Villa hold off Boro to reach Championship playoff final

Villa hold off Boro to reach Championship playoff final

Mile Jedinak provided the moment of magic in the first leg at the Riverside as Steve Bruce's men secured a 1-0 win before the reverse leg at home.

Comfortable on the back foot, the Villans were happy to sit back and soak up whatever pressure Boro could put on them, safe in the knowledge that their rearguard would prevail.

At the heart of that defence was former Chelsea and England centre back John Terry who joined the club previous year on a free transfer and whose appointment as captain appears to have had a significant impact.

Meanwhile, Middlesbrough's Daniel Ayala came off in the second half on Saturday with a knee injury and misses out, so Tony Pulis has opted to start the young Dael Fry in defence in his stead. "We're going to Wembley, let's enjoy it". Fulham really were excellent, thriving thanks to the teenage brilliance of Ryan Sessegnon and the brute strength of Aleksandar Mitrovic up front, and it is going to take something special to stop Slavisa Jokanovic from joining Cardiff City and Wolves in the Premier League next season. With respect to Fulham (and Birmingham) fans, it's easy to make Villa the emotional favorite of the playoff final.


Three of the four that managed to keep a clean sheet in the first leg retained their places with only the injured Ahmed Elmohamady missing from the game at Villa Park.

Tony Pulis will be all too acutely aware Villa have lost only one of their past 10 home games at Villa Park, winning seven and drawing two. "But the boys have been superb and we're off to Wembley with one more to go".

Villa were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Aston Villa players celebrate a win.

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