Championship
Aston VillaAston Villa3MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough0

Aston Villa 3-0 Middlesbrough: Anwar El Ghazi & John McGinn help Villa win

Anwar El Ghazi
Anwar El Ghazi's first goal since 7 December put Aston Villa in front against Middlesbrough

Aston Villa continued their charge up the Championship table with a resounding victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough.

Villa's fourth successive league win - all coming against sides also in the play-off mix - moved them up to sixth, although Derby County and Bristol City have games in hand.

The hosts scored twice during a dominant first 45 minutes against Boro, with strikes by Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn putting them in control at Villa Park.

After substitute Britt Assombalonga had missed Middlesbrough's best chance, heading wide from inside the area, Albert Adomah made it 3-0 from close range with a minute left.

The defeat was Boro's third in a row - the first time they have suffered three consecutive losses since being relegated from the Premier League in 2017.

A 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers on 23 February had just about kept Tony Pulis' side in the automatic promotion picture, but they are now 16 points adrift of second-placed Sheffield United and face a battle just to hold on to their spot in the play-offs.

By contrast, Aston Villa are now one of the form sides in the division and look well placed to finish inside the top six for the second season running.

They led inside half an hour against the Teessiders, with McGinn teeing up El Ghazi for a cool finish past goalkeeper Darren Randolph after the visitors had given away possession.

McGinn, who scored twice in the 3-1 win at Nottingham Forest, then grabbed his third in two games with a powerful shot into the corner.

Dean Smith's men added further gloss to the scoreline when Adomah tapped in with moments left, stretching Villa's winning run to four games - their longest such sequence since February 2018.

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith told BBC WM:

"It was a really good, positive performance against a good team with good players. They were very difficult to break down in the first 15 minutes and were a threat on the counter, but we finally got our rewards.

"We kept pushing and my only gripe is that we didn't score more because I thought we were really good today.

"(Climbing into the top six) puts a spring in the step but we know there are teams with games in hand over us. We have just got to keep doing what we're doing. It's nice to go into the international break with four wins on the spin."

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis told BBC Tees:

"They were three goals that were unlike us to concede. We haven't given goals away like that away from home.

"There has been a flatness around the club since the defeat against Preston on Wednesday and for the first 20 minutes we still looked like there was a hangover - we didn't get going at all.

"I'm really disappointed. Villa have had five shots on goal and scored three goals. That's something that wasn't happening when we were doing well."

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 12Steer
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 30Hause
  • 40Mings
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Whelan
  • 19GreenSubstituted forAdomahat 65'minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 10Grealish
  • 22El GhaziSubstituted forDavisat 75'minutes
  • 18AbrahamSubstituted forKodjiaat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 11Carroll
  • 15Jedinak
  • 17Davis
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 26Kodjia
  • 28L Kalinic
  • 37Adomah

Middlesbrough

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 23Randolph
  • 4Ayala
  • 24Flint
  • 20Fry
  • 5ShottonSubstituted forDowningat 32'minutes
  • 2MikelBooked at 56mins
  • 22Saville
  • 3Friend
  • 16Howson
  • 26WingSubstituted forAssombalongaat 49'minutes
  • 11HugillSubstituted forFletcherat 62'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 8Clayton
  • 9Assombalonga
  • 17McNair
  • 18Fletcher
  • 19Downing
  • 37Besic
Referee:
Darren Bond
Attendance:
36,263

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home18
Away4
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 3, Middlesbrough 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 3, Middlesbrough 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

  4. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Aston Villa 3, Middlesbrough 0. Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Neil Taylor.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Neil Taylor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough).

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Glenn Whelan.

  12. Post update

    Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Britt Assombalonga (Middlesbrough).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Keinan Davis (Aston Villa).

  15. Post update

    Jonny Howson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).

  17. Post update

    Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Keinan Davis (Aston Villa).

  19. Post update

    Dael Fry (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich38239677482978
2Sheff Utd38228864343074
3Leeds38227963392473
4West Brom381910972482467
5Middlesbrough37151394031958
6Aston Villa381415968541457
7Preston381512115850857
8Derby371511114644256
9Bristol City361510114538755
10Sheff Wed381413114851-355
11Nottm Forest381315105244854
12Hull38149155456-251
13Birmingham381214125349450
14Brentford3713101460501049
15Swansea36138154546-147
16Stoke381017113742-547
17Blackburn381211155260-847
18QPR38128184559-1444
19Wigan38109194157-1639
20Millwall37910184155-1437
21Reading38813174056-1637
22Rotherham38715164061-2136
23Bolton3878232663-3729
24Ipswich38315203062-3224
View full Championship table

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