Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Aston Villa Reach Championship Playoff Final With Boro Stalemate

Aston Villa Reach Championship Playoff Final With Boro Stalemate

The West Midlanders secured a 1-0 victory in the first leg at the Riverside Stadium before playing out a 0-0 draw at Villa Park for a place in the final at Wembley Stadium.

Bruce is now just one game away from a fifth promotion as manager to the Premier League, having also taken Birmingham and Hull up via the playoffs.

'The ones we have brought in: [Ahmed] Elmohamady, John Terry, Mile Jedinak, all people who have bought the T-shirt and you know they will not get fazed.

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At the heart of that defence was former Chelsea and England centre back John Terry who joined the club a year ago on a free transfer and whose appointment as captain appears to have had a significant impact. I think it was important in the first half that we did not concede.

The match began with a minute's applause for former Villa defender Jlloyd Samuel who died earlier in the day at the age of 37 in a auto accident.

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.

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Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis was left to rue a lack of cutting edge after they failed to register a single shot on target against Aston Villa.

"The players have worked so hard though, they have given everything".

The home fans erupted in wild celebrations at fulltime and flooded onto the pitch to join the players.

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MIDDLESBROUGH defender Daniel Ayala faces an anxious wait to see if will be fit for tonight's Championship play-off decider at Aston Villa. "There's still 90 minutes to play and anything can happen", he said.

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