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Villa Post-Mortem: Aston Villa book play-off final spot with watertight performance

Here’s everything you’re ever going to need to know as Villa hold steady against Boro

Middlesbrough v Aston Villa - Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final:First Leg
Mile Jedinak is located somewhere in this photo
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Aston Villa 0, Middlesbrough 0. Villa jump into a play-off final with Fulham thanks to a 1-0 lead obtained in the first leg.

I’m going to stop myself from recapping the match right now, because someone on this blog did it far better than I could. As I screamed in rapturous adulation upon the final whistle, Robb Jones recapped the game in a beautiful and personal essay.

Please read it here.

Done? No? Get reading. If you are finished with that piece, let’s get on with the show.

The Manager’s Thoughts

Steve Bruce and Tony Xia reacted to the Boro Game. I won’t write it up, just watch them!

And here’s Brucey!

It’s all to play for!

Your Thoughts


Match Reports

7500 To Holte

Aston Villa FC


Mask off. Mile on. The only goal of the semi-final came from the big man back in the first-leg.


Expected goals can tell us a fair bit about a match. Here’s an explainer. In the long term we can judge how well a team is doing in front of goal. On a match-by-match basis, we can simply judge chances, and how well they are taken.

Villa: 0.78 (0)

Middlesbrough: 0.33 (0)

Data provided by Infogol

Both teams fought hard, Boro couldn’t find a shot on target though. Villa were good value for a goal, but failed to find the target.

The Match

Goalscorers: No goalscorer today - but Jack Grealish scored in my heart

Big winners: Mile Jedinak bossed it for Villa once again, but Robert Snodgrass was a monster across the pitch.

Big losers: Adama Traore failed to make any impact at all. £30 million? Ok. Sam Johnstone also lost his head in a moment of madness alongside James Chester. Iron that out for Wembley lads.

Best moment: Breaking out into delight upon the final whistle. Que sera, sera...

Worst moment: Boro should have capitalised on a dire play between Sam Johnstone and James Chester that left the hearts of Villans firmly in their mouths. Sam was probably lucky not to be sent off, either.

Man of the Match: Robert Snodgrass. Drug test that man (after the play-off final). He was everywhere, pressing all over the pitch for Villa. He runs at turgid pace, but is a thinker on the ball and can pull off some wondrous moves at the drop of a hat.