Aston Villa beat West Brom on penalties to reach Championship play-off final

Aston Villa lost 1-0 to West Brom at the Hawthorns but progressed to the Championship play-off final 4-3 on penalties after the semi-final finished 2-2 on aggregate Aston Villa have a shot at redemption. Twelve months on from their play-off final triumphing on penalties. Tammy Abraham converted the winning kick, after Jed Steer had saved two penalties at the start of the shootout, to spark wild celebrations among the Villa supporters. The visitors made hard work of it, failing to break down an Albion side who were forced to play for 40 minutes with 10 men, including all of extra time, after Chris Brunt was sent off for two bookable offences. Both fouls were committed on John McGinn the pair …

Football urged to protect players after fan punches Aston Villas Jack Grealish

Football faces urgent calls to protect players after Aston Villas captain, Jack Grealish, was attacked by a spectator in his sides derby win at Birmingham Football is facing urgent calls to improve player safety after the Aston Villa captain, Jack Grealish, was assaulted on the pitch by a spectator in the latest among a rash of troubling crowd-related incidents in recent weeks. Grealish was punched from behind by a pitch invader, ostensibly a Birmingham City fan, in the ninth minute of the Championship derby at St Andrews. The assailant was arrested and Grealish, who was uninjured, gathered himself to score the only goal of the game after half-time. But the matter is unlikely to end there, with Birminghams role in …