Aston Villa beat 10-man Sheffield United

Aston Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez saved a penalty as the club held on to beat Sheffield United.
Aston Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez saved a penalty as the club held on to beat Sheffield United.

Emiliano Martinez saved a penalty on his debut for Aston Villa to help his new team beat 10-man Sheffield United 1-0 in their first English Premier League game of the season.

Signed from Arsenal last week, Martinez dived to his right to tip aside a penalty from John Lundstram in the 36th minute.

By that time, the visitors were a man down because centre-back John Egan received a straight red card in the 12th minute for tugging back Villa striker Ollie Watkins as they battled to reach a long ball forward.

And Villa eventually made their numerical advantage pay when Ezri Konsa headed home at the back post in the 63rd after fellow centre-back Tyrone Mings flicked on a corner.

Villa didn't play in the first round because their scheduled match against Manchester City was postponed to give City extra time to recover from playing in the latter stages of the Champions League last season.

Sheffield United have lost both of their games, having been beaten by Wolverhampton on the opening weekend.

Later on Monday, Manchester City begin their season with a trip to Wolves.

Australian Associated Press