Game | #5540 | 

Seasons | 2018-19 |

Matchday | #50 |
Manager Game | #36 |
Saturday, 11 May 2019
Football League | Championship | Play Offs | Semi Final 1st Leg | Home | West Bromwich Albion | Villa Park | 40,754 |

Game Summary

Manager | Dean Smith | 

KO | 12.30 |

Referee | Graham Scott | 
 HT Score | 0-1 |
 FT Score | 2-1 |
 FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | WWDLW | 

Scorers | Conor Hourihane | 75’ | Tammy Abraham | 79’ (pen) |

Assists | Jack Grealish | 75’ |

Line Up |

GK Jed Steer |
RB Ahmed El Mohamady |
LB Neil Taylor |
CB Tyrone Mings |
CB Axel Tuanzebe |
M Jack Grealish |
ASSIST | 75' |
M Glenn Whelan | SUB OFF | 67' | FINAL |
M John McGinn |
W Anwar El Ghazi |
SUB OFF | 90'+1 |
W Albert Adomah | SUB OFF | 67' |
CF Tammy Abraham | GOAL | 79' |

Substitutes |

M Conor Hourihane GOAL | 75' | for M Glenn Whelan | 67’ | 
W André Green for W Albert Adomah | 67’ | 
CF Jonathan Kodjia for W Anwar El Ghazi | 90’+1 |


Unused Substitutes |

GK Lovre Kalinić 
M Mile Jedinak
CF Keinan Davis
CB Kortney Hause

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 27.00 | 

Oldest Player | M Glenn Whelan | 35.35 |

Youngest Player | CF Tammy Abraham | 21.50 |

Unavailable | 

Injury |

GK Ørjan Nyland |

CB James Chester |  

Loaned Out |

M Gary Gardner | Birmingham City | 9 August 2018 - 31 May 2019 |

RB Mitchell Clark | Port Vale | 16 August 2018 - 31 May 2019 |

M Aaron Tshibola | Kilmarnock | 29 August 2018 - 31 May 2019 |

RB Richie De Laet | Melbourne City | 14 September 2018 - 31 May 2019 |

CF Ross McCormack | Motherwell | 5 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 |

 F Rushian Hepburn-Murphy | Cambridge United | 11 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 |

F Callum O'Hare | Carlisle United | 29 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 |

W Corey Blackett-Taylor | Walsall | 31 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 |

RB James Bree | Ipswich Town | 31 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 |

M Jake Doyle-Hayes | Cambridge United | 31 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 |

F Scott Hogan | Sheffield United | 31 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 | 

F Harry McKirdy | Newport County | 31 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 |

RB Frédéric Guilbert | SM Caen | 31 January 2019 - 31 May 2019 |

Match Stats |

Possession F | 69
Possession A | 31
Shots F | 21
Shots A | 5
Shots on Target F | 6
Shots on Target A | 2
Corners F | 10
Corners A | 4
Fouls F | 15
Fouls A | 10

 On this day 11 May 2019 

Midfielder Glenn Whelan made his final appearance for Villa aged 35 before being released in July 2019. Whelan made 74 appearances, including 18 as substitute in his 2 seasons with Villa after arriving from Stoke City in July 2017 for a fee of £1,530,000.

Match Report


BBC Sport

Saturday, 11 May 2019

*Aston Villa struck twice inside three second-half minutes to earn themselves the advantage in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final with West Bromwich Albion.*

Substitute Conor Hourihane’s brilliant 25-yard shot and then a Tammy Abraham penalty turned the tie on its head following Dwight Gayle’s first-half strike.

But the real tipping point of the two-leg contest may have come two minutes from the end of normal time when Baggies striker

Gayle was sent off for sliding in late on Villa keeper Jed Steer.

Barely two minutes after being booked by referee Graham Scott for time wasting, he got away with a similarly committed challenge on the halfway line before this time finally being shown his second yellow card of the game.

Although West Brom’s 10 men survived the seven minutes of added time, the effect of Gayle’s dismissal may be more keenly felt on Tuesday when Albion’s top scorer will now be suspended for the second leg at The Hawthorns.

Having opted to go with three central defenders and with Jay Rodriguez in a more withdrawn role, Albion effectively operated for the majority of the game with a six-man midfield.

And it worked well until Hourihane scored, eight minutes after coming on for Glenn Whelan as part of a double substitution, to help make up for the error made by his fellow midfielder in the build-up to Albion’s goal.

After making a lively start, Villa should have led when, from a short corner on the left, Whelan ballooned a header over from John McGinn’s cross, while Albert Adomah fired over.

But Albion threatened for the first time when the Villa defence struggled to clear a Chris Brunt free-kick and, in the confusion that followed, it needed a fine save by Steer to tip a Rodriguez shot onto the bar.

It was then another Villa error that set up Albion’s goal on 16 minutes.

A passing exchange between Jack Grealish and Whelan went wrong to leave Gayle in the clear, and the striker ran on to plant a low left-foot shot just inside Steer’s left post for his 24th goal of the season.

Villa substitutions help turn tie

The hosts twice went close to an equaliser before the break when an acrobatic right-foot scissors kick from 10 yards by Abraham flew just over, before the striker’s low left-foot shot brought a comfortable save from former Villa loan keeper Sam Johnstone.

But they went down the tunnel at half-time knowing that they would have to improve, and Villa certainly did that as they created more chances after the break.

Whelan had a low shot blocked, Abraham put a near-post header just off target, Grealish had a deflected curling effort saved low down and Anwar El Ghazi shot just over from an angle.

But it was only when Villa head coach Dean Smith turned to his bench that his side finally got their breakthrough.
Grealish squared for Hourihane to hammer home first time left-footed, with Johnstone rooted to the spot as the Republic of Ireland international’s ninth Villa goal of the season flew into the net.


Moments later Grealish went down in the area under a challenge from Kieran Gibbs, the penalty was given and Abraham made no mistake for his 26th goal of the campaign.

But the drama was not over as Albion appealed for a penalty of their own when Mason Holgate went down under a clumsy challenge from Abraham, before Gayle’s late red card potentially tilted the balance of the tie in Villa’s favour.

‘We keep on finding ways to win’ - post-match reaction

*Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith told BBC Sport:*

“I had a massive decision to make in leaving out Conor Hourihane, just as I have had tough decisions to make over the last two or three months.

“I’ve got four quality international midfield players and only three places - and four into three doesn’t go. But Conor answered in the best way possible with a lovely strike.

“Albion came with a game plan to slow the game down and they capitalised on Glenn Whelan’s mistake. Their approach might be a bit different on Tuesday night. Their supporters might want them to play a bit differently.

“Although a few of ours won’t think they had their best game, we keep on finding ways to win. But I was frustrated that, when they were down to 10 men, we maybe did not have enough opportunities to go on and get another.”