Aston Villa have finally closed the curtain on their 2017/2018 Championship season, having forged their play-off position a number of weeks ago. Today’s opponents, Millwall, on the other hand find themselves stuck just outside of the play-off fight. The match? Practically an exhibition game, with little meaning bar experimentation and bragging rights for either side. With that in mind, Villa decided
The Villans started off brightly, basking in the sun and being led by the roving Jonathan Kodjia, but couldn’t make the best of a number of half-chances.
Millwall weren’t able to create much, but a goalmouth scrap fell in their favour as Henri Lansbury clumsily stumbled around and gave away a first-half penalty. Millwall buried it and the match remained balanced at the 1-0 scoreline to the home team for the rest of the game.
Villa had a big chance through Josh Onomah, but the loanee was unable to find the net with a sweeping shot after being played in by Jonathan Kodjia.
The introduction of Jack Grealish, Robert Snodgrass and Lewis Grabban heated Villa’s play up, but it still remained rather stale, with Millwall allowing Villa to play with the ball, but not in their box. Villa came close a few times - James Chester was denied after tangling with the opposition in the penalty area, and Jack Grealish sliced a half-volley away.
Millwall had a chance to double their lead after a handball in the box resulted in another penalty, but Mark Bunn came up with the double-save to ensure Villa had a way back into the game.
They, however, weren’t able to capitalise on Bunn’s heroics and finished the match amidst a minor pitch invasion, as Millwall attempted to celebrate an incredible season in the Championship.
With the Villans locked into fourth place, their destiny was decided. Their opposition? It went to the wire as Derby and Middlesbrough battled for 5th place in the table. The victor? Middlesbrough. Their last minute equaliser against Ipswich Town ensured that Villa will face Boro in the play-off semi-final.
For now? We wave goodbye to the Championship and hope that it’s for the final time.