Match: Sheffield United v Aston Villa
Date: Saturday 1st September 2018
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Bramall Lane
O'Connell (6), Duffy (23), Norwood (41), Sharp (49)
El Ghazi (61)
Nyland; Tuanzebe (Hourihane, 63), Chester (C), Jedinak, Hutton (Taylor, 77); Whelan; Elmohamady, McGinn (Hepburn-Murphy, 77), El Ghazi, Grealish, Kodjia. UNUSED SUBS: Moreira, Lansbury, Bree, Bjarnason.
Story in brief
It was an immensely frustrating afternoon for Aston Villa as we went down 4-1 to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.
It was the first half where the damage was done as goals from Jack O'Connell, Mark Duffy and Oliver Norwood set the Blades on their way to a fourth successive victory.
Billy Sharp added a fourth goal soon after the restart before new boy Anwar El Ghazi bagged his first goal for the club, albeit a consolation effort.
Abraham and Bolasie input
Steve Bruce was keen to focus on the here and now after the game, bemoaning the performance in the 4-1 defeat to the Blades.
But there’s no doubt his team will be improved by the introduction of Tammy Abraham and Yannick Bolasie.
Abraham will bring added pace, grace and goals to the front line while Bolasie will provide blistering speed out wide.
El Ghazi boost
We’re sure it won’t offer any consolation to Anwar El Ghazi now after the Bramall Lane loss, but hopefully his opening goal for the club is the first of many in claret and blue.
It will take the flying Dutchman a bit of time to acclimatise to the rigours of the Championship, but when he’s fully up to speed, he should be a valuable asset.
It will be a long couple of weeks for the team as they aim to bounce back in the next Championship clash.
That comes at Ewood Park as we take on newly-promoted Blackburn Rovers on Saturday 15th September, in a 5.30pm kick-off.
“It’s certainly the most difficult 45 minutes I’ve probably had to endure since I took charge of the club.
“The first reaction is huge disappointment. Before we talk about tactics and this, that and the other, you have to put your boots on and roll your sleeves up.
“To be fair, four or five of them have put themselves in contention where they haven’t trained all week. I think that was pretty evident.
“So I made a big mistake there. But with the performance in midweek, it didn’t give me any encouragement with the ones that played.
"We have to accept it one of those horror days.”