Aston Villa fail to secure automatic promotion
Written by alexmetcalfe on May 1, 2018
A 1-1 draw at home to Derby Saturday means Villa won’t be securing a guaranteed place in the Premier League
By Peter McKinney
Lewis Grabban equalises for Aston Villa | Credit: Getty Images
ASTON Villa’s hopes of automatic promotion from the SkyBet Championship finally came to an end after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Derby.
The Claret and Blue team sealed fourth-place in the second tier of English football following a battling display.
Steve Bruce’s side had been trailing to Cameron Jerome’s first half strike before Lewis Grabban bagged his 20th goal of the season with an 84th minute leveller.
While Villa’s play-off semi-final rivals are not completely cemented, they could play the fifth-placed side, with Tony Pulis’s resurgent Middlesbrough currently occupying that spot.
Villa, who completed the regular season at Milwall next Sunday (12.30pm ko), will now turn their attentions to the play-offs and a final push to end their Premier League exile.
Bruce may be tempted to rest key players ahead of the semi-finals, which start on May 11th.
Meanwhile, Villa fans said farewell to striker Gabriel Agbonlahor in his final home game before leaving the club this summer.
A product of the Second City side’s youth system, he debuted for Villa in a defeat to Everton in March 2006 and scored against Everton.
The pacey forward became Villa’s top scorer in the Premier League era and in total he bagged 81 goals in all competitions.
Agbonlahor became a derby hero for Villa, often scoring winners against Birmingham City but his
His last goal came on the opening day of the season against Hull but has been pushed down the striking pecking order by Scot Hogan, Keinan Davis, Grabban and Jonathan Kodjia.