Aston Villa beat Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion 4-3 on penalties to reach the Championship playoff final on Tuesday after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.
Tammy Abraham, on loan from Chelsea, scored the decisive spot kick to send Villa into a Wembley final against either Derby County or Leeds United with a lucrative spot in the Premier League up for grabs.
Villa, relegated in 2016, will hope to avoid a repeat of last year when they lost to Fulham in the playoff final. “It’s no good getting to Wembley and falling at the final hurdle again, so fingers crossed,” Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, who converted his penalty, told Sky Sport. “All of us are very hungry and have good legs in us.” Villa won the first leg 2-1 at home but Craig Dawson’s first-half header levelled it up for West Brom who had finished four points above Villa in the regular season. The hosts had Chris Brunt sent off with 10 minutes of normal time remaining but keeper Sam Johnstone made a stunning reflex save to deny Albert Adomah and take the tie into extra time. -REUTERS