The Latest Aston Villa FC Transfer News, Stories and Updates have been added below for 2017 – 2018
- Sun, 19 May 2019 07:30:08 +0000: Pleasure of promotion is potent despite likelihood of pain to follow | Paul Wilson - Aston Villa | The Guardian
Suspension of disbelief will be necessary as fans of Norwich, Sheffield United and either Aston Villa or Derby contemplate Premier League life. Luckily football supporters are good at that
It was a privilege to be at Elland Road for the play-off second leg between Leeds and Derby, not only because it was one of the most grippingly exciting Championship games of the season but because it was a throwback to a rawness and immediacy that is gradually disappearing from football at the top level.
Walking in to the ground late along with hundreds of others affected by an M62 closure in late afternoon, it was impossible not to be struck by the raucousness and sheer volume that could be created by 36,000 inside a boxy old stadium.Continue reading...
- Tue, 14 May 2019 22:08:09 +0000: Aston Villa beat West Brom on penalties to reach Championship play-off final – as it happened - Aston Villa | The Guardian
Tammy Abraham scored the crucial spot-kick for Aston Villa in a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over West Midlands rivals West Brom
Thanks for your company. That was entertaining, wasn’t it?
Now, read Stuart James’s match report:
A quick note on Mile Jedinak, courtesy of Matthew Stephens on email. “He has never missed a penalty for club or country,” he says. “That’s 17/17 for him now. Ice in his veins that man.” And some reaction from Tyrone Mings. “We always seem to find a way to win at the moment,” he says. “It was difficult against 10 men but we have a set of lads that never know when they have been beaten.”
Dean Smith talks. “The day we knew we were in the play-offs, we started working on penalties,” he says. “So, we’ve been doing it for four weeks. We had a plan of who would take them. We work very hard with Jed Steer on which way the opposition would go, so that was the plan.” Jack Grealish insists Aston Villa have only done half the job. “We done it last season, [but] it’s no good going on the run that we have been on and falling at the final hurdle [again]. We’ll have a few days off and then prepare for Wembley.”
Jed Steer, who saved two penalties in the shootout, speaks. “I think I have must have faced about 100 of them a day for the last few days, so it’s brilliant to make a couple of saves,” he says. “Bring on Wembley!” As for Tammy Abraham, who scored the winning spot-kick, he shrugged off talk of any pressure. “For me, I’m used to it. I’m professional. I’m used to it. This means the world.”
Villa are heading back to Wembley! It was not the cleanest penalty in the world but Abraham ripples the net and that’s it.
Now, Tammy Abraham can win it for Villa ...
Penalties 3-3: James Morrison scores!
Penalties 2-3: But Adomah blazes over!
Albert Adomah can send Villa to Wembley ...
Penalties 2-3: And does so. A cool penalty.
Kieran Gibbs has to score for West Brom ...
Penalties 1-3: Jack Grealish sends Johnstone the wrong way.
Penalties 1-2: Tosin Adarabioyo scores. Hope for West Brom.
Penalties 0-2: Mile Jedinak, who was brought on solely for this purpose, sweeps his spot-kick into the corner.
Penalties 0-1: Jed Steer saves – again! The Villa goalkeeper gets a strong right hand to Ahmed Hegazi’s spot-kick.
Penalties 0-1: Conor Hourihane sends Sam Johnstone the wrong way! Advantage Aston Villa!
Penalties 0-0: Jed Steer saves from Mason Holgate! The Villa goalkeeper guesses correctly, diving to his left.
West Brom will go first ...
Who do we fancy? West Brom do not have their penalty-taker – Jay Rodriguez – on the pitch. Villa have theirs, Tammy Abraham. Both managers look a little flustered as the captains do the coin toss.
Penalties will decide who reaches Wembley!
122 min: Mile Jedinak replaces Tuanzebe.
120 min: There will be two more added minutes. Villa have a corner. Grealish will swing it in ...
118 min: The ball breaks kindly for Davis, whose effort at goal is deflected wide by Craig Dawson. Kodjia tries to react but cannot latch on to it. Amid all of that, Tyrone Mings was hurt but hauls himself off the floor to fight on.
117 min: Huge chance! McGinn does superbly out on the right to beat two West Brom defenders, nutmegging James Morrison before standing up a lovely cross to the back post. There, Keinan Davis and Tammy Abraham are both queuing up to power a header at goal – but get in each other’s way. Frustration reigns for Smith.
116 min: Grealish claims handball against Craig Dawson – but the referee Chris Kavanagh could not make his opinion any clearer, forming a big cross with his hands.
114 min: Hegazi thumps away another hopeful ball into the West Brom box. Villa keep pushing but seem to have run out of ideas. Can West Brom hold on for a penalty shootout?
113 min: Keinan Davis is on for Elmohamady. An undoubtedly positive move by Smith, bringing on a striker for a full-back.
112 min: McGinn floats a ball towards the back post, where Adomah is lurking. The winger gets caught in two minds and ends up nodding straight at Johnstone, who gratefully clutches the ball.
111 min: Elmohamady pops up on the right and plays a beautiful ball across the face of the West Brom goal. Villa try to keep it alive at the back post but West Brom – just about – survive.
109 min: And now Abraham has a go at goal. He snubs Elmohamady who was in space to his right, instead driving at goal from just outside the box. But it was poor, always rising.
108 min: Grealish shoots from 30 yards – but Johnstone holds on to it! Moments earlier, West Brom had an opportunity to build: Jon Leko swivelled away from Tuanzebe and then dropped to the floor. Chris Kavanagh, the referee, was deeply unimpressed.
