MX23RW : Thursday, July 16 17:03:45| >> :120:19101:19101:
May 14, 2019 at 8pm UK at The Hawthorns
Attendance: 25,702
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
Aston Villa
Dawson (29')
Brunt (80')
Aston Villa win 4-3 on penalties

Live Commentary: West Bromwich Albion vs. Aston Villa (2-2 AET, 3-4 on pens) - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Aston Villa's penalty-shootout win against West Brom, as the Villans booked a place in the playoff final.
Live Commentary: West Brom 1-0 Aston Villa (2-2 AET, 3-4 on pens) - as it happened
© Reuters

Aston Villa booked their place in the Championship playoff final with a penalty-shootout win against West Bromwich Albion following a 2-2 draw after extra time.

The Villans went into the second leg boasting a 2-1 advantage from the first leg, which Craig Dawson cancelled out half an hour into the match.

That would prove to be the only goal of the game, but Albion had Chris Brunt sent off for two reckless challenges and were able to hold on for pens, which they lost 4-3.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Championship playoff semi-final second leg between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa at The Hawthorns.

The visitors bring a 2-1 lead into the match after recovering from a goal down in Saturday's reverse fixture at Villa Park.

Albion took the lead through a clinical Dwight Gayle finish, but Conor Hourihane and Tammy Abraham netted in the final 15 minutes to make it advantage Villa in this huge West Midlands derby.

Sixteen of the last 18 sides to win the first leg of a Championship playoff semi-final have gone on to progress through to the final.


STARTING XI: Johnstone; Dawson, Bartley, Hegazi; Holgate, Brunt, Johansen, Gibbs; Phillips, Rodriguez, Murphy

SUBS: Bond, Morrison, Townsend, Montero, Leko, Adarabioyo, Harper


STARTING XI: Steer; Elmohamady, Tuanzebe, Mings, Taylor; McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish; Green, Abraham, El Ghazi

SUBS: Kalinic, Whelan, Jedinak, Davis, Kodjia, Hause, Adomah

KICKOFF:  West Brom make one change from the first leg, bringing in Murphy for the suspended Gayle, who picked up two yellows at Villa Park and will play no further part in Albion's season. Hourihane and Green impressed from the bench on Saturday and they come in for Whelan and Adomah in Villa's two changes.

Jack Grealish in action for Aston Villa on April 28, 2019© Reuters

El Ghazi wins a corner for the visitors inside the first minute. The set-piece is worked short but Albion deal with the ball when it arrives in the box. Up the other end of the field, Holgate's cross from the right is blocked by first man Taylor.

It has been a fast-paced start to the match at The Hawthorns. The home fans are well up for this one, even if the odds are against their side going by that previous stat regarding teams to have lost the first leg. Gibbs and Holgate are getting high up the pitch for Albion.

Villa started brightly by winning a corner inside the opening 60 seconds but West Brom have been the side on top since then. No chances have been created as of yet, but it is clear that Shan wants his players to get right in the oppositions' faces.

PENALTY APPEAL!  El Ghazi gets goal side of Holgate to prevent the wing-back from getting on the end of a cross. The home fans feel that it hit the Villa player's arm when he blocked the ball. Replays show that it did indeed strike the Villa player's upper arm, but the referee's view may have been blocked.

That penalty shout certainly falls into the 'seen them given' category. West Brom will feel that they have been denied a couple of penalties now over the two legs. The hosts are on top with 11 minutes of the second leg played.

West Bromwich Albion's Stefan Johansen in action with Aston Villa's Axel Tuanzebe during the Championship playoff semi-final second leg on May 14, 2019© Reuters

El Ghazi and Holgate are having a proper battle out there. The Villa attacker had a swipe at his opponent a little earlier and has to be careful. Holgate gets his revenge, in a way, by getting to a cross ahead of his opponent in his own box.

Villa pass the ball out from the back but Green's cross from the right is cut out. The Villans win back possession and work it to El Ghazi on the left, though his cross is overhit. Third time lucky? The next cross is headed behind for a corner.

