Premier League
Sheff UtdSheffield United1Aston VillaAston Villa0

Sheffield United 1-0 Aston Villa: David McGoldrick scores winner for bottom club

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
Aston Villa's John McGinn goes close against Sheffield United
Aston Villa lost away from home for the first time since 27 January

Bottom club Sheffield United survived for more than 30 minutes with 10 men to claim only the fourth Premier League win of their disappointing season and dent Aston Villa's European ambitions.

David McGoldrick gave his side a first-half lead from inside the six-yard area after being picked out by George Baldock following a lovely move that started inside the Blades' half.

United defender Phil Jagielka was sent off after half-time for a foul on Anwar El Ghazi after referee Robert Jones viewed the incident on a pitchside monitor and changed the yellow card he had initially given him to a red.

Villa's Ollie Watkins headed against the post shortly before Jagielka's red card but the visitors were unable to take advantage of the 38-year-old former Everton player's dismissal.

The result ended a four-match losing run for Chris Wilder's spirited side who, despite victory, remain 12 points from safety in the Premier League with 11 matches to play.

"Any result in this division is a huge result for Sheffield United," said Wilder after only a second clean sheet league win of the season.

Villa could have moved three points from a Champions League place with a win but were disappointing, and missed the guile of Jack Grealish as they tried to break down a stubborn Blades side.

Blades show appetite for fight

Despite his side's seemingly hopeless position at the foot of the table, Wilder said before the game his players would not be waving the white flag between now and the end of a wretched season that has produced 21 league defeats.

His players responded to their manager's words with a gutsy performance that was even more impressive given they lost their most experienced player in the 57th minute.

Jagielka sent El Ghazi crashing as he was about to race clear, although it required a check on the monitor before the yellow card was upgraded to red.

Sheffield United 1-0 Aston Villa: Win for Blades is 'big result' says boss Chris Wilder

"Obviously it was made a little more difficult going down to 10 men, but we showed good character - as I've spoken about all season regarding my team," added Wilder.

Former England centre-back Jagielka had earlier made a superb block to deny Bertrand Traore an equaliser as the Blades defended with the kind of vigour and organisation which characterised their fine 2019-20 season.

They remained resolute in the closing stages when Villa were desperately searching for an equaliser, Oliver Norwood throwing himself at Ezri Konsa's shot during a frantic finish.

Eight months after finishing ninth in the table with 19 more points than Villa, despite this result it will require an extraordinary set of circumstances for Sheffield United to stay up.

At least they showed an appetite for a fight in spite of their position as Villa joined Manchester United, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion as the sides to lose to the Blades, who have now won three of their six home league games in 2021, this season.

A performance to forget

Villa's transformation since surviving relegation on the final day of last season has been startling - but this was a performance to forget from a team that has been turning heads this campaign.

They started the season with four straight wins and although they have thrown in some surprise defeats - this loss coming four days after winning at Leeds - it has been a positive campaign for Dean Smith's side.

They struggled to impose themselves in front of goal at Bramall Lane, although Watkins was unfortunate with his header that struck the woodwork, while Traore went close after showing great foot work inside the penalty area.

Sheffield United 1-0 Aston Villa: Defeat is 'pure frustration' for 'annoyed' Dean Smith

Keeper Emiliano Martinez has impressed all season but there was little he could do to keep out McGoldrick from close range after the defence was undone by Baldock's pass.

Villa have been excellent on the road this season, with victories at Leicester, Arsenal and Wolves among seven they have managed away from Villa Park.

But this performance left Smith "annoyed" and "frustrated" and the Villa boss will not want to dwell on the result - particularly as his side face a tough run-in that includes home matches against Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea as well as Liverpool away.

"We shouldn't be leaving with nothing, we threw points away tonight," said Smith.

'They give everything to get a result' - what they said

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder: "We've not got enough results in these kind of tight games. My team has shown tonight that the majority of the time, if not all the time, they give everything to get a result.

"I was disappointed with the decision [red card]. Oli McBurnie at the end was playing as a centre-half because we had to see the game out and thankfully we did. I thought we defended well."

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "I'm a little bit annoyed. We lacked a bit of quality in the final third and I thought we became a little bit too frantic trying to find the goal.

"Our build-up until the 18-yard box was pretty good. We had big chances in the first half which we should have taken. That's the disappointing thing about it."

