Last-place Sheffield United overcame the sending-off of Phil Jagielka to beat lackluster Aston Villa 1-0 on Wednesday in what is likely to prove only a consolation victory on its way out of the Premier League.
Leading 1-0 thanks to David McGoldrick’s close-range strike in the 30th minute, United was reduced to 10 men in the 57th when Jagielka brought down Anwar El Ghazi as the Villa winger charged toward the penalty box.
Referee Robert Jones initially gave a yellow a card to Jagielka but changed that to a red after being advised by VAR to look at the incident again on the pitchside monitor. Jagielka was deemed to have denied a goal-scoring opportunity as the last man.
Villa piled on the pressure in the final half-hour but, with captain and star midfielder Jack Grealish out because of injury, lacked any creativity and cutting edge to break down the hosts.
United’s fourth win of the season moved the team onto 14 points, three behind next-to-last West Bromwich Albion but still 12 adrift of safety.
Villa stayed ninth, missing the chance to close within two points of the European qualification positions.
McGoldrick’s goal came when he turned the ball home from inside the six-yard box after meeting a drive by George Baldock that might have been a shot as opposed to a pass.