BIRMINGHAM, May 16 — Aston Villa beat Middlesbrough 1-0 on aggregate after a 0-0 draw at Villa Park yesterday to seal their place in the Championship playoff final where they will meet Fulham.
Steve Bruce's side are one match away from returning to the Premier League from which they were relegated in 2016.
Having won the first leg 1-0 courtesy of a Mile Jedinak strike, Villa showed some organised defending to hold off Boro who were looking for an immediate return to the top-flight.
The match began with a minute's applause for former Villa defender Jlloyd Samuel who died earlier yesterday at the age of 37 in a car accident.
Boro created few clear-cut chances but almost levelled the tie late on when Stewart Downing's 89th-minute free kick from just outside the penalty area rattled the crossbar.
Villa held on to claim a draw on the night and victory overall, sparking wild celebrations as their fans flooded onto the pitch at fulltime. The playoff final will be held at Wembley Stadium on May 26. — Reuters