Second-oldest red card - the stats

  • Phil Jagielka, at 38 years and 198 days, is the second-oldest player to be sent off in the Premier League, behind only Stuart Pearce in March 2001 for West Ham against Everton, at the age of 38 years and 341 days.
  • Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has only beaten Chris Wilder once in their seven meetings in all competitions.
  • For the first time in the Premier League, Sheffield United managed to win a match in which they received a red card - although Jagielka's red was the first time they had been reduced to 10 men while already winning.
  • David McGoldrick (6) has scored twice the number of Premier League goals of any other Sheffield United player this season.
Bottom of the Premier League table, where Sheffield United are 12 points from safety despite beating Aston Villa

What's next?

Both teams are at home on Saturday with Southampton visiting Sheffield United (15:00 GMT) before Aston Villa host a West Midlands derby with Wolves (17:30).

Player of the match

McGoldrickDavid McGoldrick

with an average of 7.24

Sheffield United

  1. Squad number17Player nameMcGoldrick
    Average rating


  2. Squad number22Player nameAmpadu
    Average rating


  3. Squad number23Player nameOsborn
    Average rating


  4. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale
    Average rating


  5. Squad number4Player nameFleck
    Average rating


  6. Squad number2Player nameBaldock
    Average rating


  7. Squad number16Player nameNorwood
    Average rating


  8. Squad number24Player nameBrewster
    Average rating


  9. Squad number29Player nameBryan
    Average rating


  10. Squad number3Player nameStevens
    Average rating


  11. Squad number9Player nameMcBurnie
    Average rating


  12. Squad number7Player nameLundstram
    Average rating


  13. Squad number14Player nameBurke
    Average rating


  14. Squad number15Player nameJagielka
    Average rating


Aston Villa

  1. Squad number26Player nameMartínez
    Average rating


  2. Squad number11Player nameWatkins
    Average rating


  3. Squad number4Player nameKonsa
    Average rating


  4. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating


  5. Squad number5Player nameMings
    Average rating


  6. Squad number15Player nameTraoré
    Average rating


  7. Squad number18Player nameTargett
    Average rating


  8. Squad number21Player nameEl Ghazi
    Average rating


  9. Squad number19Player nameNakamba
    Average rating


  10. Squad number41Player nameRamsey
    Average rating


  11. Squad number27Player nameAhmed El Mohamady
    Average rating


  12. Squad number20Player nameBarkley
    Average rating


  13. Squad number39Player nameDavis
    Average rating


  14. Squad number25Player nameSanson
    Average rating



Sheff Utd

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 22Ampadu
  • 15JagielkaBooked at 57mins
  • 29Bryan
  • 2Baldock
  • 7Lundstram
  • 16Norwood
  • 4Fleck
  • 3Stevens
  • 17McGoldrickBooked at 45minsSubstituted forOsbornat 73'minutes
  • 24BrewsterSubstituted forBurkeat 60'minutesSubstituted forMcBurnieat 89'minutes


  • 9McBurnie
  • 10Sharp
  • 11Mousset
  • 13Lowe
  • 14Burke
  • 18Foderingham
  • 23Osborn
  • 34Ndiaye
  • 35Maguire

Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 26Martínez
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 4Konsa
  • 5Mings
  • 18Targett
  • 7McGinn
  • 19NakambaSubstituted forBarkleyat 68'minutes
  • 41RamseySubstituted forSansonat 68'minutes
  • 15TraoréSubstituted forDavisat 81'minutes
  • 11Watkins
  • 21El Ghazi


  • 1Heaton
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 17Trézéguet
  • 20Barkley
  • 22Engels
  • 25Sanson
  • 39Davis
  • 62Hayden
Robert Jones

Match Stats

Home TeamSheff UtdAway TeamAston Villa
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sheffield United 1, Aston Villa 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sheffield United 1, Aston Villa 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Enda Stevens.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Sheffield United) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Anwar El Ghazi with a cross.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by George Baldock.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ezri Konsa Ngoyo (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Anwar El Ghazi with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by John Fleck.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Oliver McBurnie replaces Oliver Burke.

  11. Post update

    Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Enda Stevens (Sheffield United).

  13. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ross Barkley.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Keinan Davis replaces Bertrand Traoré.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ahmed El Mohamady (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Bertrand Traoré with a cross following a corner.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Ben Osborn.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bertrand Traoré (Aston Villa) right footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Ollie Watkins.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Bertrand Traoré (Aston Villa).

  20. Post update

    John Fleck (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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