Mile Jedinak one game from Premier League return with Aston Villa

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And if Villa knocks off Fulham on May 26, Bruce will have led two Hull City, Birmingham City, and Aston Villa into the top flight via the playoff, once more each with Hull and Birmingham via the league route.

"The boys were different class".

The game itself was gripped with tension from the outset and there were periods in the first half when Villa seemed to be in danger of getting too caught up in the occasion.

A third consecutive clean sheet and Villa are certain to be in the Premier League next season - unless a 0-0 draw results in a penalty shootout defeat that is.


The match began with a minute's applause for former Villa defender Jlloyd Samuel who died earlier in the day at the age of 37 in a vehicle accident.

However, Boro winger Stewart Downing almost forced extra time when he sent a free kick against the bar in the 88th minute of the second leg.

Manager Tony Pulis will be counting on his best player Adama Traore to inspire his side to success, but with the hosts bound to crowd out the Spanish winger like they did during the first leg, the Boro boss has a plan B for his attack.

Fulham advanced after beating Derby 2-0 in their second leg on Monday, sealing a 2-1 win on aggregate.


The home fans erupted in wild celebrations at fulltime and flooded onto the pitch to join the players. Middlesbrough ultimately came up short, however, and it is Villa, who were relegated from the Premier League two years ago, who have a shot at redemption.

And the Villans were content with soaking up pressure from their opponents throughout the match, hitting them on the counter, though neither side could find the breakthrough goal.

"We can't take anything for granted; if we think we can show up and just put our boots on then we're mistaken". "We're going to Wembley, let's enjoy it".


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