107 min: Jimmy Shan is deep in conversation with his backroom staff. West Brom will do well to take this to penalties. They have been playing with 10 men since the 80th minute.
106 min: West Brom get the final quarter started.
Villa are huffing and puffing – but cannot blow the West Brom house down. Abraham and Grealish have both been sniffing for a winner. Grealish, in particular, attempted to up the ante just before the end of the first period of extra time. When he did run at West Brom, the defenders looked frightened to touch him.
115 min: Vital interception by Hegazi! The West Brom defender sticks with Grealish and nicks the ball away, just as the Villa captain looks to pull the trigger inside the box. It was a well-worked move by Villa, with Kodjia nudging the ball into the path of Grealish who was determined to have a go.
112 min: Grealish plays a neat give-and-go with Tyrone Mings, who pours forward from centre-back. But the defender loses his footing as he shoots at goal after picking the ball up inside the box in a promising area. Mings’s slip is met with great delight by the Baggies supporters.
100 min: John McGinn bends a delicious left-footed ball into the box in search of Abraham – but the Chelsea loanee cannot reach it. Abraham never truly flung himself at the cross but did appear to be offside, and perhaps he knew as much. That felt like the chance.
99 min: Jonathan Kodjia replaces Anwar El Ghazi. A first roll of the dice by Dean Smith.
98 min: The ball bounces up on to the arm of Jack Grealish and the West Brom fans bask in his misfortune. The hosts earn a bit of respite, with Johnstone whacking the ball upfield towards Leko, who is flagged offside. The youngster is yet to get going.
95 min: Hourihane does have a crack this time, firing low from the edge of the area but his effort cannons off Abraham and into the hands of Sam Johnstone. Villa continue to apply the heat.
94 min: Grealish drifts out wide to the left flank, drops a shoulder and dinks a cross into the box in search of Abraham. Villa win a corner but West Brom head it clear. Villa recycle it, with Hourihane tempted to wind-up a shot on goal but Harper boots it away.
92 min: Jon Leko replaces Jay Rodriguez, who appeared to be struggling. It is Leko’s seventh appearance of the season. There is no better time to make himself a Hawthorns hero ...
91 min: We are back under way.
We go to extra time at the Hawthorns! And West Brom will have to slog it out with 10 men after Chris Brunt’s dismissal.
90+2 min: Grealish slips after attempting to skate away from Holgate and the Villa skipper ends up gifting West Brom a free-kick. They get a few of the big boys up for the pending free-kick, but Holgate’s delivery is wayward. Shocking, even.
90+1 min: El Ghazi whips a ball into the box in search of McGinn, who glances a header goal but Hegazi does enough.
90 min: There will be five added minutes.
88 min: Johnstone parries a McGinn piledriver into the path of El Ghazi, but the Villa winger is flagged marginally offside.
87 min: Stunning save by Sam Johnstone! A huge stop to deny the substitute Albert Adomah. After a bout of head tennis, the ball runs kindly off the shin of Abraham in the box and across to Adomah, who smacks it goalwards. But the West Brom goalkeeper instinctively pushes it away down to his right.
85 min: Villa squander two corners in quick succession but this has turned into attack v defence, as West Brom soak up further pressure. Down in the Villa technical area, Dean Smith, John Terry and Richard O’Kelly are dreaming up a masterplan.
83 min: Hourihane clips a ball into the box and Kyle Bartley heads away for a Villa corner. Suddenly, Villa’s tails are up.
82 min: Ten-man West Brom switch to a kind of 5-3-1.
81 min: Jimmy Shan responds by withdrawing Jacob Murphy and summoning Tosin Adarabioyo, the Manchester City loanee.
79 min: Chris Brunt is sent off! The West Brom midfielder dives in on McGinn on the edge of the box and the referee has no choice but to hand him a second yellow card. A reckless challenge. Brunt knows it was stupid, too, pulling at his hair as he heads down the tunnel. Yet another red card for West Brom!
77 min: Grealish opts to play an ineffective low ball towards the front post. West Brom gobble those up for breakfast.
76 min: Harper is straight into battle, duelling with Elmohamady down the left flank. But the Villa defender comes off victorious and they sweep forward up the other end to win a corner. Grealish will deliver. Up come Mings and Tuanzebe from the back.
75 min: A change apiece; Rekeem Harper, the West Brom young player of the year, replaces Matt Phillips, while Aston Villa introduce Albert Adomah in place of Andre Green.
74 min: The free-kick is launched towards the back post, where Bartley is lurking, but the West Brom defender is adjudged to have fouled Tammy Abraham.
73 min: Taylor is dismayed that the referee pulls him up for a challenge on Mason Holgate. The Villa defender is booked. It was a robust tackle but Taylor appeared to win the ball pretty cleanly. Anyway, Brunt will swing the free-kick into the box ...
70 min: James Morrison replaces Stefan Johansen, who limps off. He looks really frustrated but was on a booking and would have probably been Jimmy Shan’s first change regardless of that knock.
68 min: Johnstone is alert to keep out El Ghazi! Villa work the ball round the edge of the box and, when it lands at the winger’s feet, he only has one thing in his mind. El Ghazi powers low and hard and Johnstone saves smartly down low to his right.
66 min: Brunt flies in on John McGinn and gets a booking for his efforts. It was a horrible challenge, swiping through the legs of the Villa midfielder. Brunt, who clashed with McGinn at the end of the first half, can count himself fortunate that that was just a yellow.
