Aston Villa retrieved a three-goal deficit in the final ten minutes against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United, at Villa Park. Tyrone Mings scored on his home debut before Tammy Abraham grabbed his 20th of the campaign. Andre Green then netted his first goal for Villa this season to cancel out Billy Sharp’s hat-trick.
Dean Smith dropped both Glen Whelan and Albert Adomah for Mile Jedinak and Jonathan Kodjia since disappointing in a goalless draw at Reading last time out.
Villa concede early
As Villa kept their first clean sheet in seven at the Madjewski, the introduction of Jedinak in a holding role didn’t profit their defensive woes as United dominated the first half. The Aussie lost Gary Madine at the far post as he connected with an Ollie Norwood’s corner. The former Bolton forward headed across goal to find Sharp who poached inside Villa’s box to open the scoring despite Abraham’s best efforts to clear off the line.
Villa failed to impose any threat on Dean Henderson’s goal. Both Kodjia and Anwar El-Ghazi both illusive at the top of the pitch. The hosts trailed by a goal at the break.
Slow start to the second half
United started the second period as they did in the first, energetic and tenacious. After John Fleck won the ball in the middle of the park, he set up a swift counter attack for his side. Conor Hourihane left Kieran Dowell in enough space to charge at the Villa back four. The Everton loanee fiercely struck towards Lovre Kalinic but the Croat palmed away. The ball fell only to Madine whose subsequent header struck the post. Though, as Kalinic seemed to have grasped the ball with both hands, Sharp stabbed the ball out of his hands to double the away side’s lead seven minutes after the break.
A third followed soon after. Dowell found space once again in behind a weary Villa defence once more. The England u20 World Cup winner squared to Sharp at the back post who headed into an empty net to seemingly put the game beyond Dean Smith’s men.
Yet, such was the character of his players, Villa made a sterling comeback to keep themselves adrift in the playoff hunt.
Hourihane delivered a corner on top of goalkeeper Henderson and in doing so claimed his ninth assist of the campaign as Mings scored his first for the club. The on-loan Cherries defender used his height to force over the Sheffield United line, reducing the deficit by two on the 82nd minute.
A revitalised Villa side was looking to cash in on their frantic end to the game, as Tommy Elphick shot across goal. With a deflection taking the ball towards goal, Henderson took no chances by presenting the ball to Abraham whose strikers instincts allowed him to pass into an empty net for his 20th of the campaign.
Fuelled by those who remained at Villa Park, El-Ghazi’s trickery then cross was blocked by Enda Stevens before Jack O’Connell made a hash of his clearance. John McGinn pounced on the ball inside the box and perfectly stooped a cross towards the far post where Andre Green powered past Henderson with his head, to draw level in the dying embers.
After avoiding a second home loss since Smith took charge at Villa Park, Aston Villa will look to take all three points at Brentford on Wednesday night.