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Aston Villa 0-0 Middlesbrough (Agg 1-0)


Aston Villa 0-0 Middlesbrough (Agg 1-0)

Aston Villa will face Fulham in the Championship play-off final on May 26 after beating Middlesbrough 1-0 on aggregate.

Aston Villa held their nerve as they kept out Middlesbrough to set up a Championship play-off final against Fulham at Wembley. Stewart Downing's 89th-minute free-kick against the bar was as close as Boro came to forcing extra time. But Villa held on to win the play-off semi-final thanks to Mile Jedinak's first-leg header.

It came on a night when the club paid tribute to former player Jlloyd Samuel, who died in a car crash on Wednesday.

A minute's applause was held at Villa Park before the match and supporters sang "there's only one Jlloyd Samuel" during the tribute.

For all their commitment and effort, Tony Pulis' side were sentenced to at least another season in the Championship after failing to test Villa keeper Sam Johnstone.

Villa did survive one scare at the end when keeper Johnstone was booked for being adjudged to have handled Adama Traore's attempted chip outside the box.

It might not have had the pace to beat the backtracking defenders, which led to referee Mike Dean opting to show a yellow card rather than red.

Boro could not take advantage of the subsequent free-kick, former Villa winger Downing's left-footed effort cannoning off the top of the bar and away to safety.

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