Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder admitted his side were the authors of their own downfall last night in surrendering a 3-0 lead over Aston Villa.
The Blades were cruising thanks to a hat-trick from Billy Sharp, which took his tally to 101 for United, but the match would turn in the final 10 minutes when the visitors threw away their commanding lead and leave the West Midlands with two points fewer than they should have done.
Dean Henderson was culpable for two of the goals – flapping at a cross to give Tyrone Mings the opportunity to pull one back for the home side before a tame save from Tommy Elphick landed invitingly at the feet of Tammy Ambraham, who grabbed a second.
Then in the fourth of five minutes of injury time, Jack O’Connell’s miscued clearance offered an opening which eventually saw Andre Green head in to salvage an unlikely point for Villa.
Wilder conceded that the first goal offered Villa a lifeline that didn’t appear to be coming and buoyed by that, they pressed for more, with United offering more than a helping hand.
“Dean makes a poor decision and an error for the first goal and that gives them a spring in their step, and the second was another mistake,” said the Blades boss.
“But we dealt with everything down the two sides and pushed back a good team who didn't carve us open at any period. But we've got to see it through.
“It was mistake, goal, mistake, goal, mistake goal. Three-one gives them a little more urgency about them, and even more at 3-2, but apart from a (Conor) Hourihane free-kick there was nothing of note in the game.”