Match: Aston Villa v Sheffield United
Date: Friday 8th February 2019
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Villa Park
Mings 82, Abraham 86, Green 90
Sharp 11, 53, 62
Kalinic; Hutton, Elphick, Mings, Taylor; McGinn, Jedinak (Whelan 66), Hourihane; El Ghazi, Abraham, Kodjia (Green 65). UNUSED SUBS: Steer, Bjarnason, Elmohamady, Hause, Adomah.
Story in brief
An incredible comeback saw Villa rescue an unlikely point after they were heading for a demoralising defeat.
Sheffield United seemed to be heading to the top of the table when Billy Sharp completed a hat-trick just past the hour mark.
But Dean Smith’s side staged a spirited late fightback with goals from new boy Tyrone Mings and Tammy Abraham in the final nine minutes before sub Andre Green headed an equaliser in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
The Blades were ahead after just 11 minutes, Gary Madine heading down a corner for Sharp to score with a close-range effort which just crossed the line before Abraham booted the ball clear.
The second goal was a controversial affair, Sharp appearing to kick the ball out of Lovre Kalinic’s hands when the keeper grabbed it after Madine’s header had struck the inside of a post.
There was no argument about Sharp’s third, though, the striker heading in from virtually point-blank range following Kieran Dowell’s cross from the right.
Conor Hourihane offered a glimmer of hope with a 71st minute free-kick which was pushed out by Blades keeper Dean Henderson, but even then, no-one could have envisaged the amazing finale.
Mings reduced the deficit with his first goal for the club when he got in front of Henderson to head home Hourihane’s inswinging corner, and when the keeper could only parry Tommy Elphick’s angled drive, Abraham prodded home his 20th Villa goal from a couple of yards.
And Green completed a memorable night by climbing to head home John McGinn’s cross at the far post.
Tammy’s top 20
He’s done it!
Tammy Abraham has become the first Villa player to score 20 league goals in one season since Peter Withe achieved the feat in our title-winning campaign of 1980/81.
The on-loan Chelsea marksman reached the magical mark when he displayed his predatory instincts to capitalise after Sheffield United keeper Dean Henderson had tipped aside Tommy Elphick’s low angled drive.
Abraham has now scored in eight consecutive home games – the club’s best sequence since Pongo Waring scored in 12 straight Villa Park games in 1931.
Manager Dean Smith takes a trip down Memory Lane next Wednesday when Villa take on his former club Brentford at Griffin Park (7.45pm).
And there’s a derby day to relish at Villa Park next Saturday, 16th February, when we take on neighbours West Bromwich Albion, hoping to make up for the injustice at The Hawthorns in December, when Jay Rodriguez handled the ball into the net for Albion's last-gasp equaliser.