64 min: Chris Brunt drops a shot just wide of goal! Mings’s telegraphed ball out to the left is calmly intercepted by Holgate, who then plays it infield to Brunt, who has a crack. Villa are playing themselves into trouble. West Brom are lapping it up.
63 min: McGinn storms across to Chris Kavanagh to ask about Ahmed Hegazi’s ‘defending’. The West Brom defender is more than touch-tight, tugging at the shirt of the Villa midfielder, who carries the ball along the tightrope on the edge of the 18-yard box. Dean Smith is equally livid. That was probably a foul.
61 min: Matt Phillips goes close! Bartley meets the corner at the back post to win another one in quick succession. This time West Brom opt to flood the box, with Rodriguez and Dawson both lurking on the goal-line. West Brom attempt to crowd out Steer and when the ball comes back in, Hegazi’s header is diverted just wide of goal by Phillips. Villa are treading water.
59 min: Hegazi strides out of defence to make a crucial challenge on McGinn and get West Brom back on the front foot. Johansen spreads play and Kieran Gibbs bombs forward, after good work by Brunt. West Brom win a corner ...
57 min: Johansen finally goes into the book. Craig Dawson followed Grealish infield to keep the Villa captain at bay on halfway and then the Fulham loanee blocks his path as he attempted to skip through. The free-kick comes to little, other than McGinn lashing wide.
56 min: And now Rodriguez is allowed to have a go at goal from 25 yards out. Steer makes a mess of it but eventually gathers.
54 min: Villa are dicing with death at the back. They got lucky when Murphy’s effort was hacked away and then Murphy intercepted Hourihane’s cushioned header in front of his own box.
53 min: Jed Steer breathes a sigh of relief. The Villa goalkeeper tries to slip the ball out from the back in search of Elmohamady but badly undercooks his pass and Jacob Murphy nabs the ball before letting fly. He curls an effort at the far corner of Steer’s goal – and there is Tyrone Mings to clear the ball away, just in front of the line.
52 min: McGinn walks into trouble and gets caught approaching halfway. Chris Brunt seizes possession and drives at goal. But, just as the West Brom midfielder is making ground, he sees his name up in the lights and blasts a wild effort high and wide.
50 min: Bartley brushes aside Abraham to nick the ball away in defence. As a result of a fairly tame challenge, the Villa forward goes to ground. Abraham nurses the left shoulder he has previously injured but is soon back up and moving.
49 min: Andre Green jinked away from Hegazi, dancing towards the box but the Villa winger loses his footing at the crucial moment. West Brom seek to put a foot on it, with Johansen spreading the ball wide to Matt Phillips, who is yet to find top gear.
48 min: El Ghazi’s free-kick is rubbish, failing to beat the first man but Grealish does well to recycle possession. El Ghazi’s delivery second time around is much better, finding Tammy Abraham at the front post. But Kyle Bartley makes life difficult for the striker and Abraham can only shoot off-target.
47 min: Villa play it short and then Johansen clatters Hourihane , just as he careered into Grealish in the first half. Villa earn a free-kick out on the left flank, 20-odd yards from goal.
47 min: Grealish feeds El Ghazi down the left. He takes a touch and then tries to a whip a cross in. Villa win a corner ...
46 min: Jacob Murphy kick-starts the second half.
Semi-essential half-time reading:
Craig Dawson’s header gives West Brom the lead at the interval. As the teams head down the tunnel, Brunt is trying to kiss and make up with McGinn, but the midfielder is unimpressed. Things were looking good for Villa until they switched off at that Holgate long throw, which Dawson guided into the corner of Jed Steer’s goal. West Brom initially looked shaky at the back but that goal gave them a real belief. Villa never really got back on track. A reminder that, if things stay as they are, we will have extra time.
45+1 min: Chris Brunt is a lucky boy. He wrestles with John McGinn but, as they go to ground in the challenge, Brunt appears to stand on McGinn’s right arm. It certainly did not look good. The Scottish midfielder is incensed but Brunt gets away with just a ticking off.
45 min: There will be one added minute.
44 min: Villa patiently build on the edge of the box and things look rather rosy but Neil Taylor’s low cut-back ends up dribbling across the area and back in West Brom hands. It was the right idea but there was no one in a Villa shirt there to meet Taylor’s cross.
41 min: Villa are happy to pop it about at the back, with Hourihane dictating things, gladly picking the ball up off Tuanzebe, Mings and co. They end up probing down the left and El Ghazi has a crack but his left-footed effort is tame, a daisy-cutter at best.
40 min: A smart Villa move ends up with Andre Green lashing a cross miles over. Dean Smith does not look amused.
38 min: Hourihane hits it low – but Hegazi is in the way. Grealish appeared to fancy it but was seemingly trumped by his team-mate. It took a while to be taken because of a stoppage for Anwar El Ghazi to receive some treatment; he is back up and running now.
35 min: Right on cue, after being slipped in by McGinn, Grealish is felled by Holgate outside of the area. A clumsy challenge by the West Brom defender, who halted the Villa midfielder just outside of the box. A hearts-in-mouth moment for the home faithful. It is only a free-kick, though. Off-centre, 20-odd yards from goal.
34 min: Jack Grealish is blocked off on halfway by Johansen, who has little appetite – if any – to play the ball. Johansen gets a stern telling off from the referee Chris Kavanagh. Talking of Grealish, he has been very quiet.
33 min: Hegazi bumps Jed Steer out of the way as West Brom chuck another long ball forward. That’s a foul and a chance for Villa to regroup. That goal has taken the wind out of Villa’s sails.
