Aston Villa reach playoff final with Boro stalemate

Aston Villa reach playoff final with Boro stalemate

Aston Villa will play Fulham for a place in next season's Premier League after holding Middlesbrough to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the semifinals of England's second-tier playoffs on Tuesday.

Downing then curled the resulting free-kick off the bar and Villa held out for six minutes of stoppage time to secure their trip to Wembley in 11 days' time.

"As a one-off it's fantastic if you go up through the play-offs, although I would love to have been second and sitting on a beach now". Another clean sheet in two games, so very good.

Mile Jedinak's first-leg header ultimately settled the tie on Saturday as the sides slugged out a scrappy stalemate at Villa Park.

Going up against a stern Aston Villa side with the third best defence in the Championship, conceding just 42 goals in 47 games before the game while also being marshalled by John Terry, the exciting winger was a tough man to keep quiet until he had to make a decision.

"Unbelievable, incredible, the support, the lads, the dressing room is unbelievable".

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"There's a great team spirit among the boys".

"Let's not get too excited, there's still one more to go".

Boro spent around £50million in the summer to chase an instant return to the Premier League after last year's relegation, but came up short.

That proved to be the closest they came to a shot on target all evening and manager Tony Pulis, who began this season in the Premier League in charge of West Bromwich Albion, knew his side were always outsiders to reach the final.

Bruce said: "If I'm being brutally honest, maybe the referee got that wrong, maybe it could have been a red card". I'm Sam Straw and I'll be taking you proceedings as the two teams battle it out for a place at Wembley.

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