Game #5590

2020-21

Position:

9th

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Premier League

Sheffield United

Villa Park

Attendance: Behind closed doors (COVID-19)

Monday, 21 September 2020

Ezri Konsa's strike is enough to earn Villa a League opening day win over last season's surprise package.

Aston Villa

1-0

Sheffield United

Scorer(s) | Ezri Konsa | 63' |

Assist(s) | Tyrone Mings | 63' |

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AT A GLANCE

Game #5590

Season | 2020-21 |
Matchday | #2 |
League Match | #1 |
Manager Game | #86 |
Monday, 21 September 2020

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager | Dean Smith |
KO | 6.00pm |
Referee | Graham Scott |
HT Score | 0-0 |
FT Result | 1-0 |
FT Score | Won |
Last 5 Games | DWDWW |

TEAM STATS

Team Cost:
| £136.49m |

Starting XI Average Age:
| 25.24 |

Oldest Player:
M Conor Hourihane | 29.65 |

Youngest Player:
M Douglas Luiz | 22.39 |

TEAM NEWS

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez and right back Matty Cash make their debuts whilst Tyrone Mings, Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins - on his home debut - keep their places from the side that started at Burton Albion.

Kortney Hause, Ahmed Elmohamady, Neil Taylor, Marvelous Nakamba and Anwar El Ghazi drop to the subs bench, whilst Henri Lansbury, Jacob Ramsey and Ørjan Nyland drop out of the squad entirely. Coming in for their first starts of the season are Ezri Konsa, John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Conor Hourihane, Trézéguet and Matt Targett.

There is no place in the squad for new winger Bertrand Traoré whilst Jed Steer is named as substitute goalkeeper.

UNAVAILABLE

Not Selected | 8 |
GK Lovre Kalinić |
GK Ørjan Nyland |
RB Frédéric Guilbert |
M Henri Lansbury |
M Jacob Ramsey |
W Jota |
W Bertrand Traoré
CF Mbwana Samatta |

Injury | 3 |
Tom Heaton | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - 1 Jan 21 |
Wesley | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - 1 Jan 21 |
Björn Engels | Thigh, 15 Sep 20 - 17 Oct 20 |

MATCH STATS

Possession F | 72%
Possession A | 28%
Shots F | 18
Shots A | 4
Shots on Target F | 2
Shots on Target A | 1
Corners F | 10
Corners A | 4
Fouls F | 12
Fouls A | 12

MATCH PROGRAMME

LEAGUE TABLE

STARTING LINE UP

GK Emiliano Martínez |
RB Matty Cash |
CB Ezri Konsa |
CB Tyrone Mings |
LB Matt Targett |
M Douglas Luiz |
M John McGinn |
M Conor Hourihane |
M Jack Grealish |
W Trézéguet |
CF Ollie Watkins |

SUBSTITUTES

CF Keinan Davis for M Conor Hourihane | 62' |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

GK Jed Steer
LB Neil Taylor
CB Kortney Hause
RB Ahmed Elmohamady
M Marvelous Nakamba
W Anwar El Ghazi

THE OPPOSITION

GK Aaron Ramsdale, RB George Baldock, LB Enda Stevens (ex), CB Jack O’Connell, CB Chris Basham (CF Oliver McBurnie), CB John Egan (s/o), M John Fleck (M Ben Osborn), M John Lundstram, M Sander Berge, CF Oliver Burke, CF David McGoldrick (CB Ethan Ampadu).

Manager: Chris Wilder.
Team Cost: £70.92m

ex: Also played for the Villa

g: Scored

s/o: Sent off

s-: Sub off; s+: Sub on

John McGinn bursts through, 21 September 2020.

https://www.premierleague.com/match/58907

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MATCH TIMELINE

1’ Debut, Emiliano Martínez, Matty Cash
12’ Sending off, (Sheffield United)
34’ Booking, Matt Targett
36’ Penalty Save, Emiliano Martínez
HT Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United
62’ Sub off, M Conor Hourihane, Sub on, CF Keinan Davis
63’ Goal, 1-0, Ezri Konsa, Assist by Tyrone Mings
83’ Booking, Matty Cash
84’ Booking, John McGinn for a bad foul
FT Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United

ON THIS DAY

Villa have now won three consecutive Premier League games at Villa Park for the first time since October 2007 under Martin O'Neill.

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez makes his Villa debut aged 28 after joining from Arsenal for a fee of £19,580,000 the previous week.

Right back Matty Cash, 23, makes his Villa debut after joining from Nottingham Forest at the start of September for a fee of £14,180,000

QUOTES

VIDEO

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*BBC Sport*
*Monday 21 September 2020*

"Villa put United under pressure for long spells after visiting captain Egan was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity in a tussle with Ollie Watkins in the 12th minute."

*BBC Sport*
*Monday 21 September 2020*

MATCH REPORT

MATCH REPORTS

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“Villa narrowly beat 10 man Blades “

Ezri Konsa’s second-half header proved decisive as Aston Villa overcame a resilient performance by Sheffield United, who played for 78 minutes with 10 men after the early dismissal of John Egan.

Konsa headed in fellow defender Tyrone Mings’ flick-on in the 63rd minute after Matt Targett whipped a corner in from the left.

Villa put United under pressure for long spells after visiting captain Egan was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity in a tussle with Ollie Watkins in the 12th minute.

But the Blades missed a golden opportunity to score the opener after half an hour when John Lundstram was denied from the penalty spot by Villa debutant Emiliano Martinez, after a lengthy VAR review showed Targett had clipped Chris Basham in the box.

United regrouped and were solid in defence - clearing numerous crosses and presenting a threat on the break - but could not hold out to earn a share of the points.

Villa got off to a good start and within a minute right-back Matty Cash - making his debut - fired a dangerous ball into the box but John McGinn’s volley flew over the bar.

United also threatened in the early exchanges and Konsa had to slide in at the near post to prevent a low cross from the right being poked in by David McGoldrick.

But Villa were gifted the upper hand inside a quarter of an hour when Egan pulled back Watkins as he raced on to Mings’ long ball and referee Graham Scott showed the red card.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Lundstram could have given United the lead from the spot 20 minutes later but Martinez, who arrived from Arsenal for £17m earlier this month, dived to his right to deny the midfielder.

Conor Hourihane’s deliveries were causing problems and although Villa were unable to capitalise initially, they deserved to take the lead through Konsa’s header after Jack Grealish and Watkins each went close.

It was Villa’s second victory in a week after they ~overcame~ League One side Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup second round.

Blades fail to recover from Egan red

After going two goals down in their Premier league opener to Wolves within six minutes last Monday, Blades manager Chris Wilder would have hoped for a smoother start at Villa Park.

But again, a needless error from Egan made United’s task much harder and Wilder was forced to sacrifice striker McGoldrick before the break.

New signing Ethan Ampadu’s introduction was a shrewd tactical decision - releasing Basham into midfield and moving John Fleck across to deal with Cash.

The move paid off immediately with Basham making the forward run into the box to earn the penalty but Lundstram was unable to take advantage.

United kept their organisation and steel at the back - pushing back every set-piece and squeezing out the space in which Villa tried to work for the next half an hour.

But Konsa’s header was the key blow and while United had glimpses of hope on the counter-attack, they never truly tested Villa from open play.
---
*The Guardian*
*Monday 21 September 2020*

“Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa grabs win after 10-man Sheffield United waste penalty”

Last time it was a glitch in goalline technology that denied Sheffield United at Villa Park, this time Chris Wilder’s men were frustrated by an early red card for John Egan and a moment of class from the home team’s new goalkeeper. Emiliano Martínez marked his first appearance since a £20m move from Arsenal by saving John Lundstram’s first-half penalty. Ezri Konsa secured a winning start to the season for Aston Villa by heading the only goal in the second half.

Villa aspire to doing much more than repeating last season’s late escape from relegation and they have recruited accordingly. Before this game they confirmed the £17m purchase of forward Bertrand Traoré from Lyon, and once this game got going, other expensively acquired recruits began to demonstrate their worth.

Martínez’s save just after the half-hour was superb, the keeper flinging himself full-length to his right to paw away Lundstram’s decently struck effort from the spot. Villa’s other two debutants were also quick to make good impressions, with the full-back Matty Cash ensuring a regular supply of useful crosses from the right and new centre-forward Ollie Watkins leading the attack cleverly.

Watkins may be a newcomer to the top flight but he was wily enough to induce a foul from Egan, who was deemed to have tugged Watkins back as the pair raced to be first to a downfield punt from Tyrone Mings. United players protested that the red card was too harsh a punishment but the referee’s verdict was upheld by VAR.

