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Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa – Premier League: Unai Emery’s rampant side smash FOUR in first half, with home fans leaving Bramall Lane in their droves

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Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest score, team news and updates as Aston Villa travel to Brammall Lane to take on Sheffield United in Premier League action. 

A view from the press box at Bramall Lane

There’s plenty of space to put your feet up at least!

Goals, goals and even more goals

I had a feeling we were in for a spectacle after the day of Premier League action we have had but still, Villa have been something else in that first period.

Their third goal took the day’s tally to 25, we’re now at 26 and you wouldn’t bet against even more.

HT: Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa

A punishing first half for the Blades

Four goals in the first 30 minutes and what must have really infuriated Wilder was the similarity of all the concessions.

Villa were good, don’t get me wrong, but Sheffield United were undone by long balls in behind and well timed runs. More than anything, this first half showed that they are painfully out of their depth.

Supporters showed what they thought about the prospect of a comeback and I wonder how many of them will return for the seconfd period.

Sheffield United's fans leave the stadium during the English Premier League soccer match between Sheffield United and Aston Villa at the Bramall Lane stadium in Sheffield, England, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
A view of the empty seats on the tribune during the English Premier League soccer match between Sheffield United and Aston Villa at the Bramall Lane stadium in Sheffield, England, Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)

Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa

Four minutes added on. That seems like a mercy to Sheffiel United to be honest.

Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa

Bogle gets his name in the book

A frustrated tackle we’ll call it. The right back gets a yellow card for a late tackle.

Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa

Beautiful skill from Bailey

The winger has been in fine form this evening and his skill almost presented a chance for Villa’s fifth. He turned past his man on the sideline before crossing into the box but the Blades were able to hurriedly clear.

Villa make history with their quick start

Not since Chelsea 13 years ago has a side scored a least four goals in the opening 30 minutes of a Premier League game.

Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa

It’s a really strange atmosphere right not in the stadium and it’s affecting both sets of players you feel. The Blades and their remaining fans are shocked, fearing another 8-0 drubbing, or worse.

Villa have a decision to make on whether they’re going to press ahead and try for a huge score. They might well be thankful of the goal difference come May.

At present, procedings are resembling a training session.

The stats are crazy!

Four goals in 30 minutes, 10 shots with eight on target. Sheffield United have been mauled.

Funny thing is that they started the game quite well. Since then, they’ve been hammered.

GOAL! Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa (Tielemans)

Sheffield United can not handle the quality of Villa tonight. Tielemans went close with a half-volley after an intricate corner routine earlier and he managed to get it right from the resulting set-piece.

The former Leciester City star picked up the ball on the edge of the area before smashing his shot onto the underside of the crossbar and in for FOUR!

Sheffield United fans already leaving the stadium

A fair amount of home fans looked like they were on their way home after only 20 mins of action. Can you blame them? Yes, actually, stranger things have happened.

On second thought, I forgot about that 8-0 loss to Newcastle earlier in the season.

GOAL! Sheffield United 0-3 Aston Villa (Bailey)

This could get ugly. It’s another goal in transition for the visitors. Bailey this time is the beneficiary. He turned onto his left foot after receiving a pass from deep and whipped his finish past Foderingham for a 3-0 lead.

GOAL! Sheffield United 0-2 Aston Villa (Watkins)

It’s gone from bad to worse. Luiz to Watkins, Watkins past Foderingham. It’s simple stuff.

That does Luiz’s pass and Watkins’s finish a disservice but still, Sheffield United were again hit on the break before being made to pay by VIlla’s quality.

GOAL! Sheffield United 0-1 Aston Villa (McGinn)

The Villa skipper arrived to tap the ball into the open net after Ahmedhodžić had done brilliantly to clear Watkins’ effort off the line.

Watkins had timed his run in behind to perfection before dinking a shot over Foderingham. The Blades skipper bust a gut to get back but the ball appeared to bounce off the foot of the post before falling to the on rushing McGinn. It’s a nightmare start for Wilder’s men.

Sheffield United 0-0 Aston Villa

Diaz nearly gets the better of Martinez

The forward ran in behind and in on goal but he was forced into a low percentage chance with his position out wide. Still, Diaz managed to produce a shot on target which, though comfortable, nearly found its way underneath the keeper and into the net. That was close!

Heckingbottom on Wilder’s ‘athletic’ Blades squad

I was not expecting to hear from former boss Paul Heckingbottom but here he is sharing his opinion on the Blades squad going into tonight’s tie.

