Championship - Play-offs - 2nd Leg
West Brom1Aston Villa0
Aston Villa win 4-3 on penalties

Aston Villa beat West Bromwich Albion to reach Championship play-off final

Aston Villa celebrate
Aston Villa will play Leeds or Derby in the Championship play-off final on 27 May

Aston Villa beat West Bromwich Albion in a penalty shootout to reach the Championship play-off final for the second successive season.

Tammy Abraham's winning spot-kick, after keeper Jed Steer had saved Albion's first two penalties, settled the shootout 4-3 in Villa's favour after a gripping two hours of tension-packed derby drama.

Trailing 2-1 from Saturday's first leg, Albion levelled the tie when Craig Dawson flicked home a near-post header from a long throw.

But, just as much as Dwight Gayle's red card proved crucial at Villa Park, so did the 80th-minute sending-off of Albion captain Chris Brunt as they finished with 10 men for the second time in four days.

They held on for penalties and, although Albert Adomah's miss in the shootout briefly gave them hope after Steer had saved from Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi, Abraham kept his nerve to book a play-off final meeting with either Leeds or Derby at Wembley on 27 May.

They meet in the second leg of their semi-final at Elland Road on Wednesday, with Leeds 1-0 up from the first leg.

Two red cards in four days hinder Albion

The main sub-plot of a tight two-legged play-off semi-final concerned Albion's two red cards, with top scorer Gayle sent off on Saturday and captain Brunt dismissed at The Hawthorns.

If the Baggies were a bit unlucky at Villa Park over the controversial Gayle incident, this time there was no doubt at all.

Brunt stepped on John McGinn's arm in their first tangle before the break, but referee Chris Kavanagh either did not see the incident or deemed it accidental.

Chris Brunt fouls John McGinn
Chris Brunt's lunging challenge on John McGinn resulted in a second yellow card and a dismissal for Albion's veteran captain

Brunt was then booked early in the second half for a late challenge on McGinn, which could easily have been interpreted as a sending-off offence in its own right.

When he brought McGinn down again on the edge of the box, Brunt's resulting red card was inevitable.

The Hawthorns' 12th man

It might have been a different story if Albion had stayed with 11 men, given what a force they had been when roared on from even before kick-off by their raucous home support.

They had already looked a threat before they finally took the lead after 29 minutes, not surprisingly from an aerial set-piece.

Albion won a throw close to the corner flag and, when Holgate hurled in a long one to the near post, it did not immediately seem that dangerous, but Dawson got in first - as he has done so often in such set-piece situations during his career - and steered in a flicked header which crept in at the far post.

Albion had other chances too - Tyrone Mings blocked a Jacob Murphy shot on his own goal line, Jay Rodriguez sent a powerful effort straight at keeper Steer, Matt Phillips powered a close-range header just over and Brunt shot just wide from long range.

But, although it took a fierce low shot from Anwar El Ghazi to test Sam Johnstone properly for the first time after the break, Villa were already starting to turn the tide before Brunt's departure.

And, once they had a man advantage, they were hard to hold back.

Adomah had a left-footed shot from 12 yards superbly saved by former Villa keeper Johnstone, while Conor Hourihane had an effort deflected over and then Adomah fired just wide.

Two tired sides then got through extra time as Villa still failed to break down the door before the drama of spot-kicks.

And in Steer, Villa's third-choice goalkeeper at the start of the season, Dean Smith's side had just the man for the occasion.

Smith - who left Brentford to succeed Steve Bruce as Villa boss in October - has guided Villa back to Wembley for the second time in 12 months.

Having experienced the disappointment of play-off final defeat by Fulham in last season's play-off final, they will get another opportunity to return to the Premier League following relegation in 2016.

As for the Baggies, they have ultimately failed in their bid to bounce straight back to the top flight after one year in the Championship and are likely to start next season with a new boss.

Jimmy Shan spent the final two months in caretaker charge of Albion following Darren Moore's sacking in March.

How the penalties unfolded

Jed Steer saves a penalty
Jed Steer saved penalties from Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi in the shootout
  • 0-0 - Holgate missed for West Brom - saved by Steer to goalkeeper's left
  • 0-1 - Hourihane scored for Villa - drilled low and hard into corner
  • 0-1 - Hegazi missed for West Brom - saved by Steer to goalkeeper's right
  • 0-2 - Jedinak scored for Villa - sidefooted into corner, sending goalkeeper wrong way
  • 1-2 - Adarabioyo scored for West Brom - calmly found bottom corner
  • 1-3 - Grealish scored for Villa - sent goalkeeper wrong way
  • 2-3 - Gibbs scored for West Brom - placed effort in bottom corner
  • 2-3 - Adomah missed for Villa - blazed well over the crossbar
  • 3-3 - Morrison scored for West Brom - fired into corner past Steer's right hand
  • 3-4 - Abraham scored for Villa - Johnstone got foot to low penalty but could not keep it out and Villa's place at Wembley was confirmed

'We prepared for penalties'

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith told BBC Sport:

"I'd have taken this 15 games ago and we have cause to be very proud.

