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Sheff Utd 0-5 Aston Villa - analysis

Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins celebrate
Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins celebrate

BBC Sport's Harry Poole

With a five-star display, Aston Villa are back in the Premier League's top four.

Unai Emery's side provided the perfect response to a disappointing midweek defeat by Newcastle as they overwhelmed and outclassed Sheffield United at Brammal Lane, where they effectively clinched the three points inside half an hour.

Ollie Watkins, second only to Liverpool's Mohamed Salah for goal Premier League involvements this season, offered his latest reminder to England manager Gareth Southgate of his qualities on Saturday night after reaching double figures for top-flight goals and assists in 2023-24.

He and Leon Bailey were standout performers in a slick Villa front line that repeatedly cut the Blades open in a devastating first-half performance, while Youri Tielemans and Alex Moreno added quality finishes in a commanding win.

Villa, fresh from their biggest top-flight away win since 2008, will aim to reach the FA Cup fifth round in their replay against Chelsea on Wednesday, before hosting fellow Champions League hopefuls Manchester United next weekend.

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