Middlesbrough travelled to the West Midlands to take on Aston Villa at Villa Park. The Boro came into this match 1-0 down on aggregate from the first-leg. Tony Pulis’ side started the game on the front foot and enjoyed a lot of possession in the first-half. However, they failed to carve out any clear-cut opportunities for themselves and were unable to test Sam Johnstone enough in the Villa goal.
The home side came into the game in the second half and started to retain the ball well, much to the frustration of the visitors.
The Teessiders pushed on and tried their best to score in the final quarter of the game but were unable to break down the solid Villa defence. The contest ended 0-0 with both teams sharing the spoils on the night while Villa ensured progression into the Championship playoff final with a 1-0 aggregate victory.
Let’s take a look at how each Middlesbrough player performed during the encounter against the Villans.
GK: Darren Randolph – 8/10
The Boro goalie hardly had anything to do in the first half. He pulled off some world-class saves after the break to keep his team in the contest. Unfortunately for him, his contributions were not enough as his side were unable to score on the night.
RB: Ryan Shotton – 6/10
He coped with Adomah’s pace well but was guilty of dropping his concentration levels at times in the second half.
CB: Dael Fry – 7.5/10
The centre-back made some great blocks and defended valiantly to secure a clean sheet on the night.
CB: Ben Gibson – 7.5/10
He read the game well and made some important interceptions during the match.
LB: George Friend – 8.5/10
The Boro left-back made a goal-saving challenge which kept his team in the contest until the dying embers of the game. He was also a willing runner down the left flank and caught the eye with his performance on the night.
CM: Jonny Howson – 6.5/10
He put in a tireless shift at the centre of the park and did his job in midfield to see out a 1-0 aggregate win for his side.
CM: Adam Clayton – 6/10
He was guilty of getting caught ball-watching at certain moments of the game.
CM: Muhamed Besic – 5.5/10
Not the best performance from the young midfielder, he distributed the ball well but was physically bullied by the Villa midfielders.
RM: Adama Traore – 4/10
The talented trickster had a horror game in a Middlesbrough shirt and his passes in the final third were way off the mark.
ST: Britt Assombalonga – 5.5/10
The Villa centre-forward struggled to get into the game in the first-half and was rightfully substituted in the second half.
LM: Stewart Downing – 7.5/10
He came really close to scoring the opener in the final few minutes of the contest when his free-kick attempt rattled the crossbar. Downing looked like the only Boro player who was causing problems for the Villa defenders.
ST: Patrick Bamford – 5/10
He came off the bench but immediately struggled to get into the high intensity of the game.
ST: Rudy Gestede – 4/10
He came on to face off against his former club but failed to make any real impact in the opposition half.
RB: Fabio Da Silva – 5/10
He got a golden chance to score in the dying embers of the match. However, his shot was cleared off the lines as Villa ran out 1-0 victors on aggregate.
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