YELLOW CARD!  Mings meets the corner at the front post and sends his attempt wide of the target. The referee reaches into his pocket and shows the Villa defender a yellow card. After some confusion, replays show that he used his hand to try to turn the ball goalwards. Great spot from the referee.

We are still awaiting the first serious attempt of the second leg. Villa have done well to contain their opponents, who require a goal if they are to take the game to extra time. There are no away goals in the playoffs, remember.

El Ghazi is seemingly tripped on the halfway line but the referee is having none of it, leading to some words being exchanged between Michael Appleton and John Terry. Replays show that the Dutchman made the most of the contact - if there was even any!

The game has gone very quiet over the last 10 minutes, which has had an impact on the atmosphere. There is so much on the line this evening but neither team can really take the match by the scruff of the neck at the moment.

McGinn has started to take some control of midfield, which is bad news for the hosts. McGinn manages to get a cross into the middle but Abraham is beaten to it. Albion are trying to get the ball forward but there is no out-ball.

Hourihane scored a crucial goal from 25 yards in the first leg and, from a near identical position here, his shot is blocked. Holgate leads the counter but is blocked off the ball by El Ghazi. The match is just starting to open up a little.

When Albion charge forward they have Rodriguez through the middle and Murphy and Phillips either side, which I'm sure is not a great sight for Villa's defenders. The end product has been lacking so far, though. The hosts win a corner which is easily dealt with.


WEST BROM LEVEL UP THE TIE!! Holgate's long throw comes into the box from the right and Dawson manages to get between Abraham and Elmohamady to head it into the far corner of the net. There was nobody on the post and the ball crossed the line almost in slow motion.

Craig Dawson opens the scoring for West Bromwich Albion in their Championship playoff semi-final second leg against Aston Villa on May 14, 2019© Reuters

We are now locked 2-2 on aggregate and this is anyone's game with around an hour to play. There will be extra time and penalties if needed. Albion are the side in control of the ball and they have earned a free kick for a foul on Brunt.

Hegazi jumps for the ball but he is deemed to have backed into Steer and a free kick is awarded in Villa's favour. The visiting team have yet to create anything - will Smith be considering a change as we approach half time?

Johansen steps into Grealish's path to halt the midfielder's run. Grealish initially stayed down - always a worry for Villa fans - but he is now back on his feet and looks fine to continue. There has been just one shot on target in this half.

Grealish is barged off the ball by Holgate just outside the box. Grealish complained that it was in the box; Holgate argues that it was not even a free kick. El Ghazi is currently down receiving some treatment so Villa will have to wait before taking the set-piece.

A few minutes after winning the free kick for his side, Grealish looks set to take it on from 20 yards. Hourihane is instead given the honour but he fails to beat the wall - it should have been left to the right-footer.

Green's cross is well overhit. The winger claims that it took a deflection but the referee disagrees and a throw is awarded to West Brom. The Villans have had the better of things over the last 10 minutes, without managing to create anything of note.

SAVE!  El Ghazi, who has been Villa's liveliest player out on the left, has a go from 20 yards. The shot is on target but it lacks the power and precision to beat Johnstone, who has a simple save to make - his first of the evening.


Both sets of plays clashed at the end of the first half after Brunt stamped on the arm of McGinn - was it accidental or did he mean it? Only the Irishman will know the answer to that.

That provides a little more of an edge for the second half - as though it was needed - with the sides locked at 2-2 on aggregate thanks to Dawson's header half an hour into the second leg.

West Brom had a penalty appeal turned down in the opening 10 minutes when Anwar El Ghazi got across Mason Holgate in the box and blocked the ball with his upper arm.

Neither side were able to really take control of the match in a sloppy opening quarter of the match, but it was the Baggies who made the breakthrough just short of the half-hour mark.

Holgate's long throw from the right was met by Craig Dawson, who got between Tammy Abraham and Ahmed Elmohamady to guide the ball into the far corner of the net, where there was nobody waiting on the line to keep it out.

