Sheffield United earned a rare win and dented Aston Villa’s European aspirations by surviving for more than 30 minutes with ten men.
David McGoldrick fired his side ahead inside the six-yard area after being picked out by George Baldock following a lovely move that started inside the Blades’ half.
United defender Phil Jagielka was sent off for a foul on Anwar El Ghazi, after seeing the incident on a pitchside monitor, and referee Robert Jones changed the yellow card he had given him to a red.
Villa’s Ollie Watkins hit the post just before Jagielka was sent off, but the visitors were unable to take advantage of the former Everton midfielder’s dismissal.
Chris Wilder’s spirited side ended a four-match losing streak, but in the Premier League with 11 games remaining they remain 12 points from safety.
Villa could have pushed three points closer to a Champions League spot with a victory, but they were bitterly disappointed.
Sheffield United 1 – 0 Aston Villa
Goals: 1-0 McGoldrick 30
Sent off: Jagielka
Sheffield United: Ramsdale, Ampadu, Jagielka, Bryan, Baldock, Lundstram, Norwood, Fleck, Stevens, McGoldrick, Brewster
Substitutions: Osborn, Burke, McBurnie
Aston Villa: Martinez, El Mohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Nakamba, Ramsey, Traore, Watkins, El Ghazi
Substitutions: Barkley, Sanson, Davis