31 min: West Brom turned up the volume on Villa and got their reward for it. It was not the most beautiful goal – a route one move straight out of the Tony Pulis textbook – but West Brom won’t care. Dean Smith is aggrieved down on the touchline, having a pop at the fourth official for an alleged foul on Mings in the buildup to it.
It all stems from a Mason Holgate long throw and Craig Dawson rises highest in the box – above three Villa defenders – to steer the ball into the corner of the goal. West Brom recycled the ball time and again to maintain pressure and got their reward. Game on!
27 min: For the first time, West Brom’s front three cause havoc. After Rodriguez scoops hold of the ball, they break and Mings inadvertently nudges the ball into the path of Phillips. Villa survive but then Mings concedes a corner, which Villa have to bat away.
25 min: Bartley does well to collect a high ball forward and divert it across the 18-yard box – but the linesman’s flag is up.
24 min: Mings fouls Rodriguez on halfway. West Brom have the chance to throw the ball forward and get on the front foot.
22 min: Hourihane and Tuanzebe get a little complacent, attempting to overplay in defence and Johansen almost snuffs it out. In the end, Villa get away with it and McGinn thumps a ball wide in search of El Ghazi. The Villa winger battles with Holgate but the defender comes off better, buying a goal-kick. El Ghazi slaps his thighs; that is a blossoming duel down on the left flank.
20 min: Villa break forward through Neil Taylor. It looks promising but the left-back overhits his cross towards the back stick. West Brom welly the ball back downfield but, again, Villa gobble it back up. West Brom have got to be more inventive than that.
19 min: Axel Tuanzebe does superbly, coolly nudging Jacob Murphy off the ball and waltzing out of defence with it. Villa have looked imperious at the back, West Brom not so much.
18 min: West Brom cannot make the ball stick up front. And the Hawthorns crowd is growing a little frustrated.
16 min: Mings brushes Matt Phillips aside to win the ball back outside the Villa 18-yard box. Phillips and Murphy have been anonymous for West Brom, leaving Rodriguez isolated.
14 min: An encouraging spell of Villa pressure culminates in another corner. John McGinn goes on a barnstorming run towards the box, laying the ball off for El Ghazi, who whips in a cross. He overcooks it, but Elmohamady picks it up on the opposite flank. His cross is measured for Abraham, who rises and buys a corner. When it comes in, Mings is booked for a stupid handball.
12 min: West Brom clear the resulting corner but Rodriguez gets in a muddle on halfway. They are yet to establish a true outlet going forward. The suspended Dwight Gayle, watching up in the gods, would usually provide that in behind the opposition defence.
11 min: Kyle Bartley snuffs out a long ball into the channel, with Abraham lurking. Good defending. When Villa recycle the ball, it is fed to the back post where El Ghazi is tussling with Holgate but the latter nods away. That feud is only just starting.
9 min: West Brom attempt to go again, building from the back through Sam Johnstone once more. Meanwhile, tensions continue to simmer between Holgate and El Ghazi.
7 min: Villa look to break but Abraham runs into Chris Brunt. West Brom want to get it forward and Jay Rodriguez collects the ball just inside his own half. The hosts probe, with Johansen flighting a cross-field ball for Kieran Gibbs, who switches play. The ball bobbles up on the arm of El Ghazi, who got goal-side of Holgate on the opposite flank. But the referee is having none of it.
6 min: Holgate gets sloppy, giving up on a loose ball and El Ghazi proceeds to latch on to it, keeping it in play on the touchline. West Brom get away with it but they look suspect at the back.
4 min: Tammy Abraham is winning everything in the air at the moment. West Brom’s three centre-halves haven’t had a look in.
3 min: Mason Holgate bombs down the right flank and, for the first time, West Brom earn a chance to get a ball in the box. The wing-back launches a long-throw into the area, Murphy has a crack from the edge of the box but Villa manage to clear their lines.
2 min: A jittery start at the back by West Brom. Dawson makes a mess of a hopeful ball forward and Sam Johnstone, who spent last season on at Villa, steps in to boot the ball upfield.
1 min: El Ghazi drives forward into acres of space, racing on to an Abraham header and the winger forces a corner. Johansen clears but West Brom gifted Villa a worrying amount of room to play.
Jack Grealish gets the ball rolling.
The Liquidator rings around the Hawthorns. Kick-off is imminent.
The teams trudge out of the tunnel. Here we go ...
It is a beautiful evening for a tub-thumping West Midlands derby. West Brom fans are beginning to make a real racket.
Jimmy Shan talks. “We need to give them a punch, so to speak, we need to be a bit more front-foot,” the West Brom boss says, asked about the game-plan. “We are behind in the tie and we need to be a bit better and a bit brighter in the final third of the pitch.” And the million-dollar question, have they practiced penalties? “We have, yes, but it is not something new to our training schedule.”
Dean Smith speaks pre-match. “We have got in a very good habit of winning football games and we want to keep doing that,” says the Villa manager. “This is going to be a tough game. I think they [West Brom] will be a little more positive than they were at Villa Park.” Of promoting Hourihane and Green to the starting lineup after impressing in the first leg, he says: “They played well when they came on, helped change the game and when you do that in our team, you keep your shirt. I expect a good performance again. Asked what his final words to his players before kick-off will be, he replies: The same as always – be a good team-mate. You are never going to win anything on your own – you have to do it as a team – and there is a great togetherness in our squad.”