El Ghazi's 20-yard shot 43 minutes in was the only other attempt in the first half, though there was a big talking point just before half time as Chris Brunt appeared to stamp on the arm of John McGinn, which went unnoticed by the officials.


WEST BROM SUBS: Bond, Morrison, Townsend, Montero, Leko, Adarabioyo, Harper

ASTON VILLA SUBS: Kalinic, Whelan, Jedinak, Davis, Kodjia, Hause, Adomah

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith pictured on March 16, 2019© Reuters

KICKOFF:  West Brom get us back underway at The Hawthorns! One of these sides are potentially just 45 minutes away from booking a place at Wembley, though as things stand extra time will be required to separate them - as many predicted would be the case before a ball was kicked on Saturday.

The worst case scenario is that the two sides become a little reserved out of fear of making a mistake - a mistake that could cost them a place in the Premier League. Villa have started the second period in a very positive manner, though, with Grealish earning a corner.

Johansen fouls Hourihane on the edge of the box after his side had dealt with the corner. The set-piece is taken by Hourihane, who fails to beat the first man. Smith's side have started the second half in a strong manner.

Murphy and Green both fail to make the most of promising opportunities on the edge of the opposition box in the space of a minute. Both teams are really going for it, knowing the importance of the next goal. Shan and Smith need to use their subs wisely.

Abraham is left clutching his shoulder after being barged into - legally, it must be said - by Bartley. The striker is going to be patched up on the sidelines before coming back on. That is the plan, at least - he does not look in a good way.

CHANCE!  A huge chance for Albion to regain the lead in this tie goes begging. Murphy's shot is blocked on the line by Mings and Rodriguez is unable to adjust his body quickly enough, sending the rebound over the crossbar. That all came about as a result of a poor pass from Steer. Abraham is back on the field.

This has been a very good spell from West Brom. Villa are constantly giving the ball away and are inviting pressure on themselves. Rodriguez has wasted one glorious opportunity and Shan may see this as an opportunity missed if his side do no convert in the next few minutes.

SAVE!  Rodriguez spins 20 yards from goal and gets away a powerful shot, despite having two defenders alongside him. Steer manages to collect the ball at the second attempt.

YELLOW CARD!  The second half has been a lot more entertaining that the first. Albion have been on top in the second half but Villa have managed to grow into the contest. Johansen takes out Grealish once again and is shown a yellow card.

SHOT!  McGinn shoots over the bar on his left foot. Both teams have come close to scoring in this second half - West Brom in particular - yet as things stand it is still 2-2 on aggregate. Shan and Smith are holding off from turning to their respective benches.

CLOSE!  Phillips is off balance when he meets the right-sided corner and is unable to keep his header on target. West Brom are closing in on a second goal of the night, yet Smith is still holding off from making a change.

CLOSE!  Hegazi is all over McGinn on the edge of the box but the referee does not award the free kick, much to the frustration of Villa boss Smith. Once again the visitors give the ball away; once again Albion come close as Brunt curls a 25-yarder just wide.

SAVE!  Johnstone gets down well to push aside El Ghazi's shot, which came through a sea of bodies - that was not an easy one to deal with. Before that, Brunt lunged in on McGinn and was shown a yellow card by referee Chris Kavanagh.

Johansen is in need of some treatment so both sets of players are given a chance to take on some fluids. There is some movement on the Wets Brom bench - it looks as though Shan will be first to blink. It may well be Johansen who makes way.

WEST BROM SUB! Johansen hobbles off the pitch and is replaced by Morrison. Shan will not change his formation at all - it is a like-for-like substitution. There are around 20 minutes for one of these sides to snatch the win in normal time.

YELLOW CARD!  The Baggies look by far the more likely side to win this match in normal time, and Shan will perhaps be disappointed that his side do not already have a second goal on the night. Villa are really struggling to keep hold of the ball. Taylor is booked for sliding in on Holgate.

SUBS! Adomah takes over from Green in a like-for-like change out wide in Villa's first change of the evening. There is also a second alteration for the visitors, as Harper takes over from Phillips.

Both these sides, West Brom especially, have showed the ability to score late on in games this season. The Baggies have been on top throughout this second half but their chances appear to have dried up. It is looking increasingly likely that we will go to extra time.

RED CARD!  CHRIS BRUNT SENT OFF! As was the case in the first leg, Brunt is sent off for lunging in on McGinn. The midfielder has been diving in all night and can have no complaints. It is surely now advantage Villa!

Chris Brunt is shown a red card in the second leg of the Championship playoff semi-final between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa on May 14, 2019© Reuters

WEST BROM SUB! Abraham sends the free kick up and over the crossbar. Shan brings on Adarabioyo for Murphy as he tries to shore up his back four. Albion had momentum on their side; not so much now following Brunt's red.

Albion are going with a 5-3-1 formation for the closing 10 minutes of normal time. Shan would happily accept extra time now if it was offered to him. Smith's side are on top, but they have created next to nothing all evening.

Villa work the corner short and El Ghazi spots the run of Hourihane toward the back post. The Irish midfielder is only able to nod the ball into the arms of Johnstone when attempting to pick out a teammate. The Villans are starting to turn the screw.

SAVE!  Johnstone produces an incredible stop to keep his side's season alive. The ball dropped to Adomah 10 yards from goal but Johnstone got down to his right to turn the ball wide. Villa know all about his ability following his time on loan here last season.

SAVE!  Johnstone makes another stop, this time beating away McGinn's powerful dive from the edge of the box. El Ghazi gets to the rebound first but fires over, and he was offside anyway. West Brom could do with that full-time whistle sounding.

Five minutes have been added on at the end of this entertaining second half. Albion have barely had a touch of the ball since going down to 10 men - they are just set up to see things through for extra time, at which point they can regroup a little.

McGinn gets on the end of a cross into the box but Hegazi blocks it behind. The corner eventually makes its way to Hourihane on the edge of the box, but he is unable to pick out the target. There are two minutes of added time to play.


The 90 minutes are up at The Hawthorns - we will go to extra time and possibly penalties. Albion were well on top for large parts of the second half, only for Brunt to get himself sent off and momentum to shift Villa's way. If not for a late Johnstone save to keep out Adomah, the Villans would be on their way to Wembley.

KICKOFF:  Wets Brom get the first half of extra time underway. The Baggies are down to 10 men and will likely sit back and hope for penalties.

WEST BROM SUB! El Ghazi works some space down the left but his cross is cut out. Before Taylor can think about launching the ball into the box the hosts make another change. Rodriguez, who has looked fatigued, is replaced by Leko.

Grealish gets a cross into the box and Hegazi is only able to help it behind for a corner. Albion, with all 10 players in the box to defend the corner, are able to get rid of the ball. Leko charges through on the counter but he used his arm to control the ball and a free kick is awarded.

YELLOW CARD!  Villa are working the ball wall. Grealish tees up Hourihane in a carbon to the Irishman's strike in the first leg, but it hits one of his teammates and is collected by Johnstone. From the next attacking wave, Morrison is booked for sliding in on Grealish.

Ten minutes of extra time have been played and West Brom are standing firm. Villa have worked the ball well but they have not created anything since the restart. Albion have used all four of their subs, whereas the Villans have three more at their disposal.

ASTON VILLA SUB! Kodjia is introduced with around four minutes of first-half extra time to be played. El Ghazi, who has put in a good shift down the left, is the player to make way for the visitors.

McGinn sends the ball in behind but Abraham - who perhaps would have been flagged for offside - does not stick out a leg to turn it goalwards. Villa are probing away but they are not really making the most of their man advantage.

Grealish plays a lovely reverse pass into the feet of Mings, who loses his footing when attempting to pull the ball back. That should be that for the first half of this additional period of 30 minutes. Villa, incidentally, have had 89% of the ball so far in extra time.


The first period of extra time finishes goalless - we look to be going all the way. Villa had 89% of the ball in that first period of extra time but, despite plenty of toiling, they could not find a way through on goal.

KICKOFF:  The second period of extra time is up and running in the East Midlands. As was the case in the first period, Villa are asking all of the attacking questions.

