Monday, 17 December, 2018

Villa hold off Boro to reach Championship playoff final

Villa hold off Boro to reach Championship playoff final Villa hold off Boro to reach Championship playoff final
Shannon Reynolds | 16 May, 2018, 06:29

Steve Bruce: "We've given ourselves a chance, we've given ourselves a small advantage, but we've been around long enough to know that we can't get carried away with it, that's for sure".

Steve Bruce's side will now face Fulham at Wembley on May 26 for a spot in next season's Premier League.

"The boys were different class". I think it was important in the first half that we did not concede. Another clean sheet in two games, so very good.

"The game plan was superb so the manager deserves a lot of credit for that", said Villa captain John Terry.

"If any team deserved to win the game tonight I think it was us".

The clubs will pay tribute to former Aston Villa defender Jlloyd Samuel, who sadly passed away at the age of 37 following a vehicle crash in Cheshire this morning.

However, Boro winger Stewart Downing almost forced extra time when he sent a free kick against the bar in the 88th minute of the second leg.

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Boss Tony Pulis, who replaced Garry Monk in December, was upset Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was not sent off by referee Mike Dean after he handled outside the area with three minutes left.

Villa held on to claim a draw on the night and victory overall, sparking wild celebrations as their fans flooded onto the pitch at fulltime.

The two teams will be competing for a chance to play Fulham in the final at Wembley after the Cottagers overturned a first leg deficit to beat Derby County 2-1 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at home on Monday evening.

"They're a good football side".

He said: 'It's a big club, history and tradition and you need big players.

Yet again, like the first leg, Traore let his team-mates down with a poor final ball which saw his attempts either go out for a goal kick or hit the first Villa man after such promising dribbles.

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