Home Football English Football Aston Villa Beat West Brom In Nail-Biting Shootout To Reach Playoff Final

Aston Villa Beat West Brom In Nail-Biting Shootout To Reach Playoff Final

A nail-biting penalty shootout was required to separate Aston Villa and West Brom, as the Villains booked their place in the playoff final in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Villa went into this game full of confidence having come from behind against the Baggies in the first leg to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Conor Hourihane and Tammy Abraham.

They also had the added bonus of West Brom missing one of their key men in striker Dwight Gayle who was sent off late in the game at Villa Park.

Tuesday night’s second leg began rather scrappy with neither side wanting to slip up despite West Brom knowing that they needed to score to get back into the tie.

It was the home side who opened the scoring on the half-hour mark after Mason Holgate’s long throw-in was superbly headed in by defender Craig Dawson who levelled the tie.

There was however a flash point just before the break as West Brom midfielder Chris Brunt appeared to trod on the arm of Villa midfielder John McGinn in direct view of the referee but no card was given to the Northern Irish international.

Aston Villa pushed on in the second half as they looked to reach their second playoff final in as many years, with Anwar El-Ghazi and Jack Grealish both looking dangerous.

The game was finally poised with 15 minutes to go before the game swung in Villa’s favour and just like in the first leg West Brom were reduced to ten men when Brunt lunged in on McGinn at the edge of the area and received his second yellow card.

Villa began to turn the screw with five minutes to go as Sam Johnstone brilliantly saved a strike from Albert Adomah as West Brom held on for extra time.

The away side understandably dominated the first period of extra time, with over 80% possession as West Brom defended for their lives in an attempt to hold out for penalties.

The second half was much of the same as Villa probed but simply couldn’t find the winner with a shootout required to separate the two sides.

Villa started perfectly as Jed Steer saved two penalties from Holgate and Hegazi before Hourihane and Jedinak calmly slotted home their spot kicks to give their side the advantage.

Adarabioyo scored West Brom’s first but Grealish responded as Villa found themselves within touching distance of Wembley.

Gibbs put a second home for James Shan’s side as Albert Adomah skied his penalty over the bar as he felt the pressure of the spot kicks.

Morrison scored for West Brom but striker Tammy Abraham scored the decisive penalty as Villa booked themselves a spot at Wembley to face either Leeds United or West Brom.

About Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here oisin@punditarena.com