Ezri Konsa’s second half-goal ensured Aston Villa got their Premier League campaign underway with a win following a 1-0 victory over 10-man Sheffield United.
Chris Wilder’s side were on the back foot as early as the 12th minute when John Egan, who grappled with Ollie Watkins as the Villa forward looked to latch onto a loose ball, was adjudged to have denied a goal-scoring opportunity by referee Graham Scott.
However, the 10 men had the best opportunity of the first half when Matt Targett fouled Chris Basham in the penalty area. John Lundstram stepped up for the visitors, but his spot kick was brilliantly saved by debutant Emiliano Martinez.
With Villa starting to run out of ideas, it was the unlikely source of Konsa who headed home in the 63rd minute to hand Dean Smith’s side a winning start.
It was a cruel blow for Sheffield United, who put in a spirited performance, as they start with back-to-back defeats. Meanwhile, Villa are up to ninth after their opening win.
More to follow…
Opta stats – Fortress Villa Park?
- Aston Villa have won three consecutive Premier League games at Villa Park for the first time since October 2007 under Martin O’Neill.
- They are now unbeaten in their last 14 home league meetings with Sheffield United (W8 D6), including all five games against them at Villa Park in the Premier League (W4 D1).
- Sheffield United have lost their opening two games to a top-flight season for the first time since 1973-74.
- Emiliano Martínez became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty on their debut for Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Aston Villa travel to Bristol City in the Carabao Cup on Thursday at 7.45pm before heading to Craven Cottage the following Monday for a 6pm Monday night Football clash against Fulham – live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Monday 28th September 5:00pm
Sheffield United are next in action next Sunday when they host Leeds United at Bramall Lane in the Premier League (kick-off 12pm).