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Aston Villa 1-0 Sheffield United: Ezri Konsa's goal ensures opening win against 10-man Blades

Chris Wilder's side were on the back foot as early as the 12th minute when John Egan, who grappled with Ollie Watkins as the Villa forward looked to latch onto a loose ball, was adjudged to have denied a goal-scoring opportunity by referee Graham Scott.

However, the 10 men had the best opportunity of the first half when Matt Targett fouled Chris Basham in the penalty area. John Lundstram stepped up for the visitors, but his spot kick was brilliantly saved by debutant Emiliano Martinez.

With Villa starting to run out of ideas, it was the unlikely source of Konsa who headed home in the 63rd minute to hand Dean Smith's side a winning start.

It was a cruel blow for Sheffield United, who put in a spirited performance, as they start with back-to-back defeats. Meanwhile, Villa are up to ninth after their opening win.

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