Published: Mon, May 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Aston Villa beat West Brom in first leg of Championship playoffs semifinals

Aston Villa beat West Brom in first leg of Championship playoffs semifinals

Rodriguez was teed up on the edge of the box and it took a fine save from Steer to turn the striker's shot onto the crossbar.

Just two minutes later Villa had the lead, after Jack Grealish - forever risky on the day - lured Kieran Gibbs into making a foolish tackle, which gave the referee with no choice but to point to the spot.

Things got worse for the visitors in the closing stages when top scorer Gayle was dismissed for a second yellow card, meaning he will miss Tuesday's second leg at The Hawthorns.

For 75 minutes, Grealish was kept relatively quiet by Stefan Johansen and Chris Brunt but a player of his talent only needs one moment to change a game.

Albion's woes were compounded with two minutes left when, already on a yellow card, Gayle slid in to reach James Morrison's cross but clattered Steer and saw red.

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"When we're concentrated and switched on, we are an outstanding side in all aspects of the game, apart from maybe finishing". And when it came to the spot kick, there was no mistake from the striker.

"We knew it was going to be hard. We were nowhere near our best today but found a way to win, which is always important". "We have a great side and we will just have to find a way to beat them".

Villa recovered after Dwight Gayle opened the scoring in the first half but the on-loan Newcastle hitman is banned for Tuesday's game after being sent off late on at Villa Park.

The two Egypt global started the game and played the full 90 minutes at the Villa Park as both sides eyeing a return to the Premier League.

"The boys were asking me if I was scared on the penalty but I wasn't. We frustrated them, we denied them spaces to penetrate us and they weren't overly creative".

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