After a three month absence, the Premier League made its long-awaited return with strugglers Aston Villa holding out Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United to a goalless draw at Villa Park.    

Villa started the better with a high pressing game as well as looking dangerous on crosses into the box which forced comfortable saves out of Henderson.

However, after what looked to be a pretty uneventful first 45 minutes came arguably the most talked-about moment of the entire game. 

As Oliver Norwood’s deep free-kick was looking to head towards the far corner, Villa goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland looked to catch the ball with ease but only carried it over his own goal line.

This was the first time ever that we saw a first major fault in goal-line technology as amazingly the Blades were denied a 1-0 lead at the break.

The second half saw both sides weather the storm as neither backline was seriously tested with the lack of fitness really showing.

The draw prevented the Yorkshire side from leapfrogging Man United into fifth place and as for Villa, the point for them was not enough to take them out of the relegation zone.  

Aston Villa Player Ratings

Nyland 4 – Played a massive part in the most bizarre moment of the game as the 29-year-old fumbled a Norwood free-kick carrying the ball over the line with only the failure of the technology preventing the home side going a goal down at half-time. Over than that, he hardly had anything to do. 

Konsa 6 – Had a very solid game at right-back and never looked like giving the ball away but could have got forward a lot more during the game.    

Hause 7 – Plays very well next to Mings with the pair linking up well to keep out the Blades physical threat up front and also did well to deal with Mcgoldrick when he came on. 

Mings 8 – Looked fit and raring to go once the whistle blew particularly closing down runners and winning second balls.  

Targett 7 – Showed good work on the left with long forward passes to Davis to run onto along with solid positional play.   

Hourihane 6 – Forced a good save out of Henderson in the opening minutes but went missing for long periods of the game.

Douglas Luiz 6 – At times couldn’t quite get his passing game together with Grealish but did well to track back when the away side came forward.  

McGinn 7 – His first game back from injury looked a promising one with flashes of quick movement with the ball which led to the Scotsman forcing a decent safe out of Dean Henderson in the second half.   

El Ghazi 7 – Didn’t quite have those quick bursts of pace that he’d normally have on his day but at times struggled in fitness which led to him being taken off for Trezeguet.  

Davis 7 – Looked promising in the final third getting into good areas with decent bursts of pace.    

Grealish 8 – Took a while to find his quick feet but in the second half, his runs from midfield really caused Chris Wilder’s side many problems. 

Subs

El Mohamedy 7 – Made the home look more dangerous on the right with his crosses but sadly couldn’t find any of his teammates with them.  

Nakamba 6 – Sat very deep in possession at times, but still showed satisfactory defensive work.

Trézéguet 7 – Upped the tempo when he came on with his effective running but found it difficult to do anything with the ball. 

Samatta 6 – Wasn’t given enough minutes to make a serious impact on the game but still has a lot to prove for the rest of the season. 

Sheffield United Player Ratings 

Henderson (Man of the Match) – Made a sharp safe to deny Hourihane in the opening stages as well as a good reflex safe to keep out John Mcginn. Overall, a very satisfactory display from the man who’ll be looking to rival Jordan Pickford for England’s number 1 spot. 

Basham 7 – Linked up very well with the rest of his backline, sniffing any danger that would come his way, along with good marking on set pieces. 

Egan 7 – Had a very solid defensive performance. Almost lost his runner in the second half with Davis almost having a tap in but overall, he had a decent performance.  

Robinson 8 – Had quite a comfortable affair dealing with Villa’s high balls that went into the box. Tracked Villa’s quick men to great perfection after they found space to run into.  

Baldock 6 – Didn’t quite have the same bursts of energy he had before the lockdown started with the overlapping runs he can make which has contributed highly to the Blades goals this season. Needs the game time to get his fitness up.   

Berge 6 – Held onto the ball well in possession but struggled to create an impact in the final third.  

Norwood 8 – Made some dangerous inswinging crosses as the game went on and was very unlucky that his first-half free-kick didn’t lead to the Blades coming away with all three points.  

Lundstram 6 – Found it difficult to find his feet in the first half but gradually got better in the second, however, he couldn’t make the killer passes that the frontline were so desperately waiting for.   

Stevens 6 – Struggled to make the right runs at the right times but did well on the defensive duties.  

McBurnie 6 – Had a very quiet game, especially in the second half where the away side needed him most, but he struggled on the lack of service he received in the game.   

Sharp 6 – Looked very isolated for long spells with Villa’s Tyrone Mings tracking him very well.  

Subs

Freeman 7 – Always wanted to get on the ball and make something happen when he came on but struggled to get the right passes through to the frontline.      

Mcgoldrick 7 – Made himself an effective target man when he came on by bringing his teammates into play with great ease. Picked up a slight knock in the latter stages which hopefully won’t be as serious as first feared. 

Mousset 6 – Struggled to make a big impact in the final 20 minutes with a lack creativity from the men behind him.