Referee Michael Oliver was joined in taking a knee by all 22 players as Aston Villa and Sheffield United resumed English Premier league hostilities with a barren draw on Monday evening .
The gesture which is a tribute to George Floyd and show of support for the #Blacklivesmatter campaign was preceeded by One minute of silence in honour of those who have lost their lives to racial oppression.
Meanwhile, Hawkeye, the company that runs PL technology have issued an apology saying Oliver Norwood’s free-kick should have stood for Sheffield United.
When the game got under way in this new environment, Sheffield United were the victims of a serious first-half injustice when Villa keeper Orjan Nyland fell behind his goal-line clutching Norwood’s free-kick in the 41st minute, only for referee Michael Oliver’s watch to fail to signal a goal.
It was the pivotal moment of an affair high on endeavour but low on quality that at least represented the success of ‘Project Restart’ after the season was halted because of the global coronavirus crisis, bringing a result that was arguably more satisfactory for The Blades than Villa.
Villa – who were thwarted by some fine saves from Sheffield United keeper Dean Henderson – will feel an opportunity has been missed, while a point for The Blades leaves them four points from Chelsea in fourth place.