A gentle reminder that the winner of this one will play either Derby or Leeds at Wembley. Marcelo Bielsa’s side are in the box seat after the first leg but those teams meet again at Elland Road on Wednesday, and Frank Lampard knows his side must embrace the atmosphere in front of a supercharged sell-out crowd:
Before we get lost in the actual football, let’s turn our attention to an increasingly grim situation at Bolton Wanderers:
Team news news: Jacob Murphy replaces the suspended Dwight Gayle as West Brom make one change, while Dean Smith also opts to mix things up. Conor Hourihane and Andre Green are in for the start for Villa, who will be heading to Wembley if they avoid defeat. Giving Green – who joined the club aged nine and was recalled from a loan spell at Portsmouth in January – a go from the off in place of Albert Adomah is a bold call by Smith. But then, that is what these games are all about. As for the benches, West Brom boast pace in abundance in Jefferson Montero and Jon Leko, while Villa have plenty of experience in Jedinak and Whelan.
West Bromwich Albion (3-4-3): Johnstone; Dawson, Hegazi, Bartley; Holgate, Johansen, Brunt, Gibbs; Phillips, Rodriguez, Murphy
Subs: Bond, Townsend, Adarabioyo, Morrison, Harper, Leko, Montero
After a first-leg victory, Aston Villa are as close as 90 minutes away from reaching a second successive play-off final. A 2-1 comeback win on home soil has left Dean Smith’s side poised to seal a spot at Wembley on 27 May. Villa are already feeling pretty good about themselves – they have lost just one of their past 14 matches – but history is on their side, too. Sixteen of the last 18 sides to win the first leg of a Championship play-off semi-final have gone on to progress through to the final. “The players will know from me and the staff that nothing is over,” said Villa manager Dean Smith. “We’ve got to go there and put in a really good performance. I didn’t feel it was a good performance on Saturday. I feel there were a few players who performed below their normal standards. If we play to our normal standards we’ll be a right threat.”
This time it is West Brom who will lean on home advantage but, if they are to win, they will do so without 24-goal top-scorer Dwight Gayle, who picked up a silly red card in the last leg. “What it does present is that the lads waiting in the wing have an opportunity to perform and be a hero,” said caretaker manager Jimmy Shan. Villa have no such problems; Smith has a fully-fit squad to choose from, including talisman Tammy Abraham. “There’s different ways you can approach the game but, if we win, we’re through,” Smith said.Continue reading...
- Tue, 14 May 2019 22:00:44 +0000: Aston Villa beat West Brom on penalties to reach Championship play-off final - Aston Villa | The Guardian
Aston Villa have a shot at redemption. Twelve months on from their play-off final defeat against Fulham, Villa are back at Wembley and 90 minutes from a return to the Premier League after a long, fraught and draining contest against their West Midlands rivals ended with Dean Smith’s side triumphing on penalties. Tammy Abraham converted the winning kick, after Jed Steer had saved two penalties at the start of the shootout, to spark wild celebrations among the Villa supporters.
Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportContinue reading...
- Sat, 11 May 2019 14:00:11 +0000: Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom: Championship play-off semi-final, first leg – as it happened - Aston Villa | The Guardian
Conor Hourihane and Tammy Abraham turned this first leg around in Villa’s favour, as Baggies scorer Dwight Gayle was sent packing for two yellow cards.
Nick Miller was our man at Villa Park. His report has landed. Enjoy, enjoy. Thanks for reading this MBM, and see you for the big Derby-Leeds stramash in a couple of hours!
James Shan’s turn. “I thought we were very very good. I thought we frustrated them for long parts of the game. It was a shot from distance and a penalty. We frustrated them. But we could have been a bit more patient in possession. I’ve looked back at the decision to send off Gayle. It’s not one that I agree with, and I think we were hard done by massively. We’ve got 90 minutes still to play, and our approach will be very different, because we need to win the game. I’m sure our crowd will get behind us and give us a big lift.”
Dean Smith talks. “I think we deserved to win the game. I thought Albion came to sit behind the ball and slow the game down, and take their time over throw-ins and goal kicks. We had to try to open them up. We found it difficult, we were nowhere near our best but we found a way to win. It took a good strike to open them up. I don’t think West Brom will play like that at the Hawthorns on Tuesday!”
That’s the first time this season West Brom have lost a match having taken the lead. What a time to do it! It all unravelled quicksmart: they spurned a fine opportunity to make it 2-0, then immediately conceded twice. Losing their most potent attacker Dwight Gayle to a second yellow card, and having a very decent penalty shout ignored, put the tin lid on it. Credit to Villa for turning up the heat in the second half, and to Conor Hourihane for scoring a pearler. Could their three-year Premier League exile be coming to an end?
It all went wrong for West Brom in short order, and Aston Villa take a lead into the second leg at the Hawthorns.
90 min +6: Abraham’s quick feet on the edge of the box nearly set up Kodjia. Then Grealish slips a pass down the right channel. Green has a bash that’s deflected over the bar. The resulting corner comes to nothing. Villa so close to a third goal that would put Villa in control of this tie.
90 min +4: Hourihane tries to pass the ball into the bottom right from the edge of the box. A tame effort that’s deflected away from danger. West Brom hanging on.
90 min +3: It’s all Villa now, as they probe in pursuit of the third goal that would sicken West Brom.
90 min +1: But there’s plenty of it left. Seven minutes! El Ghazi can’t continue, and he’s replaced by Kodjia.
90 min: El Ghazi and Mings are both on the turf getting treatment. Villa’s turn to run the clock down.
