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Match report: Villa 0-0 Middlesbrough - Play-Off Final spot secured

Game details

Match: Aston Villa v Middlesbrough
Date: 15th May, 2018
Competition: Championship Play-Off semi-final, second leg
Venue: Villa Park
Kick-off: 7.45pm
Attendance: 40,505
Weather: 18c, partly cloudy


It was tense and it was tight, but Villa are going to Wembley for the Championship Play-Off Final.

Steve Bruce’s side booked a place against Fulham on 26th May with a goalless draw which left the semi-final decided by Mile Jedinak’s header in the first leg at The Riverside.

With the exception of an early James Bree drive which flashed wide, the opening half-hour was a cagey, cat-and-mouse affair, with neither side taking unnecessary risks.

But the game suddenly opened up when Albert Adomah’s low cross set up an inviting chance for Conor Hourihane, who needed treatment after being on the receiving end of a crunching challenge as he attempted to convert from six yards.

Jack Grealish then saw a fierce drive deflected for a corner, and when the midfielder delivered the flag kick from the left, Robert Snodgrass and Lewis Grabban both flicked the ball on before John Terry hooked wide.

Despite trailing from the first leg, Boro’s only goal attempt before half-time was a Ryan Shotton header which Bree cleared from a crowded goalmouth.

As Villa looked to extend their aggregate advantage, Grabban’s close-range effort before the striker’s powerful shot was tipped over by Darren Randolph. 

And the Boro keeper made an even better save when he acrobatically pushed away Grealish’s angled drive in the 75th minute.

There was a late scare when former Villa winger Stewart Downing hit the bar with a free-kick after Sam Johnstone had handled outside the penalty area.  

Misconduct summary

Villa bookings

Snodgrass, Hutton, Grealish, Johnstone 

Middlesbrough booking

Friend, Besic 


ASTON VILLA: Johnstone; Bree, Chester, Terry, Hutton; Hourihane (Whelan 84), Jedinak, Grealish; Snodgrass, Grabban (Kodjia 79), Adomah (Bjarnason 90).Unused subs: Bunn, Samba, Hogan, Onomah.

MIDDLESBROUGH: Randolph; Shotton (Da Silva 82), Fry, Friend; Traore, Howson (Gestede 73), Clayton, Besic, Downing; Assombalonga (Bamford 68).Unused subs: Dimitrios, Leadbitter, Cranie, Harrison.


Referee: Michael Dean
Assistant Referee 1: Simon Long
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Scoles
Fourth Official: Paul Tierney

Latest Scores

Pos Pld GD Pts
1 same Wolves 28 28 62
2 same Derby 28 21 53
3 same Cardiff 28 15 51
4 same Aston Villa 28 17 50
5 same Bristol City 28 8 48
6 same Sheff Utd 28 10 46
7 up Fulham 28 12 45
8 up Middlesbrough 28 11 44
9 up Brentford 28 7 43
10 down Leeds United 28 7 43
11 down Preston 28 4 42
12 same Ipswich Town 28 1 40
13 same Norwich City 28 -5 37
14 up Nottm Forest 28 -8 35
15 up Millwall 28 0 34
16 down QPR 28 -9 33
17 same Sheff Wed 28 -4 32
18 same Reading 28 -6 29
19 same Barnsley 28 -12 27
20 up Bolton Wanderers 28 -20 26
21 down Hull City 28 -6 25
22 up Sunderland 28 -17 25
23 same Birmingham 28 -23 24
24 down Burton 28 -31 24
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