Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United : Three takeaways from unfair draw

Grealish Aston Villa (Photo by Carl Recine/Pool via Getty Images)
Grealish Aston Villa (Photo by Carl Recine/Pool via Getty Images) /

Premier League is back, with Sheffield United and Aston Villa in a goalless draw.

The Premier League changes come to promote social distancing rules, both in training and during league matches to protect players and staff during this pandemic time. Due to the limited preparation, players are unlikely to be match fit. A temporary rule of five subs will be allowed to help managers out. All players will be tested repeatedly after the games.

At all 20 Premier League grounds, there will be a wrap covering seats in the lower tiers to provide the stadium environment with fans. Fans can listen to fake crowd noise during matches and clubs can use music at key trigger moments, such as kick-off, goals and substitutions, but not during play.

Sheffield United took a point in the stalemate away at Villa Park to move to fourth place in the bid for Champions League spot and Aston Villa lost their game in hand to remain in the relegation zone, a point behind Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham.

#1 Goal-line and VAR technology fails

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Just as we approached the half-time into this Aston-Sheffield Utd game, Norwood swung a wicked ball towards the goal and Aston Villa keeper fumbled, grabbing the ball onto the far post. But the Villa goalkeeper runs into his own teammate Davis and falls back into the net clearly with the ball crossing the line.

But referee Michael Oliver looked at his watch and confirmed that it showed “No Goal” as per goal-line technology with approval from his assistant as well. Replays clearly showed the ball and keeper crossing the line but VAR technology took the decision to not overturn, robbing the Blades of a clear goal. This will cause a debate among fans on the reliability of the football technology being used right now to assist the referees.

#2 Both teams struggling in the final third

Chances were plenty for Aston Villa striker Keinan Davis and Sheffield’s Oliver Mcburnie. But the break of three months from football was clearly showcased in the final third of the goal with poor finishing and lack of quality crosses into the box. Grealish showed his worth with a great ball towards El Ghazi dissecting the Blades’ defence and El Ghazi played a tap-in for Davis who reached a fraction too late.

Most of the game involved Sheffield dominating possession and Villa trying to attack on the counter through Grealish. Lundstram had a few chances but Sheffield Utd lacked that dominance in set-pieces from the likes of Stevens, Egan and McBurnie.

#3 Dean Henderson is the next big thing

For Manchester United fans, this was a significant result with the likes of Sheffield United dropping points in the race for Europe to a relegation-threatened Aston Villa. But the fans would have been overjoyed to watch one of their own, Dean Henderson give a goalkeeping masterclass.

He made crucial saves of McGinn and Davis to ensure  Sheffield picked up at least a point. Solskjaer will have a goalkeeping dilemma next season while Wilder will need to find a top-class replacement.

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