Starting badly is a nasty habit that United seemed to have developed for the new season and must kick quickly. In their opening game the Blades never recovered from conceding two goals in the first six minutes to Wolves; now their task was to get a result despite being deprived of their captain after 12 minutes. The fact that Villa had looked the brighter team even before the dismissal did not augur well for the visitors.

Egan is normally the linchpin of United’s defence and without him they switched initially to an orthodox back four. That had the effect of neutering their wingbacks and helped Villa to establish control. The hosts tried to turn the screw.

Conor Hourihane was frustrated to see a couple of exquisite free-kicks flash across the face of the United goal without any Villa player being able to apply a decisive touch. Watkins had a header deflected wide after a cross by Cash, and then Douglas Luiz brought a comfortable save from Aaron Ramsdale with a close-range header. Although the visiting keeper had not been forced to excel, Wilder tried to defuse the rising danger from Villa by making a substitution just after the half-hour.

The change almost paid off spectacularly. With David McGoldrick withdrawn, Chris Basham was pushed into a more attacking role as the substitute, Ethan Ampadu, slotted into central defence. Basham swiftly caught Matt Targett unaware, dashing in on the left-back’s blindside to collect an excellent pass by Oliver Burke. Targett panicked and tripped Basham, leaving the referee with the simple decision of awarding a penalty. Martinez had enjoyed a serene start to life at Villa Park up until that point and made sure Lundstram did not ruin it.

Villa regain control after in the sense that they hogged possession without being ingenious with it. Tyrone Mings could be heard preaching patience – “Keep doing the simple things,” he roared a couple of times – as Villa probed for openings. United’s 10 men kept them at bay without too much stress. Villa’s movement off the ball was too predictable, leaving their most inventive passers, Douglas Luiz and Jack Grealish, with few options against a determined defence.

Peculiarly Villa’s breakthrough goal came immediately after the withdrawal of Hourihane, whose inviting deliveries had elicited no meaningful response. In his absence Targett took the corner that Mings flicked on, leaving Konsa to leap above Enda Stevens and nod into the net.

The increased solidity of Konsa’s partnership with Mings in central defence was one of the reasons for Villa’s survival last season and the pair looked accomplished again, albeit against opponents who struggled to mount a sustainable threat with a numerical disadvantage.

Grealish, Watkins and Douglas Luiz all had chances to give Villa even more breathing space but shot wide from the edge of the area. Their attack has plenty of room for improvement but, with their defenders continuing to excel, Villa appear to be heading in the right direction.
----

“Villa narrowly beat 10 man Blades “

Ezri Konsa’s second-half header proved decisive as Aston Villa overcame a resilient performance by Sheffield United, who played for 78 minutes with 10 men after the early dismissal of John Egan.

Konsa headed in fellow defender Tyrone Mings’ flick-on in the 63rd minute after Matt Targett whipped a corner in from the left.

Villa put United under pressure for long spells after visiting captain Egan was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity in a tussle with Ollie Watkins in the 12th minute.

But the Blades missed a golden opportunity to score the opener after half an hour when John Lundstram was denied from the penalty spot by Villa debutant Emiliano Martinez, after a lengthy VAR review showed Targett had clipped Chris Basham in the box.

United regrouped and were solid in defence - clearing numerous crosses and presenting a threat on the break - but could not hold out to earn a share of the points.

Villa got off to a good start and within a minute right-back Matty Cash - making his debut - fired a dangerous ball into the box but John McGinn’s volley flew over the bar.

United also threatened in the early exchanges and Konsa had to slide in at the near post to prevent a low cross from the right being poked in by David McGoldrick.

But Villa were gifted the upper hand inside a quarter of an hour when Egan pulled back Watkins as he raced on to Mings’ long ball and referee Graham Scott showed the red card.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Lundstram could have given United the lead from the spot 20 minutes later but Martinez, who arrived from Arsenal for £17m earlier this month, dived to his right to deny the midfielder.

Conor Hourihane’s deliveries were causing problems and although Villa were unable to capitalise initially, they deserved to take the lead through Konsa’s header after Jack Grealish and Watkins each went close.

It was Villa’s second victory in a week after they ~overcame~ League One side Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup second round.

Blades fail to recover from Egan red

After going two goals down in their Premier league opener to Wolves within six minutes last Monday, Blades manager Chris Wilder would have hoped for a smoother start at Villa Park.

But again, a needless error from Egan made United’s task much harder and Wilder was forced to sacrifice striker McGoldrick before the break.