Villa just need to inject a little more urgency into their game. That is not easy 108 minutes into the match, of course, but their season could well depend on these remaining minutes. Grealish's cross is comfortably dealt with by Dawson.

SAVE!  Elmohamady thought about the shot but he instead spotted an unmarked Grealish alongside him on the edge of the box. The midfielder's shot is pretty weak and is aimed right at Johnstone down the middle - a routine stop for the ex-Villa loanee.

SHOT!  This is poor from Abraham. The Chelsea loanee blasts the ball over the crossbar from 20 yards when he had teammates better positioned either side of him. West Brom are ceding far too much possession - can they hold on for another eight minutes?

CHANCE!  Elmohamady sends in a delightful cross from the right that none of his teammates can convert. Villa keep the momentum building and Adomah's back-post header is plucked out of the air by Johnstone. That has to go down as half a chance.

ASTON VILLA SUB! Elmohamady is replaced by Davis with around four minutes of the match left to play. That substitution was likely made with penalties in mind.

West Brom are dealing with every ball that comes into the box. Villa are working the ball down the left, the right and through the centre but we could play for another hour and they would not have a goal to celebrate. This one is going to pens.

PENALTY APPEAL!  Grealish's cross strikes the arm of Dawson but the referee quickly waves away the penalty appeals - it was half a shout. A cross from the right is then met by Davis, who nods the ball down and into the arms of Johnstone. Abraham got in his way!

ASTON VILLA SUB! McGinn strikes the ball horribly wide from what will be the final meaningful act of the contest. There is still tie for penalty taker Jedinak to take over from Tuanzebe with seconds to go.


There is nothing to separate the sides at the end of 210 minutes of football, so it is on to penalties. West Brom would happily have accepted spot kicks after losing Brunt to a red card 80 minutes into the second leg. Who will be going through to Wembley? We are about to find out...

WEST BROM *0-0 ASTON VILLA - HOLGATE MISSES! Holgate is the first player to step up and he is denied by Steer! It was a good height for the Villa keeper.

WEST BROM 0-1* ASTON VILLA - HOURIHANE SCORES! Hourihane places the ball into the bottom right corner, sending Johnstone the opposite way. Advantage Villa!

WEST BROM *0-1 ASTON VILLA - HEGAZI MISSES! Hegazi goes to the bottom left and Johnstone guesses the right way to keep it out!!

WEST BROM 0-2* ASTON VILLA - JEDINAK SCORES! Jedinak, brought on late into the match for penalties, makes no mistake from 12 yards. Villa are on the brink of a place in the final!

WEST BROM *1-2 ASTON VILLA - ADARABIOYO SCORES! Adarabioyo sends the ball into the bottom corner of the net to give West Brom just a glimmer of hope.

WEST BROM 1-3* ASTON VILLA - GREALISH SCORES! This is another brilliant penalty from Villa, with Grealish the latest to send Johnstone the wrong way.

WEST BROM *2-3 ASTON VILLA - GIBBS SCORES! Gibbs keeps the tie alive by picking out the corner of the net. Had he missed that it would have been game over.

WEST BROM 2-3* ASTON VILLA - ADOMAH MISSES! Adomah has the chance to win the tie for Villa, but he places his penalty over the bar. This one isn't over just yet!

WEST BROM *3-3 ASTON VILLA - MORRISON SCORES! Morrison converts from 12 yards to draw West Brom back on level terms. Villa have another chance to win it, though...

WEST BROM 3-4* ASTON VILLA - ABRAHAM SCORES! Johnstone gets a foot to Abraham's low penalty but it is not enough to keep it out. Villa are through!!


West Brom managed to hold on with 10 men through the whole of extra time, but they come out second best on penalties. It will be their West Midlands rivals Aston Villa who will contest the 2019 Championship playoff final, either against Leeds United or Derby County.

Be sure to join us for live coverage of that second play-off semi-final at the same time tomorrow. Until then, thanks for following today's match with Sports Mole!

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West Brom caretaker manager Jimmy Shan pictured on March 13, 2019
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