Date: 16th May 2018 at 7:00am
Written by:
Aston Villa
0 – 0
Middlesbrough

Villa Park

Championship Play-Off 2nd Leg

15/05/2018 7:45 pm

Attendance: 45505

Referee: Dean

Aston VillaMiddlesbrough
Johnstone
 
Randolph
BreeShotton82
ChesterFry
TerryGibson
Hutton
 
Friend
 
JedinakHowson73
Snodgrass
 
Clayton
Hourihane85Besic
 
Grealish
 
Traore
Adomah91Assombalonga68
Grabban79Downing

Substitutes

SambaKonstantopoulos
Whelan85Fabio82
HoganLeadbitter
OnomahBamford68
Bjarnason91Cranie
Kodjia79Harrison
BunnGestede73

Game Statistics

15Goal attempts9
5On Target0
7Corners4
8Fouls18
4Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards0
46%54

Going into Tuesday evening’s second leg Play-Off semi-final tie against Middlesbrough, Aston Villa already had the advantage after Mile Jedinak gave us the first leg lead at the Riverside Stadium.

In a typically tight affair, we were content to let them have the greater of the ball but by rights should’ve taken victory outright with 15 shots to their 9 attempts. Tellingly though, we hit five on target and they failed to muster anything of note until Stewart Downing hit the woodwork from a free-kick in the 89th minute.

So, 0-0 on the night and 1-0 over both legs sees us through to Wembley and the Final and it was largely a fitting tribute to Jlloyd Samuel with a minutes applause held prior to kick off, in his memory, following his death in a car crash last Wednesday.

Of surprise to everyone was the performance of Mike Dean, and one decision in particular, where he chose to book Sam Johnstone for handball outside of the box instead of showing a straight red which most probably expected.

Speaking to the BBC at the full time whistle, manager Steve Bruce knew fortune had favoured us in that moment.

“It probably should have been a red card, but, with only two minutes left, it might not have made much difference. They only had one shot on target in two games and we had the better chances tonight. If any team deserved to win, it was us. I’m delighted for our fans who have suffered a lot. Now we’ve got 11 days to prepare for Wembley.”

Bruce is keenly aware that given Fulham’s form this year they will be tricky customers in the Final, but it’s football, it’s Wembley, anything can happen and we have to ensure it happens for us.

Fulham triumphed over Derby County with a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.

Having spent the last few years talking about us, Tony Pulis deserves a hat tip for his words at the final whistle.

“In the end, the teams that finished third and fourth over 46 games are going to Wembley. That’s credit to Fulham and Villa, who are hardworking, stubborn and well organised.”

I’ll take stubborn!

 

3 Replies to “Match Stats: Aston Villa v Middlesbrough – Wembley Bound”

  • That’s about as close to praise as Pulis can manage! I imagine it was said through gritted teeth as well. But at least he didn’t slag us off or claim they should have won as he normally does.

  • How come we committed eight fouls and had four yellow cards while Boro committed 18 fouls and only got two bookings? Shomething wrong shomewhere? People keep talking about Fulham but if Blooze could turn them over 3 – 1 I don’t see why we shouldn’t do the same, or better. UTV

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