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Aston Villa 0-0 Middlesbrough(Agg 1-0)

Aston Villa 0-0 Middlesbrough(Agg 1-0)

Stewart Downing's late free-kick was the closest Middlesbrough came to equalisingAston Villa held their nerve as they kept out Middlesbrough to set up a Championship play-off final against Fulham at Wembley.On the tensest of nights in the West Midlands, Villa again kept a clean sheet to reach the final on 26 May.Stewart Downing's 89th-minute free-kick against the bar was as close as Boro came to forcing extra time.
And Villa held on to win this Championship play-off semi-final thanks to Mile Jedinak's first-leg header.
How Aston Villa reached the Championship play-off final
For all their commitment and effort, Tony Pulis' side were sentenced to at least another season in the Championship after failing to test Villa keeper Sam Johnstone.Villa did survive one scare at the end when keeper Johnstone was booked for being adjudged to have handled Adama Traore's attempted chip outside the box.It might not have had the pace to beat the backtracking defenders, which led to referee Mike Dean opting to show a yellow card rather than red.Boro could not take advantage of the subsequent free-kick, former Villa winger Downing's left-footed effort cannoning off the top of the bar and away to safety.
Boro give Villa late scare
After Villa failed to cash in on their powerful start, roared on by their hungry fans, a tense first half proved to be one of bits and pieces when it came to end product.Conor Hourihane looked certain to score from six yards out, only to be denied and left limping by a superbly brave tackle from George Friend. But Villa defender James Chester's right-foot shot on the turn was probably the best chance, going just wide.At the start of the second half, Lewis Grabban then went even closer when denied at the near post following top-scorer Albert Adomah's low delivery from the left flank.And on-loan Bournemouth striker Grabban had a thundering long-range effort tipped over.The introduction of Rudy Gestede left Villa with the challenge of dealing with two of their former front players, Traore having proved, as expected, a real handful.But there were no real alarms right until that heart stopping double escape at the death.Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce told BBC Sport:"It [Sam Johnstone's handball] 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. "It'll be very difficult against Fulham but it'll be two football playing teams and we hope to give them a game and show what we can do too. If you win in a play off final, it's a great way to do it, but, if we are to win, we are going to have play very well."Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis told BBC Sport:"Over the two games there have been periods when we've been on top, but we've not created enough chances."And, 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."On the decision not to send Villa keeper Johnstone off, Pulis added to Sky Sports: "I'm really disappointed."Everybody understands the rules and you need him to make the correct decision. I don't think he's made the correct decision."Personally, I think it was the wrong decision and I'm sure there are a lot of people watching who would agree with me."
Line-ups
Match Stats
Live Text
Line-ups
Aston Villa
1JohnstoneBooked at 87mins[/i]
16Bree
5Chester
26Terry
21HuttonBooked at 45mins[/i]
15Jedinak
7SnodgrassBooked at 34mins[/i]
14HourihaneSubstituted forWhelanat 85'minutes
10GrealishBooked at 60mins[/i]
37AdomahSubstituted forBjarnasonat 90+1'minutes
45GrabbanSubstituted forKodjiaat 79'minutes
Substitutes
4Samba
6Whelan
9Hogan
18Onomah
20Bjarnason
22Kodjia
31Bunn
Middlesbrough
25Randolph
5ShottonSubstituted forFabioat 82'minutes
20Fry
6Gibson
3FriendBooked at 13mins[/i]
16HowsonSubstituted forGestedeat 73'minutes
8Clayton
27BesicBooked at 80mins[/i]
37Traore
9AssombalongaSubstituted forBamfordat 68'minutes
19Downing
Substitutes
1Konstantopoulos
2Fabio
7Leadbitter
11Bamford
14Cranie
23Harrison
39Gestede
Referee:Mike DeanAttendance:40,505
Match Stats
Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamMiddlesbroughPossessionHome46%Away54%ShotsHome15Away9Shots on TargetHome5Away0CornersHome7Away4FoulsHome8Away18
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Middlesbrough 0.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+6' Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Middlesbrough 0.Posted at 90'+6' Attempt blocked. Adama Traore (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.Posted at 90'+4' Foul by Fabio (Middlesbrough).Posted at 90'+4' Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 90'+2' Foul by Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough).Posted at 90'+2' Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 90'+2' Attempt blocked. Fabio (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Clayton.Posted at 90'+2' Attempt missed. Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Substitution
Posted at 90'+1' Substitution, Aston Villa. Birkir Bjarnason replaces Albert Adomah.Posted at 89' Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.
Booking
Posted at 87' Sam Johnstone (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.Posted at 87' Hand ball by Sam Johnstone (Aston Villa).Posted at 87' Attempt blocked. Adama Traore (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick Bamford with a headed pass.
Substitution
Posted at 85' Substitution, Aston Villa. Glenn Whelan replaces Conor Hourihane.Posted at 83' Attempt blocked. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Muhamed Besic.Posted at 83' Adama Traore (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 83' Foul by Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa).Posted at 83' Attempt saved. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Albert Adomah.
Substitution
Posted at 82' Substitution, Middlesbrough. Fabio replaces Ryan Shotton.
Booking
Posted at 80' Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card.Posted at 80' Foul by Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough).Posted at 80' Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.Posted at 79' Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Conor Hourihane.
Substitution
Posted at 79' Substitution, Aston Villa. Jonathan Kodjia replaces Lewis Grabban.Posted at 78' Attempt missed. James Bree (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.Posted at 78' Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Adam Clayton.Posted at 78' Attempt blocked. Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.Posted at 77' Foul by Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough).Posted at 77' Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 75' Attempt saved. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Conor Hourihane.
Substitution
Posted at 73' Substitution, Middlesbrough. Rudy Gestede replaces Jonny Howson.Posted at 71' Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Dael Fry.Posted at 71' Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lewis Grabban.Posted at 70' Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Darren Randolph.Posted at 70' Attempt saved. Lewis Grabban (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass.
Substitution
Posted at 68' Substitution, Middlesbrough. Patrick Bamford replaces Britt Assombalonga.Posted at 67' Offside, Aston Villa. Alan Hutton tries a through ball, but Lewis Grabban is caught offside.Posted at 65' Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Ben Gibson.Posted at 64' Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Adam Clayton.
goal
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