Aston Villa 2-2 Sheffield United: Clayton Donaldson double secures point for Blades
By Dan Long
Last Updated: 23/12/17 8:39pm
Clayton Donaldson scored twice as Sheffield United came from 2-0 down to rescue a 2-2 draw away to Aston Villa in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday.
Villa opened the scoring inside four minutes when Albert Adomah scored from the spot after Keinan Davis was fouled, and Mile Jedinak headed a second soon after (9).
But the Australian turned from hero to villain within minutes, first allowing Donaldson to sumptuously chip Sam Johnstone (12), before miscuing a simple clearance to allow the former Birmingham striker to tuck home his second (26).
A more conservative second half produced no further goals, ensuring both sides head into Christmas with hard-earned point in their quest for promotion.
Aston Villa: Johnstone (7), Elmohamady (6), Chester (6), Jedinak (4), Taylor (6), Snodgrass (6), Hourihane (6), Whelan (6), Adomah (6), Grealish (7), Davis (6)
Subs: De Laet (6), Hogan (5), Agbonlahor (5)
Sheff Utd: Moore (6), Baldock (6), Stevens (6), O'Connell (7), Basham (6), Lundstram (6), Clarke (6), Donaldson (8), Carter-Vickers (6), Stearman (6), Duffy (6)
Subs: Carruthers (5), Sharp (5)
Man of the match: Clayton Donaldson
It was a dream start for Steve Bruce's men as a determined opening from Villa was rewarded when Richard Stearman felled Davis inside the area and Adomah made no mistake from the spot.
Five minutes after taking the lead, Villa looked to be shifting into cruise control when Jedinak evaded the challenge of Cameron Carter-Vickers to head Robert Snodgrass' free-kick into the back of the net.
But Jedinak - a midfielder by trade - showed how much the hosts miss former England skipper John Terry with two defensive errors that allowed Donaldson - starting in place of Billy Sharp - to net twice in 14 minutes.
The first saw Donaldson edge ahead of Jedinak and cushion John Lundstram's pass, before calmly chipping over onrushing Manchester United loanee Johnstone to reduce the arrears.
Steve Bruce was forced to make just one change from the side that lost 2-0 to Derby last weekend, with Josh Onomah - reportedly nursing a cut foot - being replaced by Keinan Davis.
There were two changes for the Blades as Clayton Donaldson and Mark Duffy came in for Billy Sharp and Samir Carruthers, respectively.
Jedinak then failed to clear a tame ball, and Donaldson was lurking behind to take advantage and fire home his second of the night.
Both sides looked slightly more conservative in their approach after the break, following several first-half mistakes and despite further chances from the Blades to kill the game through Mark Duffy and Leon Clarke, the game ended all-square.
Man of the match - Clayton Donaldson
The former Birmingham City striker silenced the boo boys with a terrific performance at Villa Park on Saturday evening.
His pace and desire to chase long balls and lost causes was rewarded with two deserved goals. Mile Jedinak was at fault in the build-up to both, but take nothing away from the 33-year-old, both were excellently taken and could prove important in the long run as the Blades seek a return to the Premier League.
Steve Bruce: "Quite plain and straightforward [that] we made mistakes, and when you play at any levels and make genuine mistakes like we did today, it's cost us.
"Yes, mistakes with big, experienced players that you don't expect to make, but that sometimes happens in football. We can do as much on the training pitch, we can do this, that and the other, but we've made a couple of mistakes and let them back in".
Chris Wilder: "It's a big point for us. It's not the biggest point this club's ever achieved, but I think, in the context of it, especially after the start that we had, it was a magnificent reaction.
"Two set-pieces have put us back, but it was fantastic reaction and I'm delighted with the way the players took on the challenge."
The Blades welcome Chris Coleman's struggling Sunderland to Bramall Lane on Boxing Day, while Villa are also in action as they travel to west London to face Brentford, with the action live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm.