Aston Villa return to the Premier League.
Words by Regan Foy | @FindFoy

The time finally came. Aston Villa faced Derby County in the richest game in football, the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final.

Aston Villa kicked off the proceedings with Jack Grealish in the centre-circle.

The boys had a great chance in the first five as a corner fell to Axel Tuanzebe, who just couldn’t connect with the ball well enough.

The first sixteen minutes were almost all Aston Villa, with the side pushing forward on a number of occasions but not quite getting attempts off on goal.

The following ten were a little lacklustre, and both sides seemed to fall into the game a little more evenly – with neither goalkeeper required to step up with heroics within the first half hour.

Tammy Abraham had his first shot of the game in the 32nd, attempting to finesse a ball into the top-right after working his way into the box, but firing it over the bar.

It was just a few minutes before half time when Aston Villa took the lead, as Aston Villa capitalised on space left open by Ashley Cole. Ahmed Elmohamady curled in a cross which found Anwar El Ghazi – who offered a sublime diving header to beat Kelle Roos at the far post.

Aston Villa had a chance to break very early on into the second half where the referee should have played an advantage – but had already blown the whistle.

Conor Hourihane picked up Aston Villa’s second booking in the 48th minute – with the first picked up by El Ghazi in the first half.

The second half was much more heated, with a number of fouls – mainly by Derby – within the first five minutes.

It was El Ghazi who turned creator for Aston Villa’s second, as his shot was blocked but fell towards Derby keeper Kelle Roos, who failed to punch it away and allowed John McGinn to head the ball into the Derby net.

The Villans remained dominant, and the faithful continued to sing – filling Wembley with thousands of claret and blue voices.

In the 72nd minute, Albert Adomah was replaced by Andre Green.

Both sides were going at it in the final fifteen minutes, with end to end counter-attacking football.

Jack Marriott brought one back for Derby after a defensive masterclass from Mings saw him remain on the floor as the forward buried it for Derby.

Injured Tyrone Mings was then replaced by Kortney Hause with five minutes to go.

After the 90 there were 7 minutes added time seperating Aston Villa away from the Premier League. All they had to do was withstand the Derby barrage.

And they did. 

Aston Villa, return to the Premier League.



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