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Updated December 23rd, 2023 at 07:30 IST

Aston Villa miss chance to go top in draw with late goals and VAR disputes

Aston Villa squandered a chance to take top of the English Premier League on Friday, drawing 1-1 with Sheffield United in a game dominated by late goals and more VAR arguments.

Sheffield United, Cameron Archer
Sheffield United's Cameron Archer, left, and Aston Villa's Ezri Konsa, right, challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Sheffield United | Image: AP
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Aston Villa missed a chance to go top of the English Premier League when it drew with Sheffield United 1-1 in a game marked by late goals and more VAR disputes on Friday.

Although Villa dominated, Cameron Archer put Sheffield ahead with three minutes left, only for Nicolo Zaniolo to equalize in the seventh minute of time added on.

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A win would have taken Villa above Liverpool and Arsenal and leave it sitting in pole position at this stage of the season for the first time since 1998.

Instead, the point left it second on the table, level on points with leader Arsenal and one point more than Liverpool. Liverpool faces Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday.

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Villa was superior throughout in front of a boisterous home crowd and it would rue the video referee for decisions that went against it.

Two penalty claims were rejected early in the first half and a Leon Bailey goal was chalked off after 59 minutes when the review spotted a foul on Sheffield goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.

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Referee Anthony Taylor looked at another possible penalty for handball with 17 minutes remaining but again ruled against the home side.

When the deadlock was broken it came at the other end. Former Villa striker Cameron Archer popped up with a clinical finish after good work from Gustavo Hamer on the left.

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But just when Villa looked down and out it got the goal its play deserved. Douglas Luiz flighted a cross into the box and Zaniolo beat Foderingham to nod into the empty net.

The point was a vital one for Sheffield and lifted it off the bottom of the table and a point above Burnley.

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For Unai Emery's side, the draw ended a spectacular run of 15 wins in a row at home.

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Published December 23rd, 2023 at 07:30 IST

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