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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


Pos Pld GD Pts
1 same Wolves 46 43 99
2 same Cardiff 46 30 90
3 same Fulham 46 33 88
4 same Aston Villa 46 30 83
5 same Middlesbrough 46 22 76
6 same Derby 46 22 75
7 same Preston 46 11 73
8 same Millwall 46 11 72
9 same Brentford 46 10 69
10 up Sheff Utd 46 7 69
11 down Bristol City 46 9 67
12 up Ipswich Town 46 -3 60
13 up Leeds United 46 -5 60
14 down Norwich City 46 -11 60
15 up Sheff Wed 46 -1 57
16 down QPR 46 -12 56
17 same Nottm Forest 46 -14 53
18 same Hull City 46 0 49
19 up Birmingham 46 -30 46
20 down Reading 46 -22 44
21 up Bolton Wanderers 46 -35 43
22 down Barnsley 46 -24 41
23 down Burton 46 -43 41
24 same Sunderland 46 -28 37

League Cup Blues

Frustration at Villa Park as Blues hold on to 3-1 lead