Technology failure denies Blades all three points at Villa Park


The Premier League season resumed with a goaless draw between Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

All players and match officials took a knee in solidarity prior to kick-off to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. There was also a minutes silence to remember the lives lost during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Villa started the strongest of the two in the opening ten minutes. Jack Grealish’s corner found the head of Kourtney Hause, he played it across the area to Keinan Davis, who headed it over.

John McGinn made his first start since December and it was the Scotsman’s header from a free-kick which tested Sheffield United keeper Dean Henderson early on.

But the Blades started to find their stride midway through the second half. With three minutes before the break, the away side won a free-kick. Oliver Norwood’s inswinging ball was fumbled by Villa keeper Orjan Nyland and appeared to go over the line.

But, referee Michael Oliver waved it away as his watch didn’t vibrate, which would have legitimised the goal, a clear and obvious mistake. With VAR not called in to rectify the mistake, the game remained scoreless at half-time.

Villa started the second half as they started the first half, on the front foot. Davis once again caused problems, the Englishman controlling a Matt Targett ball and firing at goal. But Henderson produced a remarkable save to deny him.

With half hour left to play, Jack Grealish danced away from Sheffield United’s midfield and layed it off to McGinn, whose left foot curler was heading for the top corner. But once again, Henderson’s heroics kept the score at 0-0.

For the opening game of the restart, it no doubt had its talking points. Both sides will argue they should have won it, Villa on the run of play, and Sheffield United through a goal that would have been allowed if the technology was working.

The result keeps Aston Villa in the bottom three, while Sheffield United move above Wolves into sixth.



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