Monday, May 21, 2018

Aston Villa 0 Middlesbrough 0 (1-0 agg): Bruce´s men to face Fulham in play-off final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 May 2018

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Aston Villa will face Fulham in the Championship play-off final after Steve Bruce’s side saw off Middlesbrough in their semi-final clash.

A 0-0 second-leg draw at Villa Park on Tuesday secured a 1-0 aggregate win for Villa and booked their place in the showdown at Wembley on May 26.

Tony Pulis’ Middlesbrough travelled to the Midlands needing to chase the game to overturn their first-leg defeat, but it was Villa who created the better chances in a tense encounter.

A minute’s applause was held before kick-off for Jlloyd Samuel, the former Villa defender killed in a car accident on Tuesday, before a first 45 minutes of few opportunities was played out in front of a packed crowd.

Lewis Grabban and Jack Grealish each tested Boro goalkeeper Darren Randolph, who did his best to keep his side in the contest, but the visitors did not manage a shot on target throughout.

Stewart Downing rattled the crossbar with a free-kick in the 88th minute, after Villa goalkeeper Sam Johnstone had perhaps been lucky not to be sent off for handling the ball outside the penalty area, but Villa were not to be denied.

They will meet Fulham, who overcame Derby County 2-1 on aggregate in their last-four tie, for a place in next season’s Premier League.

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