All teams promoted to Premier League are already known. To Championship winners, Norwich and vice-champion, Sheffield United, Aston Villa has joined, by winning the Play Offs. For ‘The Villans’ it will be a return to highest tier after three years of break – they’ve been relegated in 2015/16 season.
Dean Smith’s proteges finished fifth in the table, among Play Offs contenders only Frank Lampard’s Derby County was lower. Paradoxically, these two teams found themselves in the final. Aston Villa eliminated West Bromwich after penalty shootout, ‘The Rams’ also had trouble against their rival, Leeds. Opponents won the first game and were leading in the second one, but Derby managed to score two goals more than Leeds in total and reached the final.
The clash between clubs from Birmingham and Derby didn’t face high expectations, but thanks to El-Ghazi Villa had a lead in the first half. After a break McGinn increased the advantage. Frank Lampard used Marriott and Waghorn from the bench and both contributed to the contact goal, as first of them assisted, second – scored. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to win Play Offs.
‘The Villans’ can count on the big amount of money due to the advance. Because of gigantic sums earned by Premier League clubs for tv rights, Smith’s proteges will receive resources to stay in the league. They have to spend them wisely though, not to repeat Fulham’s disappointed (they were relegated), but to reiterate Wolves’ success (7th place).
[photo: Aston Villa FC Facebook]