Major Boost for Leeds as Villa Blunt Sheffield United Victory Bid – by Rob Atkinson


The most gutted “hat trick hero” you could ever wish to see

Sometimes, you feel that things just aren’t going your way, and that you’d be better off curtailing the evening’s TV sport and slinking off upstairs with a good book. That was pretty much my frame of mind as I alternated between Sky Sports channels to see Leeds Rhinos getting turned over at Wigan on the one hand, and Sheffield United building a three goal lead at Aston Villa on the other, seemingly to turf Leeds United out of the automatic Championship promotion places.

Still, while there’s life there’s hope, and now I’m really glad that, having given up on the Rhinos (that ended up 34-16 to the Pies), I instead concentrated on the slim chance of a Villa comeback to frustrate the Blunts, whose fans were crowing about being top of the league as that three goal chasm opened up.

It was annoying, really, as Sheff Utd seemed to be getting all the rub of the green there was going. Billy Sharp, a striker who Leeds fans will remember as being unable to hack it at a big club, had put the Blunts a goal up at half time. In the second half, things took a turn for the worse with a ridiculously invalid second Blunts goal (offside, then Sharp kicking the ball out of the Villa keeper’s hands) unaccountably being allowed. Shortly after, it was 3-0 and, you’d have thought, the end of the matter after just 62 minutes.

But then, football reminded us all that it really is never over until that fat lady has sung her last, expiring note. After 82 minutes, Tyrone Mings soared to head home a corner. A still confident Sheffield United management then subbed “hat trick hero” Billy Sharp on 86 minutes, only to find their lead cut to one goal within seconds when Tammy Abrahams slammed home a rebound from nervous Blunts keeper Dean Henderson.

Then, for those of us keen not to see Sheffield United at the top of the League, there was the frustration of Villa being denied at least one clear penalty as the clock ticked down to five minutes stoppage time. Thankfully though, all was not lost. In the last minute of the extra five, Andre Green popped up at the far post to head home John McGinn‘s cross to secure Villa an unlikely draw, much to the joy of not only their own fans, but also those of Norwich and Leeds United.

As an epic game ended, the Blunts has to settle for a draw wrestled from the jaws of victory, with some Sheffield defenders indulging in some accusatory finger-pointing at their butterfingers keeper Henderson. That had some satisfying comedy value, as did the outburst of grief and rage on the sufc Twitter hashtag, where not long before had been gloating and smugness agogo. Deeply enjoyable, that.

For Leeds, this was a major boost. Whatever happens now this weekend, they will remain a minimum 2 points clear of third place, and in a much better situation than had seemed likely after 62 minutes at Villa Park. For once, I’ll say thanks to Villa, who had looked hopeless for much of the game, but who showed character to come back.

And, for the time being at least, we can all enjoy a good laugh at the expense of the Blunts.

9 responses to “Major Boost for Leeds as Villa Blunt Sheffield United Victory Bid – by Rob Atkinson

  1. Life is LUFC

    The ref was under instruction to screw Leeds indirectly, did not matter how he did it just do it. Sadly he ran ran out of time……..hahaha heeheehee, silly little ref, how daft is thee.


  2. VillaBrasil.

    An overseas Villa fan here,pleased we came back of course,Sheff U.too damn smug.If only we could defend,but…..never mind,still think you will make it.Good Luck.Villa?I believe we need another season in this division to shift the overpaid deadwood.COYVB.


  3. mrbigwheels

    Top read… Thank you. ALAW.


  4. Like you Rob, I was flicking between Villa & Wigan. I too eventually gave up on’t Rhinos & became a Villa fan. Sharp’s 2nd goal was indeed offside & Villa should have had 2 penalties for clear shirt pulls…………………3 points tomorrow would be nice.


  5. So Rob, when the EFL shaft us yet again, what are we all going to do? Converge on their HQ? This witch hunt had got to stop.


  6. Mike Riley

    I checked the score before entering a Harroagte pub with 9 mins remaining – 3:0 Sheffield United!! After a swift pint i checked again on the way out – more for confirmaton than hope – and it was 3:3. It was like Leeds had won 2 points – and we had!! MOT Let’s go for another 3 tomorrow.


  7. Some mad results at Villa this year so maybe not too surprising. Perhaps too much to hope that the tractor boys can do us a favour tomorrow,but in his league who knows!
    Hope young Jack Clarke is doing ok and good to hear Pulis pass on his best wishes. A bit of class from Pulis that.


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