EletiofeAston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United: Premier League restart –...

Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United: Premier League restart – as it happened

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Here’s an actual link to the actual match report:

And with that, and Sky having long since turned its attention to a miserably rainy Etihad Stadium, I’ll be off. The action hasn’t stopped, though: Rob Smyth is all over that Manchester City v Arsenal match. Bye!

Paul Doyle

Paul Doyle has filed his match report from Villa Park:

How heartening after three months of lockdown, death and strife to have something so trivial to argue over as a disallowed goal in a 0-0 draw. Welcome back, Premier League.

Of course the key detail here was not trivial in a football sense and, actually, there is no argument about whether it should have stood: the ball definitely crossed the line, the problem arose because the reputedly infallible goalline technology did not confirm that. Given the strangeness of this match’s context, it was a fittingly odd development. It was also an embarrassment the Premier League should have avoided in possibly its most anticipated fixture of all time.

Much more here:

Updated

Final score: Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United

90+6 mins: It’s all over! Villa will be disappointed not to win and delighted not to lose. United will be furious not to win but also relieved about not losing. There must be a lot of confused footballers in Birmingham at the moment.

Chris Wilder and Dean Smith interact after the final whistle.

Chris Wilder and Dean Smith interact after the final whistle. Photograph: Getty Images

Updated

90+5 mins: United, with one last chance to attack before the final whistle, get down the left, stop, and pass backwards.

90+4 mins: The pleasing sense of potential has become a dispiriting sense of ennui.

90+1 mins: The fourth official has a board of his own! That’s three boards in all. He indicates that there will be four minutes of stoppage time. McGoldrick has fully recovered.

90 mins: McGoldrick, who came on in the 69th minute, tangles with Nakamba after going up for a header, and goes down, punching the turf in pain and/or frustration.

87 mins: I don’t know why Basham and Lundstram insist on endlessly passing the ball around on the right instead of crossing. It is extraordinarily frustrating. I can’t imagine how annoying it is if you’re Ollie McBurnie.

85 mins: The game has become a bit of a mess, to be honest. It’s almost as if none of these players has played a competitive game for several months. Happily, this has brought a pleasing sense of potential. There’s a match-deciding mistake in the air.

84 mins: Mousset manages to muscle his way past a couple of challenges, so decides he should just keep on going and hope for the best. It doesn’t work.

Mousset falls over, under pressure from Mings.

Mousset falls over, under pressure from Mings. Photograph: Getty Images

Updated

81 mins: Grealish does well to get into the box, but then tries to dribble past one player too many, and the loose ball doesn’t fall kindly, and Villa eventually lose possession without anyone having a shot.

80 mins: United bring Lys Mousset on for McBurnie.

78 mins: Nyland has looked nervous every time Sheffield United have landed a cross in a dangerous part of the penalty area. Which is only twice, I think, but they really should try it more often.

76 mins: Villa take off McGinn and bring on Makamba, while El Mohamady replaces Konsa.

72 mins: Another stoppage, as a couple of players receive treatment for cramp. Outside Villa Park, the fans assemble:

Aston Villa fans watch the teams walk out on a tablet under a gazebo outside the stadium.

Aston Villa fans watch the teams walk out on a tablet under a gazebo outside the stadium. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Updated

71 mins: Then McBurnie heads the corner goalwards, but straight at Nyland!

70 mins: Chance for United! A ropey defensive pass is intercepted, and McBurnie squares to Lundstram, whose effort deflects wide!

Lundstram’s effort goes wide.

Lundstram’s effort goes wide. Photograph: Getty Images

Updated

70 mins: Villa take off Davis and brought on Trezeguet and Samatta, taking off El Ghazi and Davis. United take off Sharp and Berge and bring on Freeman and McGoldrick.

68 mins: The teams each has their own digital subs’ board, and are operating it themselves. I’m not sure what the fourth official has to do in this new world.

67 mins: Finally the ball goes out of play, and both managers decide they don’t want to make their substitutions quite yet. A few seconds later it goes out for a Sheffield United goal kick, and here they finally come.

67 mins: At least four substitutions are about to happen.

65 mins: “If Villa believe in fair play, they should let Blades score,” says Joe Pearson. I think they probably do believe in fair play, but not as much as they believe in staying up by any means.

