The Warm Down: 10-man Sheffield United defeat Aston Villa
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

David McGoldrick scored the only goal of the game as his finish saw the Blades win their fourth Premier League match of the season. His ball over the top found George Baldock, who crossed the ball into McGoldrick who ran to the back post to finish the move and give his side the lead.

The game did have its controversy as VAR had to get involved for a red card incident between veteran defender Phil Jagielka and Villa winger Anwar El-Ghazi. Referee Robert Jones initially gave a yellow card to Jagielka as he brought down EL-Ghazi in the Blades half. But after a thorough check and a look at the pitch-side monitor a red card was given for the rash challenge, judging that it was for denying a goal scoring opportunity.

Villa pushed on and battled hard to find the equaliser late on in the game, forcing the Blades back in their own off for majority of the second half. Villa came very close in added time as Ramsdale was forced to get down low to his left to save a header, which was then cleared away before disaster struck the Blades.

This win for Sheffield United leaves them on 14 points, and no longer means that they equal the lowest point tally in the Premier League, which is still held by Derby County, who ended their last Premier League campaign on 11 points. Whilst Villa remain ninth in the league, being five points off Chelsea who are in fifth.

Unwanted records

Sheffield United sit rock bottom of the Premier League after a tough season for them. An injury struck team, that looked to of given up before the turn of the new year. There’s been a couple unwanted record the Blades have picked up this season, however, they’ve escaped from the big one. Sheffield United now sit on 14 points, meaning they no longer equal the worst points total set by Derby County, who were relegated in the 07/08 season on 11 points.

Sheffield United do have a couple unwanted records for this season. Back in December they officially became the team with the worst start ever in top flight history after their loss against Manchester United, with the Blades only managing to pick up one point from at the time a possible 39. The record had stood since the 1930/31 season when Manchester United lost their opening 12 games, however they beat Birmingham City on the 13th.

Sheffield United did also pick up another record at the start of January after their 2-0 loss away from home to Crystal Palace. The Blades now hold the longest winless run in the Premier League, as they were without a win in 17 games, a record previously held by QPR who went 16 games without a win in the 2012/13 campaign.

Winning games

Wins for the Blades have been few and far between this season, as they only picked up their fourth win of the Premier League season after seeing off Aston Villa 1-0. A tough old season for Chris Wilder as his side sit rock bottom of the League after an abysmal first half of the season.

Sheffield United have been in positions this season where individual errors have cost them points, and they’ve struggled to see out games when in winning positions. The Premier League is certainly unforgiving and Sheffield United have found that out the hard way this season. The Blades don’t score many goals, but when they do, they usually take the lead, however it’s only a matter time before they concede a goal. The grit and determination of the team definitely was on display as they defended as a unit against tough opposition in Aston Villa.  

David McGoldrick is currently the top goal scorer on six goals and seven in all competitions. The odds are stacked against them, but the impossible could still be possible with them finding some form since the turn of the new year. Sheffield United are now 12 points off safety with 11 games to go.

The win against Aston Villa showed the guts and determination of the side still, especially after being reduced to ten men with just over half an hour of the game to go. This is also the first time the Blades have won a Premier League game with a sending off.

Defensive issues

Sheffield United are struggling at the back this season, with all three of their starting centre backs from last season being out through injury. The Blades since have been forced to play with a different centre back pairing, nearly every game. Jagielka now has a ban for his red card meaning the Blades are left with just two first team centre backs.

Not only is there an issue with the centre backs, but Jayden Bogle, who has been immense for the Blades since making his debut against Brighton, is now also injured due to a rash challenge made by Areola late on in the Fulham game.

Chris Wilder will be forced to make a change. He could change the system and formation, going to a 4-4-2, which he sometimes does late on in games, playing Ampadu and Bryan as the two centre backs. Another possibility is playing one of the academy players there. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Wilder kept the formation the same and pushed Stevens to play as a centre back and play Osborn or Lowe as the left-wing back. Countless possibilities for Wilder as he looks forward to the Blades next fixture against Southampton, who themselves are out of form.

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