Aston Villa reach the Championship play-off final for the second successive season
Aston Villa now have a shot at redemption at the Championship after securing their spot in the final. Villa defeated a 10-man West Bromwich Albion 4-3 on penalties on Tuesday.
The second leg of the semi-final ended 1-0 to West Brom and 2-2 on aggregate, triggering extra time and penalties with the away-goal rule not in use in the EFL Championship play-offs.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith later revealed his side practiced penalties for four weeks ahead of their shoot-out victory. A first-half header from Craig Dawson leveled the tie on aggregate, with the Villans unable to break down 10-man Albion over the 90 minutes and the 30 minutes of extra-time that ensued.
Smith told Sky Sports; “To be honest, we’ve worked very hard; from the day we knew we were in the playoffs, we started working on penalties.
“We’ve been doing this for four weeks: we had a plan of who would take them, and the goalkeeping coach works very hard with Jed Steer in terms of which way the opposition would go.
Both Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi saw their penalties saved by goalkeeper Jed Steer as the visitors gained the early advantage, but despite Albert Adomah blasting his wild spot-kick over the bar, top scorer Tammy Abraham tucked past Sam Johnstone to secure a 4-3 win for Smith’s men.
— Jed Steer (@JedSteer) May 14, 2019
How the penalties unfolded:
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 the corner
0-1 – Hegazi missed for West Brom – saved by Steer to goalkeeper’s right
0-2 – Jedinak scored for Villa – sidefooted into the corner, sending goalkeeper wrong way
1-2 – Adarabioyo scored for West Brom – calmly found the bottom corner
1-3 – Grealish scored for Villa – sent goalkeeper wrong way
2-3 – Gibbs scored for West Brom – placed effort in the bottom corner
2-3 – Adomah missed for Villa – blazed well over the crossbar
3-3 – Morrison scored for West Brom – fired into the 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