Match: Sheffield United vs Aston Villa
Competition: Premier League
Date: Saturday 14th December 2019
Venue: Bramall Lane
Fleck 49, 73
Heaton, Guilbert, Engels, Hause, Targett, Nakamba, Lansbury (Douglas Luiz 66'), McGinn, El Ghazi (Trezeguet 80'), Wesley (Kodjia 69'), Grealish (C)
Unused subs: Nyland (GK), Taylor, Konsa, Elmohamady
Story in brief
Aston Villa suffered a third-straight defeat on Saturday, as they were beaten 2-0 by Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
A brace from Scottish international John Fleck gave the Blades all three points, lifting United into the top five.
Jack Grealish missed a penalty late on to add to Villa’s woes.
The result keeps Dean Smith’s side out of the relegation zone, but only on goal difference.
After an uneventful first half, the game sprung to life early in the second period when Fleck gave the hosts the lead.
A well-worked move on the right-hand side resulted in John Lundstram firing in a low ball which Fleck was able to meet at the near post, steering the ball past Tom Heaton.
Villa produced a couple of chances of their own soon after.
Wesley lashed a shot into the side netting from a tight angle, before Grealish planted a back-post header just wide of the mark after some good work from Anwar El Ghazi.
Villa would rue those missed chances, however, as Fleck doubled his and United’s tally on 73 minutes.
Fleck started the move on the edge of the Villa area before continuing his run and getting on the end of David McGoldrick’s flick over the top.
The Scotsman kept his composure to strike past Heaton and seemingly put the game to bed.
Villa won a penalty just five minutes later, but Grealish crashed his effort against the crossbar to leave his team’s chances of a revival short-lived.
Villa's struggles away from home continued at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
Of their nine away games so far this league campaign, Dean Smith's side have picked up just four points (vs Norwich City and Manchester United).
Fortunately, Villa's next three games all come at home, where they take on Liverpool (Carabao Cup quarter-final), Southampton and Norwich before travelling to Watford on December 28th.
While Villa will be hoping to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later in the league, their attention will quickly turn to Tuesday.
We welcome what will be a youthful Liverpool side to Villa Park in the Carabao Cup quarter-final, with the team hoping to progress to their first domestic cup semi-final in four years.
You can buy tickets here.
Villa take on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Villa Park on Tuesday (7.45pm), before resuming their league campaign at home to Southampton on Saturday (3pm).