Aston Villa fans rejoice! Your team is headed back to the bright lights of the Premier League after beating Derby County in the Championship playoff final at Wembley! It took them three seasons after being relegated to get back to where the fans believed they truly belong.
Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn both scored to put Aston Villa 2-0 up before Martyn Waghorn got a goal back for Derby in the 81st minute. However, that proved to be no more than a consolation goal as Dean Smith's side kept control to emerge victorious.
El Ghazi had opened the scoring just before half time with a diving header, courtesy of a cross from the right by Ahmed Elmohamady. John McGinn then doubled the advantage when he bundled the ball home after a deflected shot from El Ghazi looped into the area.
Aston Villa joins Norwich City and Sheffield United who have already secured promotion by finishing first and second in the Championship respectively. This win made Aston Villa richer by an estimated 170 million pounds (S$296.31 million) in revenue. The extra funds could come in handy as they seek to recruit and prepare for the season ahead in the top flight. Failure to do so could result in a immediate drop back to the Championship. Over recruiting and changing the entire squad is also no guarantee as proven by previous promoted clubs.
For Aston Villa, the real battle and hard work begins now or it could be a long and hard drop back to the Championship once again.
Gary Yang is a myActiveSG Editor and Presenter. Gary started his career as a suit cum copywriter at an advertising agency, followed by a successful stint in Corporate Communications with Singapore Press Holdings and Asia Pacific Breweries, before eventually joining the editorial team at Sport Singapore. He now turns his attention to fitness and wellness headlines and sniffing out news angles in the sporting arena.