New signing Ethan Ampadu’s introduction was a shrewd tactical decision - releasing Basham into midfield and moving John Fleck across to deal with Cash.

The move paid off immediately with Basham making the forward run into the box to earn the penalty but Lundstram was unable to take advantage.

United kept their organisation and steel at the back - pushing back every set-piece and squeezing out the space in which Villa tried to work for the next half an hour.

But Konsa’s header was the key blow and while United had glimpses of hope on the counter-attack, they never truly tested Villa from open play.
---
*The Guardian*
*Monday 21 September 2020*

“Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa grabs win after 10-man Sheffield United waste penalty”

Last time it was a glitch in goalline technology that denied Sheffield United at Villa Park, this time Chris Wilder’s men were frustrated by an early red card for John Egan and a moment of class from the home team’s new goalkeeper. Emiliano Martínez marked his first appearance since a £20m move from Arsenal by saving John Lundstram’s first-half penalty. Ezri Konsa secured a winning start to the season for Aston Villa by heading the only goal in the second half.

Villa aspire to doing much more than repeating last season’s late escape from relegation and they have recruited accordingly. Before this game they confirmed the £17m purchase of forward Bertrand Traoré from Lyon, and once this game got going, other expensively acquired recruits began to demonstrate their worth.

Martínez’s save just after the half-hour was superb, the keeper flinging himself full-length to his right to paw away Lundstram’s decently struck effort from the spot. Villa’s other two debutants were also quick to make good impressions, with the full-back Matty Cash ensuring a regular supply of useful crosses from the right and new centre-forward Ollie Watkins leading the attack cleverly.

Watkins may be a newcomer to the top flight but he was wily enough to induce a foul from Egan, who was deemed to have tugged Watkins back as the pair raced to be first to a downfield punt from Tyrone Mings. United players protested that the red card was too harsh a punishment but the referee’s verdict was upheld by VAR.

Starting badly is a nasty habit that United seemed to have developed for the new season and must kick quickly. In their opening game the Blades never recovered from conceding two goals in the first six minutes to Wolves; now their task was to get a result despite being deprived of their captain after 12 minutes. The fact that Villa had looked the brighter team even before the dismissal did not augur well for the visitors.

Egan is normally the linchpin of United’s defence and without him they switched initially to an orthodox back four. That had the effect of neutering their wingbacks and helped Villa to establish control. The hosts tried to turn the screw.

Conor Hourihane was frustrated to see a couple of exquisite free-kicks flash across the face of the United goal without any Villa player being able to apply a decisive touch. Watkins had a header deflected wide after a cross by Cash, and then Douglas Luiz brought a comfortable save from Aaron Ramsdale with a close-range header. Although the visiting keeper had not been forced to excel, Wilder tried to defuse the rising danger from Villa by making a substitution just after the half-hour.

The change almost paid off spectacularly. With David McGoldrick withdrawn, Chris Basham was pushed into a more attacking role as the substitute, Ethan Ampadu, slotted into central defence. Basham swiftly caught Matt Targett unaware, dashing in on the left-back’s blindside to collect an excellent pass by Oliver Burke. Targett panicked and tripped Basham, leaving the referee with the simple decision of awarding a penalty. Martinez had enjoyed a serene start to life at Villa Park up until that point and made sure Lundstram did not ruin it.

Villa regain control after in the sense that they hogged possession without being ingenious with it. Tyrone Mings could be heard preaching patience – “Keep doing the simple things,” he roared a couple of times – as Villa probed for openings. United’s 10 men kept them at bay without too much stress. Villa’s movement off the ball was too predictable, leaving their most inventive passers, Douglas Luiz and Jack Grealish, with few options against a determined defence.

Peculiarly Villa’s breakthrough goal came immediately after the withdrawal of Hourihane, whose inviting deliveries had elicited no meaningful response. In his absence Targett took the corner that Mings flicked on, leaving Konsa to leap above Enda Stevens and nod into the net.

The increased solidity of Konsa’s partnership with Mings in central defence was one of the reasons for Villa’s survival last season and the pair looked accomplished again, albeit against opponents who struggled to mount a sustainable threat with a numerical disadvantage.

Grealish, Watkins and Douglas Luiz all had chances to give Villa even more breathing space but shot wide from the edge of the area. Their attack has plenty of room for improvement but, with their defenders continuing to excel, Villa appear to be heading in the right direction.
----