Sheffield United 0-0 Aston Villa

McGinn powers a free-kick over the bar

The Scot has the first shot of the game but it’s a wayward one from a well-worked free-kick. Luiz then tries his hand from about 40 yards but that one barely made into the arms of Foderingham.

Sheffield United 0-0 Aston Villa

Fast start from the Blades

The home side have been on the front foot in the opening minutes and even forced Martinez into action, though not from an effort on goal.

The Villa keeper reacted quickly to claim the ball as Osula bared down on goal before Diaz’s strength led to a cross into the box.

Sheffield United 0-0 Aston Villa

We’re underway at Bramall Lane. Villa kick things off.

Players are out onto the pitch

Not long left to go now. Both sets of players have made their way out of the tunnel ahead of the vital clash.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Emiliano Martinez of Aston Villa puts a coat on a mascot as the team lines up prior to the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Aston Villa at Bramall Lane on February 03, 2024 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

‘We brought him here to play’, says Wilder on handing Holgate his debut

Yeah, in you go he’s alright. I mean, he’s, listen, the reason we brought him here to is to play like Ben Brereton Diaz.

You know, he suits that position and he wanted to come to us as did Ben and hopefully we’ll see a really positive performance is a local-ish lad, Doncaster and he knows what the club’s about and he knows what makes us tick and hopefully he can he can produce a really positive performance on debut.

File photo dated 30-01-2024 of Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder who has urged his players to thrive under the pressure of their Premier League relegation battle. Issue date: Friday February 2, 2024. PA Photo. See PA Story SOCCER Sheff Utd. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire

Our man on the ground

We’ll be bringing you all the details from our very own Matt Barlow, who is at Bramall Lane for tonight’s game. He’ll provide the full report of the action later, so make sure you don’t miss it.

Emery keeps cards close to his chest

The Villa manager decided to not elaborate on his decision to drop Matty Cash to the bench, instead insiting that it was for ‘tactical reasons’.

Can Villa maintain their league position?

Former Villa star Lee Hendrie believes so and he expects his old side to claim the victory against the bottom of the league side tonight.

Though, the visitors have not played their best football on the road. That’ll have to change in the second half of the campaign.

Blades get their pre-match prep underway

We’re here for your warm-up pic fix. Blades players are out onto the pitch going through their preparations for tonight’s game. They’ve seen all of their survival rivals pick up points so the pressure is truly on, well, if it can get any greater considering their current position.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Michael Zemanek/Shutterstock (14329088d) Ben Brereton Diaz of Sheffield United Sheffield United v Aston Villa, Premier League, Football, Bramall Lane, Sheffield, UK - 03 Feb 2024
Sheffield United's English defender #30 Mason Holgate (R) warms up during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Aston Villa at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on February 3, 2024. (Photo by Darren Staples / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Wes Foderingham of Sheffield United warms up prior to the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Aston Villa at Bramall Lane on February 03, 2024 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

A ding-dong day of Premier League action

Surely that means we’ll get the same at Bramall Lane tonight, right? There have been 21 goals in the top-flight already, with only one win – a big one for Brighton against Palace that puts Roy Hodsgon under even more pressure.

  • Everton 2-2 Tottenham
  • Newcastle 4-4 Luton
  • Burnley 2-2 Fulham
  • Brighton 4-1 Crystal Palace

Villa arriving for tonight’s game

I think Villa must have snuck in through the back door, there are hardly any pictures of the team’s arrival. Still, we’ve done our best. Here are a couple of the players and the manager turning up for duty.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery arrives ahead of the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: Saturday February 3, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Sheff Utd. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: Saturday February 3, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Sheff Utd. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez arrives ahead of the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: Saturday February 3, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Sheff Utd. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. during the Premier League match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: Saturday February 3, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Sheff Utd. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire.RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Sheffield United vs Aston Villa head-to-head

  • There has only been one win in the last seven meetings between the two sides, with that coming for VIlla in 2020.
  • The Blades last got the better of today’s opponenents in a 1-0 Premier League clash n March 2021.
  • This fixture is best remembered in recent years for the June 2020 fixture that saw the Blades denied a goal due to the failure of the goal-line technology system.
  • Villa survived by just one point that year, while Sheffield United finished ninth.
  • Villa’s last win at Brammal Lane came back in 2018, courtesy of a superb strike from Ro

Rogers could make his debut tonight

Villa splashed a sizeable – in this window at least – £15m fee on the England youth international, bringing him in from Championship Middlesbrough.

Keen eye fans will be familiar with Morgan Rogers on account of his well-taken consolation goal for Boro in their 6-1 Carabao Cup semi-final thrashing by Chelsea last month.

