Boro 0 – 1 Villa; Brilliant result.

I know it’s easy to say when you’ve won away, but I seriously think I’d be saying the same if Boro had pulled a goal back.
That was simply a professional performance from the lads today and Steve Bruce and his team can take a big pat on the back from me for calling it pretty much perfect.

I thought we were somewhat fortunate to get the goal (A Grealish corner to Jedinak, who did very well to place his header, given that it was slightly behind him) against the run of play, but that’s how it goes.
The truth is that while Boro at times looked very dangerous, so I’m struggling to think of any really good chances they had.
I honestly don’t remember Johnstone being posed any serious problem at all. Maybe I’m being blinkered there.

Whereas we got the goal and Snodgrass had an absolutely cracking effort that would have had Beckham fans wetting themselves, superbly saved and touched onto the post.
2-0 probably wouldn’t have been unfair, let alone 1-0.

I think we played a pretty conservative game, albeit one that was made easier with us taking the lead.
The onus was on Boro to try and get one back and they certainly tried, but I thought our defence was immense.
We attacked when the time was right, but spent much of our time defending, which is interesting as Bruce said after the game that we played too deep, particularly in the second half.
Perhaps that’s where the experience of the players really comes in? Where they can over-ride the manager’s wishes?
I don’t know, but you can’t fault the result, can you?

Terry and Chester (who did get caught out once) had pretty much everything in their pockets and when they didn’t, Hutton and Elmohamady were backing up.
In fact, everyone worked their socks off in helping out in defence.
Even Jack Grealish, who made some very good tackles, while in the process of getting a bit of stick.

I said that one of the best duals would be Traore and Hutton and while Traore looked really dangerous, so Hutton had him very much under his control, whatever side the ex-Villan was playing. Hutton’s class and I really hope he doesn’t leave this summer.
Whatever, he edged Grealish out for MOTM, for me.

So where does that leave us?
Well, while it isn’t on easy street, we’re now in a very good position, although I could easily see Boro pinching one exactly the same as we did.
Even so, Boro will have to go some to beat us over two legs now.
And if we can’t get the result from this position, well we just won’t deserve it, will we?

I’m certainly more confident now than I was before the game.

The only concern is Elmo having to go off.
Let’s hope he’s ok.

Happy days and UTV!


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  1. Avatar
    nath May 12, 2018 at 8:43 pm .

    bookmakers have villa favourites to win playoffs. middlesbro are 8/1 with some firms,

  2. Avatar
    Sidforever May 12, 2018 at 9:05 pm .

    Well said Badger! This was a very professional performance by the Villa. Hats off to everyone. A true team effort. It’s only half time for this match and a win or draw and we are through.

    I have criticised SB in the past but today his tactical change with Hutton was first class.

    Although I thought the ref could have given us a few free kicks, I liked the way he wanted the game to flow.

    One question I have is how were Boro allowed to dry a ball for 20/30 seconds before hurling it long distance? It wasted so much time, surely a throw in should be taken relatively quickly.

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson May 13, 2018 at 8:25 am .

    Morning all,
    Nice feeling to see we have achieved what a lot thought might not find easy, Pulis saying Bruce played him at his own game by dropping back after we scored earlier in the match, well it worked well, we have to constrain the likes of Traore, and Assabolonga who was the danger in the game, I like you Sidforever had my doubts in and around Christmastime and now fully in his camp.I can see that the team are coming together at long last, roll on Tuesday I will be like a cat on a hot tin roof. Well done the lads, p/s Badger did you enjoy Mexico ? Would love to go again sometime its just the flight to long for the wife.utv.

  4. Avatar
    saddened May 13, 2018 at 11:14 am .

    Wiping the ball at each throw in should be banned, lets hope we hide all the towels at Vila Park..
    Its going to be a very special night on Tuesday, lets hope we show a bit of consistency, an early goal should settle the nerves.

  5. Avatar
    pat 57 May 13, 2018 at 11:21 am .

    Great performance in the circumstances, everyone knew their job and did it.

    Like Saddened I agree that an early goal could be the key. At home we need to have some courage and have a go at them and, if we get that goal, I’m sure their heads will go down.

    I predicted yesterday’s game correctly so I’m sticking to my prediction of 2-0 to the Villa on Tuesday. Here’s hoping.


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