Aston Villa reach playoff final with Middlesbrough stalemate

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Conor Hourihane has revealed Aston Villa players took notice of Fulham's exuberant celebrations at progressing to the Championship play-off final and made a decision to temper their own as 'there's more business to be done'.

Mile Jedinak's header in a 1-0 first leg win for the visitors at the Riverside on Saturday proved enough as Middlesbrough failed to threaten until Stewart Downing's free-kick hit the bar late on.

Aston Villa will be playing for a place in the Premier League if they are able to avoid defeat at home to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night. They're one of the form teams and missed out on the last day so maybe there'll be a bit of disappointment. The boys are different class.

"The game plan was superb so the manager deserves a lot of credit for that", said Villa captain John Terry.

Boro created few clear-cut chances but nearly levelled the tie late on when Stewart Downing's 89th-minute free kick from just outside the penalty area rattled the crossbar.

"We knew we'd be in the playoffs throughout and hopefully we can give them a challenge".

"The teams that have finished third and fourth over a season have got to Wembley and that's justification, if anything", Pulis told Sky Sports.

Villa held on to claim a draw and victory overall, sparking wild celebrations as their fans flooded onto the pitch at full-time.

The playoff final will be held at Wembley Stadium on May 26 where Villa will face Fulham who overcame Derby County 2-1 on aggregate on Monday.

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