Published:  12:39 AM, 16 May 2019

Aston Villa reach Championship playoff final

Aston Villa reach Championship playoff final The Baggies' hope of an immediate return to the top-flight were dented when captain Chris Brunt (pictured May 2017) was sent-off 10 minutes from the end of normal time. -AFP

Aston Villa progressed to within one game of a return to the Premier League after edging West Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion 4-3 on penalties in the Championship playoff semi-finals on Tuesday.

West Brom won 1-0 on the night at the Hawthorns to level the tie at 2-2 on aggregate thanks to Craig Dawson's first-half header. However, the Baggies' hopes of an immediate return to the top-flight were dented when captain Chris Brunt was sent off 10 minutes from the end of normal time. The hosts held out manfully during extra-time, but Villa goalkeeper Jed Steer saved West Brom's first two penalties of the shootout from Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi.

"There's obviously a lot of luck involved but wow," Steer told Sky Sports. "We practise penalties, so I think I must've faced a 100 a day the last few days." Conor Hourihane, Mile Jedinak, Jack Grealish and Tammy Abraham kept their cool from the spot as Villa set up a May 27 Wembley meeting with Leeds or Derby for a lucrative place in the Premier League. Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds hold a 1-0 first-leg lead over Frank Lampard's Rams ahead of the second leg at Elland Road on Wednesday.

-AFP

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