Skip to main content

Villa stetch winning run to seven to tighten play-off grip

Aston Villa made it seven wins in a row a they came from behind with 10 men to beat Rotherham 2-1 in the Sky Bet Championship at the New York Stadium.

Referee Andrew Madley awarded three penalties in a frenetic contest which also saw Villa defender Tyrone Mings sent off for a second bookable offence.

Rotherham deservedly led through Will Vaulks’ spot-kick at half-time but the 10-man visitors came roaring back through Jonathan Kodjia’s penalty and a Jack Grealish strike within six minutes of the restart.

The win strengthens Villa’s play-off hopes, but Rotherham remain in the bottom three despite a spirited display.

The home side started brightly, with Jon Taylor drilling a low effort wide from a tight angle in the second minute.

Semi Ajayi forced visiting keeper Jed Steer into a smart save moments later, before Albert Adomah and Conor Hourihane saw efforts deflected clear at the other end.

Madley pointed to the spot after 11 minutes when Grealish was upended by Clark Robertson, but Abraham’s weak effort was turned behind by Marek Rodak.

Rodak denied the striker again two minutes later when Michael Ihiekwe’s clearance rebounded off Anwar El Ghazi and fell into Abraham’s path.

Mings had already been booked when he needlessly handled Joe Newell’s cross and was promptly given his marching orders.

Vaulks made no mistake from 12 yards as he blasted the resulting spot-kick past Steer to give the Millers a deserved half-time lead.

However, the game turned on its head within moments of the second half starting.

Madley ruled that Ajayi had deliberately handled Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross from the right, and substitute Kodjia fired his penalty into the top corner.

Villa then went ahead in the 51st minute, with Grealish playing an excellent one-two with Elmohamady before placing a calm finish beyond Rodak.

Rotherham pressed for a swift equaliser, with Newell denied by Steer and Vaulks seeing a long-range effort deflected behind for a corner.

At the other end, John McGinn fired wide from the edge of the box following a swift counter-attack, and Hourihane blazed over when the resulting set-piece fell to him 15 yards out.

Abraham turned a low Hourihane corner over the bar from inside the six-yard box as Villa continued to threaten despite their numerical disadvantage.

Newell fired a 25-yard free-kick past the far upright in the 72nd minute and moments later Taylor’s effort from the edge of the box was diverted over by Mile Jedinak’s outstretched leg.

Rodak made a smart save to deny Hourihane after he was picked out by Grealish 11 minutes from time as the away side finished the stronger, with Abraham blasting over from six yards in stoppage time.