88 min: Morrison is sent scampering down the right by Murphy’s cute flick. Morrison whips low into the box. Gayle slides in, hoping to poke home, but clatters into Steer instead. It didn’t look malicious ... but it was clumsy, and the referee has no option but to show a second yellow and then the red.
86 min: Space for Rodriguez down the left. He sprays a pass wide right to ... absolutely nobody.
84 min: Johansen goes down, and can’t continue. He’s replaced by Morrison.
82 min: Gayle flings a throw into the mixer from the left. Some head tennis. Then Abraham clatters into Holgate when contesting a high ball. That’s surely a penalty, but the referee doesn’t give it! Villa have swerved one there.
80 min: How costly Gayle’s loose pass towards Murphy looks now. One good ball there, and it most likely would have been 2-0 to the Baggies. But now look!
One of the coolest penalty kicks you’ll see. Abraham picks his spot, the bottom right, and tucks it right into the corner, having sent Johnstone the other way. What a turnaround!
78 min: The free kick is poor, but only half cleared. Grealish dribbles back into the box from the right, and is clipped by Gibbs, who has had a nightmare 60 seconds. Penalty kick, no question.
77 min: Gibbs is booked for wafting a hand into the face of Green. And this is a free kick out on the right. West Brom suddenly under serious pressure.
What a strike this is! Grealish dribbles up and down the inside-right channel. Then he pulls the ball back to Hourihane, who sends a first-time heat-seeker into the top left! Johnstone had no chance, and Villa Park finds its voice once again!
74 min: McGinn shoots from distance. The ball deflects out for a corner on the right. Grealish takes. Tuanzebe tries to flick a header goalwards but can’t get it on target. West Brom break, Hegazi finding Gayle in space down the left. There’s a simple pass on back inside to release Murphy, but Gayle underhits it, allowing Mings to divert the ball away for a corner. Nothing comes of the set piece. A waste.
72 min: West Brom win a corner down the right. Brunt takes long. Bartley wins a header at the far post, sending the ball back across goal and out for a goal kick. Villa didn’t deal with that particularly well.
70 min: Gayle goes down again, having taken the swinging arm of Hourihane in the face. He doesn’t get much sympathy from the home crowd, who are fairly convinced that he’s wasting more time. But to be fair, he did take a whack in the grid, albeit accidentally.
69 min: The game goes a bit scrappy as the new men find their feet.
67 min: Changes ahoy! West Brom replace Phillips with Murphy, then Villa make a double substitution: Hourihane and Green on, Whelan and Adomah off.
65 min: This has suddenly become quite feisty. Johansen barges into Abraham, who reacts in a robust manner. Then Gayle goes down, seemingly with cramp. The ref runs over and tells him to get up. He’s testing the ref’s patience.
63 min: Gayle clunks into Grealish. A garden-variety foul, but Dean Smith springs off the Villa bench to complain. The ref’s not interested in brandishing a second yellow, though.
62 min: Another throw for West Brom. Gayle once again faffs around, and is booked. He shakes his head in pantomime confusion, but will know full well that he’d already been warned about time-wasting.
60 min: El Ghazi drops a shoulder to glide in from the left, but having made space sends his shot from distance well over the bar.
59 min: Grealish jigs across the face of the West Brom box, right to left, and eventually pulls the trigger, sending a shot towards the bottom left. The ball takes a deflection en route, but Johnstone handles well nonetheless.
57 min: West Brom take their own sweet time over a throw. The ref tells Gayle to get a wriggle on. Gayle eventually flings the ball into the box, Bartley’s presence earning a corner for the Baggies. The set piece leads to some head tennis, Bartley and Brunt both lurking with intent. But Villa eventually get round to clearing their lines.
55 min: El Ghazi loops a cross in from the right. Abraham gets the jump on Bartley, but flicks his header, intended for the top left, high and wide. Villa are beginning to ask some questions at last.
53 min: The corner leads to some end-to-end wildness. First up, West Brom clear and counter, Gayle nearly latching onto a long punt. Steer comes out of his area to head clear. Then back up the other end, Whelan has a whack from distance, eager to atone for his mistake that led to the goal. The shot’s blocked. But the home fans sense their team have upped their game since the restart, and holler accordingly.
52 min: Abraham turns on the jets and wheechs past Hegazi down the right. He reaches the byline and makes it into the area, then shoots low for the bottom right. Johnstone turns it round the post for a corner.
50 min: Adomah dribbles down the right and crosses. Brunt is right next to him, and the ball hits him on the elbow. Villa scream for a penalty, but they’re never getting that one.
49 min: To Bartley’s relief, the corner comes to nought. The ball’s pulled back to McGinn, who fires high into the Holte End.
48 min: Grealish curls it long. Bartley should leave it to drift harmlessly out of play, but heads behind to concede a corner. No shout.
47 min: Villa stroke it about for a bit. Hegazi gets fed up and slides in on Adomah, and that’s a booking. A free kick out on the right, too, and a chance to load the box.
Here we go, then ... for your leisure and pleasure ... the second half! Villa get the ball rolling again. West Brom have made a change, Craig Dawson having failed to recover from the knock he took late in the first half. Tyrone Mears comes on in his place.
Half-time entertainment. Another big day tomorrow, huh.
West Brom have scored one. They’ve hit the bar. They look very comfortable at the back. Villa will be glad of the opportunity to think up some new ideas.
45 min +3: Gayle tries to turn Tuanzebe, the ball having been launched long. He falls and claims a free kick, but the referee’s not interested. Just as well for Villa, because Tuanzebe was the last man.