Elsewhere in the Premier League

So this post from the Premier League is already out of date as Newcastle have pulled it back to 4-4 against Luton at St James’ Park. The Magpies have led, where behind and are now level going into the final 10 mintes.

  • Newcastle 4-4 Luton
  • Brighton 3-1 Crystal Palace
  • Burnley 1-2 Fulham

Breaking: Aston Villa team news

It’s two changes for Emery and what could be a change of shape as Carlos and Bailey start in place of Cash and Diaby.

Breaking: Sheffield United team news

The new boy Mason Holgate STARTS for the Blades. But there are several changes for the home side as Foderingham, Osula, Norrington-Davies and Brooks all come into the side from the midweek defeat.

Your Blades have arrived

Here’s some footage of the home players arriving at the ground earlier for the massive game. Wilder has some big selection decisions on his hand for this one. We’ll have team news for you shortly.

More handshake shenanigans in store?

Speaking of Emery, Jason Tindall addressed the Spanish manager’s handshake snub on Tuesday night and – fittingly – claimed that he couldn’t care less if he got on the wrong side of people.

What about Villa?

Yes, yes, they’re here too. And they reeling from a crushing home defeat to the Magpies. Manager Unai Emery said that his team had refocussed their efforts and were motivated to respond against the Premier League strugglers.

We were disappointed on Tuesday, and on Wednesday we recovered the energy being positive.’ He said during his pre-match press conference. ‘After Wednesday, we were working here and practicing here in the training ground, focusing on our way.

Tomorrow in Sheffield is a very important match for us after the defeat we had at home to Newcastle. We are really excited and motivated to play tomorrow.

We are going to try to focus 100% on the match and it’s very important. It’s difficult as well because playing away is always difficult.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Aston Villa manager Unai Emery reacts during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on January 30, 2024 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Will Holgate come straight into the team?

Sheffield United took over the defender’s loan from Everton following a dissapointing spell in the Championship with Southampton.

Though, I must say that recruiting a player for your Premeir League team that wan’t getting minutes in the second division feels less than optimal.

The home side will also be keen to see if another January signing Ben Brereton Díaz can make it three goals in as many games.

The last time the sides met

The Blades halted Villa’s club-record run of consecutive home wins when the two sides met in December last year. Former Villian Cameron Archer thought he had won it for his new team with his goal in the 87th minute.

But Villa hit back in the seventh-minute of stoppage time through Zaniolo.

Back to matters at hand

Sheffield United find themselves rooted to the bottom of the league table after 22 games, and the numbers dont make for good reading.

  • Sheffield United’s tally of just 10 points from 22 Premier League games is their second-worst at this stage of a season in English football’s top four tiers.
  • In the Premier League era, only three teams have previously accumulated 10 points or fewer after 22 games – they all finished bottom.
  • Across Wilder’s first 35 games as a Premier League manager, his Sheffield United side earned 54 points.
  • In his last 39, they have earned just 19 points.

A bit of levity to begin?

I’ve been dying to show this one off as soon as I came across it this week. For anyone who has not been so lucky, here is the Blades boss after the Palace defeat, clearly annoyed by the loss, and complaining about an asisstant referee eating a sandwhich when he spoke with the referee. Gold!

We’re approaching last chance saloon

Good afternoon and welcome to Mail Sport’s coverage of the Premier League clash between Sheffield United and Aston Villa at Bramall Lane.

Chris Wilder’s side come into the tie off the back of a gutting 3-2 loss to Crystal Palace in midweek, while the Villlans suffered a shock 3-1 loss at home to Newcastle.

Villa have the chance to return to the top four following Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Everton earlier and as for the Blades, well, they really need to start getting some points on the board if they are to complete an unlikely survival.

We’ll have all the news ahead of tonight’s 5:30pm kick-off, including updates, manger quotes and team news. And then we’ll take you through all the action once play gets underway, so don’t go anywhere!

Soccer Football - Premier League - Sheffield United v Aston Villa - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - February 3, 2024 General view inside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR 'LIVE' SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS.
Key Updates

  • HT: Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa

  • Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa

  • GOAL! Sheffield United 0-4 Aston Villa (Tielemans)

  • Sheffield United fans already leaving the stadium

  • GOAL! Sheffield United 0-3 Aston Villa (Bailey)

  • GOAL! Sheffield United 0-2 Aston Villa (Watkins)

  • GOAL! Sheffield United 0-1 Aston Villa (McGinn)

  • Sheffield United 0-0 Aston Villa

  • Emery keeps cards close to his chest

  • Aston Villa team news

  • Sheffield United team news

  • We’re approaching last chance saloon





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