62 mins: After another corner Grealish plays in another cross, and Robinson has a fistful of Mings’s shirt at the far post! Both players end up on the ground, and VAR is unmoved.

Mings battles Robinson.

Mings battles Robinson. Photograph: Getty Images

Updated

61 mins: On the balance of play Villa deserve to be ahead here. Of course on the balance of number-of-times-the-ball-crosses-the-line they should be behind.

60 mins: Grealish passes from the left to McGinn, who takes a touch and then has a shot from just outside the penalty area. Henderson dives to his left to make another save!

58 mins: Villa come close again! El Ghazi gets down the right and slides in a low cross. Davis throws himself at it, but can’t reach.

57 mins: Sheffield United win a corner, but it’s rubbish from Norwood, and cleared at the near post. The visitors’ crossing has been poor from open play and set pieces. Even their goal/not-goal came from a poorly directed cross.

56 mins: Another corner for Villa, and this one is turned goalwards by Davis, but with very little power and Henderson catches.

54 mins: It is apparently official that the goalline technology was on furlough in the first half.

Sheffield United
(@SheffieldUnited)

It wasn’t working 😂

June 17, 2020

53 mins: Hause flicks the corner into the side-netting. The fake fans haven’t learned their lesson, and do it again.

52 mins: Chance! Targett lifts the ball into the penalty area, Davis chests it down and slams in a shot, and Henderson saves! That was an excellent stop!

Davis shoots.

Davis shoots. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AP

Updated

51 mins: Stevens bursts down the left wing before slamming in a cross, or perhaps a shot, from wide of the penalty area that ripples the side netting. Sky’s fake fans spend about half a second celebrating a goal.

48 mins: Grealish is touched by Sharp and goes down, rolls around for a while in apparent agony, wins a free-kick and then gets up and strolls away, without even a pretend limp.

46 mins: Peeeeep! Villa get the second half started.

Chris Wilder is having a friendly chat with the referee, Michael Oliver, as the players emerge for the second half. Sky are reporting that the referee’s watch did vibrate and flash for a goal … during the half-time break.

For avoidance of doubt, VAR and goalline technology is, or at least should be, in play. I don’t know why the VAR – Paul Tierney for this match, assisted by Constantine Hatzidakis – couldn’t overrule the goalline technology if it was obviously broken. Things like this just make referees, computers, robots, cameras and British people in general look stupid.

IT’S AN OUTRAGE! I AM OUTRAGED!

Oh football, how we’ve missed you.

Sky Sports Premier League
(@SkySportsPL)

Should Sheffield United be ahead here!? 🤯

It looked as if #AVFC ‘keeper Ørjan Nyland took the ball over his own line but goal-line technology says no goal! ❌ pic.twitter.com/kbSsJajwrF

June 17, 2020

Half-time: Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United

45+3 mins: That’s all for now. United woz robbed.

Declan Rice
(@_DeclanRice)

Wait… i thought this is what VAR was brought in for ?!? Blatantly over the line????

June 17, 2020

45 mins: Nyland caught the ball but then Davis bumped into him and bounced him beyond the line. The entire ball was not just behind the line but behind the post, so absolutely clear to anyone with a decent view.

44 mins: Another replay. That was a goal, no ifs or buts or doubts whatsoever.

43 mins: Sky’s replays suggest that ball did cross the line. That technology was supposed to be infallible.

42 mins: Sharp wins a free-kick on the left, which is curled towards the far post. Nyland backpedals, collects and seems to step over his line, but the referee’s watch doesn’t buzz!

Nyland pulls the ball from behind the line but referee Michael Oliver calls a no goal as the goal line technology fails.

Nyland pulls the ball from behind the line but referee Michael Oliver calls a no goal as the goal line technology fails. Photograph: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Updated

38 mins: Excellent outrage from the fake fans on Sky as Robinson eases McGinn off the ball inside the Sheffield United penalty area.

Robinson takles McGinn.

Robinson takles McGinn. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Updated

37 mins: Lundstram wasn’t in fact booked for something earlier, which is just as well as he has been booked for something now.

35 mins: Oooh! Villa win a corner, which is curled into the area and reaches Hause, level with the near post. It’s a fantastic chance, but one he clearly didn’t expect to get, so he doesn’t even try to head it and the ball bounces off his chest and wide.

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