45 min +2: Dawson’s back on. Mings has a belt from 25 yards; it’s easily snaffled by Johnstone.
45 min: Dawson’s chatting to the physio, and he’s preparing to come back on. There will be five added minutes.
44 min: He might have taken a smack in the mouth, because as he’s escorted off the pitch, looking fairly dazed it must be said, he’s gingerly probing his gums.
43 min: Dawson goes down. He was nowhere near the play, so not sure what happened. He’s getting some treatment, and looks fairly queasy.
41 min: And now a period of patient West Brom passing further frustrates the home side.
39 min: West Brom are holding their shape well. Villa can’t find a way through. The hosts have had plenty of possession, but they’re doing very little with it. Villa Park has fallen very quiet now as a result.
37 min: El Ghazi has been bright. Another run down the left. He whips in a great cross, with Adomah and Abraham both lurking, but Hegazi eyebrows the ball away just in time. A fine last-ditch header.
35 min: One corner leads to another. The second leads to nothing.
34 min: Grealish whips it in, and fails to beat the first man. Brunt heads clear. Then West Brom are breaking three on three! Phillips has two opportunities to send Gayle clear down the inside-right channel, but can’t find the pass. He settles for a corner instead.
33 min: Phillips takes an air swipe at an attempted clearance, and suddenly McGinn’s putting Holgate under pressure down the left. Holgate bundles his man over, and is booked for his trouble. A free kick, just to the left of the West Brom box.
31 min: Hegazi passes long. Gayle brings the ball down on the edge of the Villa box, then flicks a pass towards Rodriguez on the left. Rodriguez goes for the first-time spectacular, and shanks it miles wide right, and high to boot. A second goal for the Baggies would really put the cat among the pigeons here.
29 min: McGinn goes on a jink down the inside-left channel. He thinks about shooting a couple of times. When he eventually does, the ball’s deflected out for a corner. From the set piece, Grealish dances in from the left and larrups a wild shot over the bar.
28 min: Elmohamady wins a corner down the right. McGinn takes it short towards Grealish, but Gayle is onto it like a flash and hooks clear. What a waste.
26 min: Phillips goes flying in on McGinn, out on the Villa left. He doesn’t make contact, which is just as well. The ref could easily book him for that, but settles for a lecture instead. No more chances, I’ll be bound.
24 min: El Ghazi goes on a blistering run down the left. He steams past a couple of opponents, but as he enters the box he’s shepherded out of play by Bartley, who stayed on his shoulder and didn’t make any sort of challenge that would have resulted in a penalty. Goal kick. That was nearly a hell of a solo goal, though.
22 min: It’s fair to say that goal has quietened the home crowd quite a bit. And the Villa passes suddenly aren’t sticking, some anxiety entering their play. It’s all a bit scrappy right now.
20 min: An ominous stat for Villa: West Brom have won 17 of the 21 games in which they’ve taken the lead this season, and drawn the other four.
18 min: Villa respond immediately, Grealish running at the West Brom defence. Rodriguez tackles him hard and fair. The ball breaks to El Ghazi, who shoots for the bottom left from the edge of the box. Johnstone gathers well, the ball having taken a deflection en route.
Grealish passes backwards to Whelan, who takes a fresh-air prod at the ball. Gayle springs into action and races off with it. He bears down on goal and lashes a shot into the bottom right. Steer had no chance. First blood to the Albion!
15 min: This is great fun. Adomah crosses from the right. Abraham spectacularly bicycle kicks over the bar. And then ...
14 min: The free kick’s hoicked into the mixer. Mings and Hegazi tussle and fall over. Villa Park claims a penalty but Mings doesn’t. No penalty.
13 min: West Brom are beginning to work their way into the match. They win a corner out on the left. Some head tennis in the box. But then it’s Villa’s turn to launch a counter. Grealish dribbles up the park and draws a foul. A free kick and a chance to load the West Brom box.
11 min: Gayle is fouled by Tuanzebe, 30 yards out. The free kick causes mild bedlam in the Villa box, Steer flapping, Mings hacking out for a throw. Then the ball’s worked to Rodriguez just outside the box. Rodriguez opens his body and shapes a fine shot towards the top right. It’s heading in, but Steer gets a fingernail to it and deflects the ball onto the bar! Gayle tries to poke the rebound home, but fails, and he’s flagged offside anyway. Great football all round!
9 min: Adomah sashays in from the right and attempts a curler towards the top left. The ball finds the top left of the stand behind the goal.
8 min: The corner’s not up to much, and West Brom are quickly flooding up the other end on the counter. Phillips skedaddles down the right but the move peters out as Grealish tracks back and sticks to him like glue. A bright, open start to this match.
7 min: El Ghazi zips past Holgate with great ease down the left. His cross is headed away by Brunt, but Grealish and Elmohamady combine down the other flank to win another corner.
5 min: Villa have started brightly. McGinn, deep on the left, sprays a diagonal pass towards Adomah, cutting in from the other flank. Adomah can only shank wide from a tight angle, and the flag goes up for offside anyway.
4 min: Quickly taken corners are this week’s thing. This one’s slipped cheekily to Grealish, who stands one up for Whelan. The resulting header flies over the bar. That was a chance, because West Brom were snoozing like Barcelona there.
3 min: Now Bartley clatters Abraham, and this is a free kick in West Brom territory. The set piece is worked out wide left to Taylor, who wins the first corner of the game.
2 min: Grealish Gascoignes his way down the middle of the park and is unceremoniously barged to the ground by Johansen. A statement challenge is probably the best way to describe it.
