Aston Villa 0-0 Middlesbrough Player Ratings: Terry commanding

Terry was outstanding for Villa –

Aston Villa have reached the Championship play-off final thanks to a 1-0 aggregate semi-final win over Middlesbrough, which was confirmed by a 0-0 home draw in the second leg. Here’s our player ratings from the game.

The Villans

Sam Johnstone – incredibly, he didn’t have to make a save all game. Quick off his line to smother George Friend in the first half but his distribution was a little suspect at times. 5

James Bree – a shaky performance. Left gaps in behind defensively and was perhaps fortunate that neither of the opponents on his flank had much pace. Rarely trusted by his teammates as an attacking outlet too. 3
James Chester – made some important interventions and came close in the first half with a volley. By far Aston Villa’s most consistent performer this term. 8
John Terry – dominated Assombalonga throughout the first hour and partly because he was so commanding in the latter stages, he had to do little back-foot defending. 9
Alan Hutton – unsurprisingly, he was forced back by Traore at times and once gave away a cynical foul against the wide man. Equally though, Hutton never over-committed himself and allowed his man to run at a centre-back, for which he deserves credit considering he’s a right-back by trade. 7

Mile Jedinak – enjoyed an outstanding game in which he battled valiantly, also posing a threat from set pieces, having scored the winner in the first leg. Justified Steve Bruce’s decision to start him over Glenn Whelan. 9

Robert Snodgrass – showed good defensive discipline. His attacking game is normally about pin-point deliveries, but because there was not many players in the box he had to keep it simple in possession. 6
Conor Hourihane – much of Villa’s game was about denying space in behind, so Hourihane didn’t get as many opportunities as he might normally like to show his shooting and crossing quality. One or two nice touches in the second half. 6
Jack Grealish – has the ability to relieve the pressure on Villa’s defence by carrying the ball up the pitch and holding onto it in tight areas. Key to bringing Adomah into play in second half counter-attacks. 7
Albert Adomah – as Traore grew in influence in the first half, Adomah had to be disciplined. Looked livelier going forward at the start of the second half though, when his pace made him a key attacking outlet, setting up one clear cut chance.

Lewis Grabban – struggled to see much possession in the first half due to the nature of the contest. He always worked hard though and had more chances after the break, forcing Randolph into a near-post save just before the hour mark. 5

Jonathan Kodjia (on 79) – retained possession well in forward areas. 6
Glenn Whelan (on 85) – helped manage the game, typified by one injury-time kick that gave Boro a throw-in as far away from goal as possible without the risk of giving them a goal-kick. 6
Birkir Bjarnason (on 90+1)

The Boro

Darren Randolph – untested in the first half, but made a good stop from Grabban just before the hour mark and helped keep Boro in the tie. 7

Ryan Shotton – Pulis has a habit of favouring centre-backs at right-back and Shotton never risks over-committing himself, he doesn’t offer the width that Fabio can do. Always backed off Adomah when under pressure. 3
Dael Fry – solid enough in the first half, but was guilty of ball watching at times in the second, allowing Grabban to get in. 5
Ben Gibson – enjoyed a positive first half but was sometimes forced into covering for Fry in the second, letting his man get ahead of him for a big chance just before the hour-mark. 6
George Friend – tasked with providing width on Boro’s left flank: although he got behind Bree one or two times, with one run leading to a rash challenge on Johnstone, he lacks natural pace to do the job consistently. 3

Jonny Howson – whenever he picked the ball up in a good area, his next pass was often an unproductive one. Difficult to see why he’s been part of top eight Championship sides in the last two seasons. 4
Adam Clayton – gave away one or two cynical fouls, which was of minimal use to Boro considering they always needed a goal. Looked very limited in possession. 3
Muhamed Besic – wasn’t shy in going into challenges and did some nice work tidying up opposition breakaways, but lacked quality on the ball. 4

Adamah Traore – Boro’s main outlet on the right flank in the first half due to his raw pace, before moving into more central areas after the break. Succeeded in helping his teammates get further up the pitch, but failed to create chances, due to a combination of poor end product and a lack of movement around him. 5
Britt Assombalonga – asked to win the kind of battles that suit the centre-backs more than it suits him. Wasn’t given the space to utilize his pace and power, or show his finishing qualities, before being taken off with a quarter of the match to go. 5
Stewart Downing – his lack of pace means he’s normally more comfortable curling in crosses from deep, rather than whipping them in from the byline, but playing on the left he had to try and do the latter without much success. Hit the bar with his free-kick late on in Boro’s best effort. 3

Patrick Bamford (on 67) – moved to the left when Gestede came on, rather than a central area where he can hurt teams. 5
Rudy Gestede (on 73) – brought on to provide a focal point for long balls into the box but Boro couldn’t get into positions to bring him into the game. 5
Fabio Da Silva (on 82) – offers more width than Shotton and was brought on far too late. 6