Championship - Play-offs - 1st Leg
Middlesbrough0Aston Villa1

Middlesbrough 0-1 Aston Villa

Mile Jedinak celeberates his goal for Aston Villa
Mile Jedinak's goal was his first in an away match since November 2014

Mile Jedinak's header gave Aston Villa a one-goal lead going into the home leg of their Championship play-off semi-final against Middlesbrough.

Jedinak headed home Jack Grealish's corner for the only goal, while Villa's Robert Snodgrass struck the upright.

Boro's best chance was a Britt Assombalonga header saved by Sam Johnstone in the first half.

However, chances were at a premium and that left Villa with a precious lead to take into Tuesday's second leg.

Villa boss Steve Bruce restored vital components of his side, such as skipper John Terry and dynamic playmaker Grealish, which gave the visitors composure and craft in equal measure.

Boro had enjoyed a hot streak in their run to the play-offs but Villa did well to quieten the threat of ex-Villa man Adama Traore and as such they largely lacked the cutting edge to break their opponents down.

Patrick Bamford's introduction late on gave the hosts a sharper focus up front, but even he was unable to supply the firepower to cancel out the Villa lead.

There was a raucous atmosphere in the rapidly-cooling temperatures at the Riverside, but Villa's bright start and early goal punctured the optimism.

It was Villa who controlled the game, much to the visible frustration of Boro boss Tony Pulis, and Snodgrass went close to doubling Villa's lead after concerted pressure, curling the ball toward the far corner but Darren Randolph tipped it onto the post.

Boro came out of their shells as the second half progressed but, even when they got in behind the defence, Johnstone remained largely untroubled.

Pulis' side launched their expected rally as time ticked by, buoyed by Bamford's entrance, but Villa defended resolutely to protect their winning position.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis:

"We're disappointed - we did enough not to lose, their set play was a disappointment and now Villa are in the ascendancy in the tie.

"We've got to go to Villa Park and a full house. But it's still all to play for.

"I don't think anybody could say we deserved to lose the game.

"Villa most probably have the strongest squad in the Championship, so it's going to be tough. But let's go there and give it everything we have got."

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce:

"We're pleased. The cliches will come out and the Championship is riddled with strange things but it's a little advantage and we're pleased with the way we played in particular.

"I brought experienced players in the door to handle what Villa throws at them, they all handle playing under pressure on a big night.

"Jack [Grealish] is starting to mature, he's looking up to people like John Terry and Glenn Whelan who do it properly."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 25Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 4AyalaSubstituted forda Silvaat 64'minutes
  • 6GibsonBooked at 49mins
  • 3FriendBooked at 45mins
  • 16Howson
  • 8Clayton
  • 27Besic
  • 37Traoré
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forBamfordat 76'minutes
  • 19Downing

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 2da Silva
  • 7Leadbitter
  • 11Bamford
  • 14Cranie
  • 20Fry
  • 23Harrison

Aston Villa

  • 1Johnstone
  • 27El MohamadySubstituted forWhelanat 88'minutes
  • 5Chester
  • 26Terry
  • 21Hutton
  • 15Jedinak
  • 7SnodgrassBooked at 75mins
  • 14HourihaneBooked at 13mins
  • 10Grealish
  • 37AdomahSubstituted forKodjiaat 71'minutes
  • 45GrabbanSubstituted forBjarnasonat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Samba
  • 6Whelan
  • 9Hogan
  • 18Onomah
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 22Kodjia
  • 31Bunn
Referee:
Robert Madley
Attendance:
29,233

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home16
Away11
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home10
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Aston Villa 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Aston Villa 1.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match John Terry (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Birkir Bjarnason.

Attempt blocked. Fabio (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.

Attempt missed. Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Adam Clayton.

Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa).

Attempt blocked. Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adam Clayton.

Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa).

Attempt missed. George Friend (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Patrick Bamford.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Glenn Whelan replaces Ahmed El Mohamady because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Ahmed El Mohamady (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa).

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Adama Traoré with a cross.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by John Terry.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Birkir Bjarnason replaces Lewis Grabban.

Offside, Middlesbrough. Fabio tries a through ball, but Patrick Bamford is caught offside.

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

John Terry (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Alan Hutton.

Attempt missed. George Friend (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stewart Downing with a cross following a set piece situation.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Patrick Bamford replaces Britt Assombalonga.

Booking

Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa).

Attempt saved. Lewis Grabban (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Jonathan Kodjia replaces Albert Adomah.

Foul by Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough).

Alan Hutton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Fabio replaces Daniel Ayala because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

goal

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