challenge on the halfway line. Both get up soon after and shake hands. Great to see!  
43' El Ghazi drops his shoulder to get away from Baldock on the left wing but his whipped cross is too close to Ramsdale who collects with ease.
41' STRIKE! McGoldrick finds Brewster and the forward tries his luck from 25 yards out. His first-timed effort is full of power, but Martinez gets behind it well and keeps it out of the Villa net.
38' David McGoldrick (6) has scored twice the number of Premier League goals of any other Sheffield United player this season (Billy Sharp, 3); indeed, he has now equalled the Blades' top scorer in the competition from last season (McBurnie & Mousset, 6).
35' SO CLOSE! Traore nearly scores one of the goals of the season. The forward picks the ball up on the edge of the Sheffield United box and is surrounded by defenders. The former Lyon man drops his shoulder, takes three or four of them on but can only put his left-footed shot just wide of the far post from 10 yards out.
33' The visitors have reacted well to that opening Blades goal. They’re playing it around nicely but Sheffield United are holding firm at the back for now.
G. Baldock
Sheffield United
30' Baldock gets the assist on the goal thanks to his rather wayward effort from just outside the penalty area. 
D. McGoldrick
Sheffield United
30' GOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!! 1-0 TO THE BLADES. MCGOLDRICK!!!! The hosts have played well so far but that opener comes as a bit of a shock. Baldock cuts in from the right and strikes at goal. In truth it’s not the best effort and it’s heading comfortably wide however the Sheffield United captain reacts and turns the ball in at the back post from six yards out. That's a real poachers finish as they say. 
30' Sheffield United have lost 10 home league games this season, only losing more in one season in their entire history, losing 11 at Bramall Lane in 2010-11 in the Championship.
28' Not only has Watkins contributed to Aston Villa’s more potent strike force directly this season with goals and assists of his own but he’s such a danger out of possession with his constant pressing. The former Brentford man is fantastic at leading the line as the lone forward.
26' Watkins leaps above his man and nods the ball down to Traore but the forward can only head over from 12 yards out under little pressure. It was definitely an awkward one but that’s another fairly sizeable chance for the visitors.
24' Villa force a couple of corners in quick succession but the hosts hold firm and defend both relatively soundly.
22' It’s Villa’s time to claim for a penalty as Watkins is sandwiched between Bryan and Jagielka in the Sheffield United box. Replays show that perhaps the hosts got away with one there.
20' SAVE! El Ghazi slides a lovely ball through to Watkins who strikes first time looking for the far corner but Ramsdale does well to palm away the strike from 12 yards out.
18' The Blades force the first corner of the match and Fleck delivers. After a bit of commotion in the box, McGoldrick volleys goalward but his effort is blocked by a Villa defender. There were appeals for handball, but VAR doesn’t intervene after referee Robert Jones gives another corner instead.
16' The hosts move the ball around the Villa box well before Baldock tries to pick out Brewster near the penalty spot with a cross. Mings comes across to intercept however and the visitors clear the danger.
14' Aston Villa have kept more away clean sheets than any other Premier League side this season (8). The Villans have never kept nine clean sheets on the road in a single top-flight campaign before.
12' BIG CHANCE! McGinn really should finish the first big opportunity of the match. Traore cuts inside from the right before seeing a shot blocked from range. The ball breaks kindly for Villa though, however the Scottish midfielder can’t finish his chance from 10 yards out. That was a huge let off for the hosts.
9' The referee waves away Sheffield United shouts for a penalty as McGinn tackles Baldock 15 yards from goal. Villa break soon after but El Ghazi can’t find a teammate with his deep cross from inside the box.
7' Sheffield United have won their last two home league games against Aston Villa, last winning three in a row against them between 1968 and 1976.
5' Sheffield United have responded well since the opening few minutes. Norwood loops a ball towards McGoldrick at the back post, but the Villa defence manage to come out on top this time.
3' It’s Villa who have started this Premier League match stronger. The away side have claimed the majority of the possession so far and have already tried to play a dangerous cross into the Sheffield United penalty area from the left wing.
1' Referee Robert Jones blows his whistle and we’re underway here in South Yorkshire!
The players are emerging from the tunnel and kick-off is just moments away.
Aston Villa are looking to secure their first league double over Sheffield United since the 1993-94 campaign, following their 1-0 win against them earlier this season.
Visitors Aston Villa are again without star midfielder Jack Grealish who is still sidelined with a knock. Right-back Matty Cash is also unavailable for selection. As a result in defence, boss Dean Smith opts for Elmohamady, Mings, Konsa and Targett to make up the back line. Nakamba and McGinn anchor the midfield with Traore, Ramsey and El Ghazi playing as the three behind striker Watkins.
With an extensive injury list to contend with, Blades boss Wilder opts for a similar starting XI to the one that lost out to Liverpool on Sunday evening. Ampadu, Jagielka and Bryan continue as the three centre-backs whilst Baldock and Stevens operate as the two wing-backs. Lundstram, Fleck and Norwood all start in central midfield whilst Brewster and McGoldrick lead the line for the hosts.
ASTON VILLA SUBS: Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, Neil Taylor, Ross Barkley, Trezeguet, Morgan Sanson, Douglas Luiz, Keinan Davis, Kaine Kesler.
ASTON VILLA (4-2-3-1): Emiliano Martinez; Ahmed El Mohamady, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett; Marvelous Nakamba, John McGinn; Bertrand Traore, Jacob Ramsey, Anwar El Ghazi; Ollie Watkins.
SHEFFIELD UNITED SUBS: Wes Foderingham, Max Lowe, Oliver Burke, Frankie Maguire, Iliman Ndiaye, Ben Osborn, Oliver McBurnie, Lys Mousset, Billy Sharp.
SHEFFIELD UNITED (3-5-2): Aaron Ramsdale; Kean Bryan, Phil Jagielka, Ethan Ampadu; George Baldock, John Lundstram, John Fleck, Oliver Norwood, Enda Stevens; Rhian Brewster, David McGoldrick.
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United welcome high-flying Aston Villa to Bramall Lane as the Blades desperately go in search of a vital win to prolong their fight against relegation. Villa though arrive in South Yorkshire in fine form and will be looking for a victory that would push them up to eighth spot in the Premier League standings.
Hello and welcome to our live text commentary of this Premier League fixture between Sheffield United and Aston Villa.