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          Aston Villa clinch Premier League return

          Up the Villa!

          2019/05/28 11:35
          By Stephen Gillett

          Aston Villa banished the demons of play-off defeat last season to beat Derby County in the Championship play-off final yesterday, and earn a place in next season's Premier League

          The Villans strung together a remarkable 10 wins on the bounce in March and April to propel themselves into the play-off places, and their momentum saw them over the line in an entertaining clash at Wembley against Frank Lampard's Rams. 

          Goals from Anwar El-Ghazi and John McGinn put Villa firmly in the driving seat, and Dean Smith's saw the game out despite Derby sub Martyn Waghorn glancing home a shot from Jack Marriott to narrow Villa's advantage. 

          McGinn's goal came after a mistake by Rams keeper Kelle Roos who failed to claim a deflected shot and allowed the Scot to nod home his seventh goal of a fantastic season

          Relegated from the top flight in 2015/16, Villa lost last season's Championship play-off final to Fulham (1-0) and looked set to miss out again this season after an indifferent start to the season under Steve Bruce. However, Smith gave the Villans' season the shot in the arm that it needed and, with Tammy Abraham firing up front, Villa found their form at the right time. 

          Afterwards, a delighted Smith spoke of Villa's potential and paid tribute to his predecessor:

          “It feels right that Villa are in the Premier League, the history and the size of the club, the fans it has – I believe it is a Premier League club and that’s not me being a supporter.

          “But we’ve done some hard years trying to get back into the Premier League. We’ve fallen on hard times. Last season was very tough for everyone who went through defeat here against Fulham. They asked me to take on the job, it was two of Steve Bruce’s signings who scored the winning goals, so every credit to him. But we work very hard every day and the potential with the owners that we have is massive.”



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