Aston VillaAston Villa0MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough0

Aston Villa 0-0 Middlesbrough

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Villa Park
Middlesbrough's Adama Traore shown a red card early on against Aston Villa
Adama Traore lasted less than four minutes on his return to Villa Park

Aston Villa were made to settle for a second goalless draw at home in four days on a dramatic night of two red cards against Middlesbrough.

Boro were down to 10 men on four minutes, following ex-Villa man Adama Traore's tackle on Conor Hourihane.

Numbers were evened up on 64 minutes when Henri Lansbury also got a straight red for tripping Boro's Marvin Johnson.

The closest either side came to a winner was Robert Snodgrass's effort off the bar for Villa.

But, on a night when main striker Jonathan Kodjia returned from injury off the bench for Villa, Boro also survived one amazing double let-off which saw Kodjia's header saved by Darren Randolph before Hourihane's follow-up shot was unwittingly blocked on the line by his own team-mate Scott Hogan.

On a wet night in Birmingham, the slippery conditions were always likely to play a part in a combative contest which proved error-strewn almost from the very first minute.

Villa keeper Sam Johnstone had already made a flying save to deny Ben Gibson's towering header when Traore slid recklessly into a touchline challenge as Hourihane was attempting to clear upfield and got himself sent off.

With their man advantage, Villa unsurprisingly looked the more likely to score. But, from Neil Taylor's neat left-foot chip, Lansbury was denied by Randolph.

And his attempt to win a penalty when he fell over the Boro keeper looking to get on the rebound came to nothing.

Then, from loan man Snodgrass's right-wing cross, Birkir Bjarnason almost got on the end of it two yards out.

Villa continued to make the better chances after the break, when an off-balance Snodgrass hit the bar, Hourihane was also denied and Keinan Davies had a header drift just wide from a Snodgrass cross.

The game then took another twist when Villa midfielder Lansbury, not previously booked, thought he was taking one for the team when he fetched down the galloping Johnson from behind. But referee Darren Bond deemed it serious foul play and issued his second red of the night.

The introduction of last season's top scorer Kodjia on 70 minutes gave Villa some late spark, but his first powerful header was saved by former Birmingham City keeper Randolph and another one flew just over as the hosts failed to find a way through.

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce told BBC Sport:

"It's a huge frustration for us, the chances we create and we don't score. I've said since I've been here that we're over reliant on Jonathan Kodjia. But at least he's back for us now.

"Tonight we've had 19 efforts, we've had Robert Snodgrass hit the bar, BIrkir Bjarnason's header from almost on the line and then Scott Hogan keeps one out for them. And you know it's not your night.

"The ref did his best to level it up. It was a silly challenge by Henri Lansbury but it's a yellow card not a red. He had no need to give it.

On Traore's red card: "I don't ever want to see any player sent off, but really it was reckless and dangerous and he deserved a red."


Aston Villa

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Johnstone
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 5Chester
  • 26Terry
  • 3Taylor
  • 8LansburyBooked at 64mins
  • 15JedinakSubstituted forHoganat 45'minutes
  • 14Hourihane
  • 7SnodgrassBooked at 31mins
  • 39DavisSubstituted forKodjiaat 70'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 20BjarnasonSubstituted forAdomahat 45'minutes


  • 4Samba
  • 6Whelan
  • 9Hogan
  • 13Steer
  • 21Hutton
  • 22Kodjia
  • 37Adomah


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 25Randolph
  • 22ChristieBooked at 80mins
  • 20Fry
  • 6Gibson
  • 2da Silva
  • 37TraoréBooked at 4mins
  • 7LeadbitterSubstituted forHowsonat 72'minutes
  • 8Clayton
  • 19DowningSubstituted forJohnsonat 45'minutes
  • 30Baker
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forFletcherat 82'minutes


  • 1Konstantopoulos
  • 3Friend
  • 5Shotton
  • 11Bamford
  • 16Howson
  • 18Fletcher
  • 21Johnson
James Linington

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamMiddlesbrough
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 0, Middlesbrough 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 0, Middlesbrough 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Robert Snodgrass with a cross following a corner.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Jonny Howson.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Robert Snodgrass (Aston Villa).

  6. Post update

    Marvin Johnson (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lewis Baker (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Adam Clayton.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Dael Fry.

  9. Post update

    James Chester (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough).

  11. Booking

    Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  12. Post update

    Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) has gone down, but that's a dive.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Ashley Fletcher replaces Britt Assombalonga.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross following a set piece situation.

  15. Booking

    Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Post update

    Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Cyrus Christie (Middlesbrough).

  18. Post update

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

  19. Post update

    Foul by Fabio (Middlesbrough).

  20. Post update

    Offside, Middlesbrough. Marvin Johnson tries a through ball, but Britt Assombalonga is caught offside.

As It Stood

3Sheff Utd750285315
6Sheff Wed733196312
8Nottm Forest74031011-112
12Bristol City7241119210
18Aston Villa714279-27
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