Championship
Middlesbrough0Aston Villa1

Middlesbrough 0-1 Aston Villa

Robert Snodgrass (centre)
Snodgrass's goal was his first for Villa since 1 November

Aston Villa claimed their first win in six games as they beat Middlesbrough to spoil new boss Tony Pulis' first game in charge.

After an uneventful first half, Jack Grealish and Robert Snodgrass had efforts saved, while Jonny Howson and Patrick Bamford went close for Boro.

Villa took the lead when Snodgrass headed in from Albert Adomah's cross.

The result means Villa leapfrog Boro into seventh place, while Pulis' side drop to ninth.

Middlesbrough are now winless in five home league meetings with Villa and it is the first time Steve Bruce has claimed three points as a manager at the Riverside.

Villa, who were without eight first-team players - including Glenn Whelan, Neil Taylor and Keinan Davis, who all featured in the Boxing Day defeat at Brentford - had the best chance of the early exchanges when Adomah saw his shot saved by Darren Randolph.

Howson had a volley at the other end pushed away by Sam Johnstone but there were far more clear opportunities for the visitors after the break, as both substitute Grealish and Snodgrass struck low at goal only to be denied by Randolph.

Boro substitute Bamford then had two attempts blocked in the Villa box before Snodgrass' diving header gave Villa victory.

Tony Pulis
Before Saturday's defeat, Tony Pulis had never lost a home league game to managerial counterpart Steve Bruce

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis:

"I thought Villa did well, they played with a back four and five in front and never let us get in behind.

"I wanted to play with two forwards, see what Rudy Gestede and Britt Assombalonga were like together with Stewart Downing and Martin Braithwaite - and the quality they've got you'd hope we'd create opportunities.

"I just thought we were very, very slow at times. We needed to move the ball quicker and Adama Traore when he came on livened it up."

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce:

"Considering the problems that we've had (without nine players) it's a very satisfying win.

"The response from the other night was vitally important. We lurch along, we played badly against Brentford second half and all of a sudden we're in crisis.

"We have to eradicate that as a club. We can't be just going along quite nicely and then we're in crisis. We've seen today this is a division which throws up results which leave people scratching their heads at. Let us get on with the job in hand."

Line-ups

Middlesbrough

  • 25Randolph
  • 5Shotton
  • 4Ayala
  • 6Gibson
  • 3FriendBooked at 67mins
  • 19DowningBooked at 90mins
  • 16Howson
  • 7LeadbitterBooked at 15mins
  • 10BraithwaiteSubstituted forTraoréat 57'minutes
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forFletcherat 79'minutes
  • 39GestedeSubstituted forBamfordat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 11Bamford
  • 17Guédioura
  • 18Fletcher
  • 22Christie
  • 30Baker
  • 37Traoré

Aston Villa

  • 1Johnstone
  • 27El Mohamady Abdel Fattah
  • 24ElphickBooked at 45mins
  • 5ChesterBooked at 62mins
  • 21Hutton
  • 15Jedinak
  • 7Snodgrass
  • 18OnomahBooked at 30minsSubstituted forGrealishat 37'minutes
  • 14HourihaneBooked at 24mins
  • 37AdomahSubstituted forBjarnasonat 90'minutes
  • 9HoganSubstituted forHepburn-Murphyat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Grealish
  • 13Steer
  • 16Bree
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 29Hepburn-Murphy
  • 32Doyle-Hayes
  • 36O'Hare
Referee:
Andy Madley
Attendance:
29,422

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home13
Away11
Shots on Target
Home1
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away9
Fouls
Home16
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Middlesbrough 0, Aston Villa 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 0, Aston Villa 1.

Booking

Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough).

Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ryan Shotton (Middlesbrough).

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Birkir Bjarnason replaces Albert Adomah.

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa).

George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Aston Villa. Mile Jedinak tries a through ball, but Rushian Hepburn-Murphy is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. George Friend (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniel Ayala with a headed pass.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough).

Attempt blocked. Tommy Elphick (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Daniel Ayala.

Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa).

Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Ben Gibson.

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Grant Leadbitter.

Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Ashley Fletcher replaces Britt Assombalonga.

Foul by Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (Aston Villa).

Daniel Ayala (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough).

Goal!

Goal! Middlesbrough 0, Aston Villa 1. Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy replaces Scott Hogan.

Attempt blocked. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Britt Assombalonga.

Foul by Scott Hogan (Aston Villa).

Ben Gibson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ahmed El Mohamady (Aston Villa).

Adama Traoré (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Middlesbrough. Patrick Bamford replaces Rudy Gestede.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

Booking

George Friend (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wolves25184347202758
2Derby25146540221848
3Bristol City25138440261447
4Cardiff25145635231247
5Leeds2513393728942
6Sheff Utd25132103930941
7Aston Villa2511863324941
8Preston25101052823540
9Middlesbrough2511593224838
10Brentford2591063932737
11Ipswich25113113835336
12Fulham259973533236
13Norwich2587102430-631
14Nottm Forest25101143342-931
15Millwall257992727030
16Sheff Wed257993031-130
17Reading2577113033-328
18QPR2569102635-927
19Hull2559113943-424
20Barnsley2558122637-1123
21Sunderland25410112942-1322
22Bolton2557132443-1922
23Burton2556141743-2621
24Birmingham2555151335-2220
View full Championship table

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