And we’re off! The visitors get the party started, like the best guests do. The ball’s launched long. It’s sent straight back upfield. Villa Park is bouncing. It’s the play-offs!
The teams are out! A fantastic atmosphere at Villa Park, just as you’d expect for a promotion play-off, and a West Midlands derby. We’ll be off in a minute, but first a word from Tom Levesley, who is lost in nostalgic reverie: “It’s a classic kit alright. Here’s me modelling it with the classic golf trouser and afro combo. Not sure why Laurie didn’t pick this look.”
James Shan praises the returning Chris Brunt and Matty Phillips. “Their level of experience is going to be key today, the quality both players provide for us. Chris has been a key player, he offers a lot, and Matty gives us so much going forward. And both players are key to our set-play delivery as well.”
Dean Smith speaks to Sky. “It’s a different Aston Villa now to the one that West Brom played in February. We’re in a really good run of form. Confidence is high but we know this is a tough game today. The players are ready and there’s a freshness about them. There’s certainly a lot of belief as well.”
Kit watch. A classic look to this match today. Victorian aristocrats Villa will sport their famous claret and blue ...
Villa power up after taking it easy in the final match of the regular season against Norwich. Ahmed Elmohamady, Tyrone Mings, John McGinn, Anwar El Ghazi, Tammy Abraham and captain Jack Grealish return to the starting XI.
The Baggies make two changes to the team that lost at Derby on the final day. Chris Brunt and Matty Phillips are back, replacing Jacob Murphy and Rekeem Harper.
Aston Villa: Steer, Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Mings, Taylor, Whelan, Adomah, McGinn, Grealish, El Ghazi, Abraham.
Subs: Hourihane, Jedinak, Davis, Green, Kodjia, Kalinic, Hause.
WBA: Johnstone, Dawson, Bartley, Hegazi, Holgate, Brunt, Johansen, Gibbs, Phillips, Rodriguez, Gayle.
Subs: Morrison, Mears, Townsend, Montero, Bond, Field, Murphy.
West Bromwich Albion had the better of this particular fixture back in February. Goals from Hal-Robson-Kanu and Jay Rodriguez sealed a 2-0 win for Darren Moore’s side. Villa didn’t look much like promotion prospects back then.
But then they embarked on a spectacular run as Dean Smith’s work started to bear fruit. A draw at Stoke was followed by ten wins on the bounce, a sequence that pretty much guaranteed a play-off spot. West Brom meanwhile got shot of Moore and replaced him with caretaker James Shan, to no great artistic improvement, though the results have kept ticking over.Continue reading...
- Sat, 11 May 2019 13:43:36 +0000: Advantage Aston Villa after Tammy Abraham penalty downs West Brom - Aston Villa | The Guardian
After a week of sensational comebacks it might not quite rank alongside Liverpool’s and Tottenham’s efforts in the Champions League but Aston Villa turned around their play-off semi-final first leg against West Bromwich Albion with two goals in four minutes to seal a 2-1 victory.
West Brom had frustrated Villa for 75 minutes, protecting Dwight Gayle’s early goal and making Villa, the form team in the Championship, look toothless. But a brilliant strike from Conor Hourihane and a Tammy Abraham penalty, both following fine work from Jack Grealish, gave Dean Smith’s side the advantage.Continue reading...
Historical Transfer News and Team Gossip has been archived below:
- Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:01:06 +0000: Villa wait on Terry contract offer - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Aston Villa | BBC
Aston Villa do not expect immediate progress in their bid to sign John Terry after making him a lucrative contract offer.
- Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:00:34 +0000: Championship fixtures in full - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Aston Villa | BBC
Find out your team's fixtures in the Championship during the 2017-18 season.
- Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:19:02 +0000: Sunderland to play Bury in EFL Cup - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Aston Villa | BBC
Sunderland will travel to Bury in the EFL Cup first round following their relegation from the Premier League.
- Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:26:51 +0000: Villa chief executive Wyness suspended - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Aston Villa | BBC
Aston Villa chief executive Keith Wyness is suspended from football activity for three weeks for social media misconduct.
- Thu, 18 May 2017 12:51:32 +0000: CEO Wyness dismisses Villa budget fears - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Aston Villa | BBC
Aston Villa chief executive Keith Wyness is confident of signing transfer targets within manager Steve Bruce's budget.
Aston Villa are now looking to strengthen their squad for the up coming season with a large number of new players touted to be on the clubs radar in the closed season. The club has been boosted lately by the resigning of goalkeeper Brad Guzan who left the club at the end of last season. The American keeper has now penned a new lucrative three year deal which will keep him at Villa park until the end of the 2015 season.
Another huge target for the club this season is Blackburns Steven N`Zonzi who is also a top target for Sunderland, Tottenham and Stoke City with the midfielder stating that he has no intention of playing football in the championship. The Frenchman is thought to be available for a fee of around five million pounds and would welcome the chance to play in the English top flight again.
Blackpool winger Matt Phillips is also believed to be on the clubs radar as the championship side looked doomed to lose their influential winger as a host of top flight clubs are now vying for his signature. The twenty one year old has had a brilliant season for his club and now looks set to move to the premier league with clubs such as Everton, Wigan, Reading and Sunderland all in for the winger.
Sheffield United defender Matt Lowton is another target for the Villa Park outfit as Paul Lambert looks to strengthen his back line for the new season and the player is thought to be his top target for his defence. Lowton is now regarded as one of the hottest prospects in English football but Villa will need to fight off stern interest from additional clubs such as feyenoord and Bersiktas.