"We deserved it, but the disappointing for me was not winning. I couldn't believe we'd lost the game. That's our first defeat since losing at Brentford in February.

"They were always going to be threat from set-pieces but we had enough chances to have scored ourselves.

"We'd done our preparations though. We had prepared for penalties since the day we qualified for the play-offs. We had a lot of rehearsals and of course we had the inspired substitution of bringing on Mile Jedinak, who has never missed a penalty."

Albion caretaker boss Jimmy Shan told BBC Sport:

"We've been on the end of some unjust decisions over the course of the two ties but you just have to accept it.

"The momentum was with us. But for the lads to go down to 10 men again and perform they did was a credit to them.

"Their work ethic has been excellent since from the moment I took over and we can be proud of the effort that has been put in.

"The fans were magnificent too. They can be proud of the way they got behind their team. The atmosphere was electric."

Line-ups

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 68Holgate
  • 25Dawson
  • 5Bartley
  • 26Hegazi
  • 3Gibbs
  • 10PhillipsSubstituted forHarperat 75'minutes
  • 6JohansenBooked at 58minsSubstituted forMorrisonat 71'minutesBooked at 97mins
  • 11BruntBooked at 80mins
  • 70MurphySubstituted forAdarabioyoat 82'minutes
  • 19RodriguezSubstituted forLekoat 93'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Morrison
  • 14Townsend
  • 15Montero
  • 20Leko
  • 23Bond
  • 24Adarabioyo
  • 34Harper

Aston Villa

  • 12Steer
  • 27El MohamadySubstituted forDavisat 114'minutes
  • 4TuanzebeSubstituted forJedinakat 120+2'minutes
  • 40MingsBooked at 16mins
  • 3TaylorBooked at 74mins
  • 7McGinn
  • 14Hourihane
  • 10Grealish
  • 19GreenSubstituted forAdomahat 75'minutes
  • 18Abraham
  • 22El GhaziSubstituted forKodjiaat 101'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Whelan
  • 15Jedinak
  • 17Davis
  • 26Kodjia
  • 28L Kalinic
  • 30Hause
  • 37Adomah
Referee:
Chris Kavanagh
Attendance:
25,702

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home27%
Away73%
Shots
Home10
Away24
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away15
Fouls
Home15
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 1(3), Aston Villa 0(4).

Penalties over

Penalty Shootout ends, West Bromwich Albion 1(3), Aston Villa 0(4).

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 1(3), Aston Villa 0(4). Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 1(3), Aston Villa 0(3). James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

Penalty missed! Bad penalty by Albert Adomah (Aston Villa) right footed shot is just a bit too high. Albert Adomah should be disappointed.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 1(2), Aston Villa 0(3). Kieran Gibbs (West Bromwich Albion) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 1(1), Aston Villa 0(3). Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 1(1), Aston Villa 0(2). Tosin Adarabioyo (West Bromwich Albion) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 1, Aston Villa 0(2). Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

Penalty saved! Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Goal!

Goal! West Bromwich Albion 1, Aston Villa 0(1). Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Penalty saved! Mason Holgate (West Bromwich Albion) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the centre of the goal.

Penalties in progress

Penalty Shootout begins West Bromwich Albion 1, Aston Villa 0.

Second Half Extra Time ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Aston Villa 0.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Mile Jedinak replaces Axel Tuanzebe.

Attempt missed. John McGinn (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Mason Holgate.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Rekeem Harper.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Craig Dawson.

Attempt blocked. Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by John McGinn with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Keinan Davis replaces Ahmed El Mohamady.

Attempt missed. Tammy Abraham (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Attempt saved. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Ahmed El Mohamady.

Foul by Albert Adomah (Aston Villa).

Tosin Adarabioyo (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Second Half Extra Time begins West Bromwich Albion 1, Aston Villa 0.

First Half Extra Time ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Aston Villa 0.

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

Attempt blocked. Axel Tuanzebe (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Ahmed Hegazi.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Jonathan Kodjia replaces Anwar El Ghazi.

Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Sam Johnstone tries a through ball, but Jonathan Leko is caught offside.

Hand ball by Jack Grealish (Aston Villa).

Booking

James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt missed. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by John McGinn.

Attempt blocked. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Grealish.

Hand ball by Jonathan Leko (West Bromwich Albion).

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Ahmed Hegazi.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Jonathan Leko replaces Jay Rodriguez.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Norwich462713693573694
2Sheff Utd462611978413789
3Leeds462581373502383
4West Brom4623111287622580
5Aston Villa4620161082612176
6Derby4620141269541574
7Middlesbrough462013134941873
8Bristol City461913145953670
9Nottm Forest461715146154766
10Swansea461811176562365
11Brentford4617131673591464
12Sheff Wed461616146062-264
13Hull461711186668-262
14Preston461613176767061
15Blackburn461612186469-560
16Stoke461122134552-755
17Birmingham461419136458652
18Wigan461313205164-1352
19QPR46149235371-1851
20Reading461017194966-1747
21Millwall461014224864-1644
22Rotherham46816225283-3140
23Bolton4688302978-4932
24Ipswich46516253677-4131
View full Championship table

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