Published: Sun, May 27, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Aston Villa lose out on promotion to Premier League

Aston Villa lose out on promotion to Premier League

With 90 minutes separating their team from the final place in the following season's Premier League, nervous and expectant fans have headed to Wembley or the Millennium Stadium over the years hoping it might be their turn for glory.

Cairney's first-half goal was decisive as Fulham, owned by USA billionaire Shahid Khan, held on to their narrow lead despite having defender Denis Odoi sent off after 70 minutes as tempers began to fray on a sultry afternoon.

They succeeded, and will play in the Premier League for the first time since relegation in 2014 ended 13 straight seasons in the world's wealthiest and most-watched division.

Much of the talk in the buildup to this match had revolved around Villa's big-game experience yet Fulham showed they have anything but a soft underbelly.

Fulham will now join Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff City in the top flight next season after the Cottagers defeated Aston Villa 1-0 in the final this weekend.

Fulham are back in the Premier League.

Tempers frayed as Grealish ploughed into Cairney with a feisty challenge that could have resulted in a red card for the young playmaker, yet it was Fulham who went down to ten men when Odoi was shown a second yellow card for a wild challenge on Grealish.

Villa failed to heed that warning and Fulham fulfilled their manager's prediction as they took the lead in the 23rd minute.

"After we missed out on promotion last season, a lot of people wrote us off. I'm happy with what my team offered today and how we played our football". We just needed a break, but we didn't get one.

If Aston Villa were to get anything from the game at Wembley, they were going to need Jack Grealish to be on top form to guide them through.

Both Villa and Fulham have enjoyed the services of English youngsters of African origin on loan from Premier League clubs this term, with Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur) and Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United) featuring for the Villains.

As ever, the ramification from the Championship play-off final will rumble on for many years to come and for Fulham, the glory is all theirs.

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