Aston Villa have recorded a club record ten successive wins, as they beat Millwall 1-0 at Villa Park to confirm their playoff spot.
Jonathan Kodjia’s eighth strike of the season was enough to claim three points over Millwall. A fete Villa hasn’t managed since 1990. The forward scored on his return to the side having replaced the injured Tammy Abraham.
Axel Tuanzebe also sat this one out as a precaution. Mile Jedinak started alongside Tyrone Mings in an unfamiliar centre back partnership. Though, Villa kept their second clean sheet in as many matches.
Since confirming their playoff ticket, Villa looks odds on to contest West Brom in the semi-finals. It is still to be decided who will play the home second leg as Villa sit two points behind their Midlands rivals.
With a superior goals difference, Villa are the likely candidate for 5th spot. Although Dean Smith thought his side could’ve managed more goals in the first half, as Millwall struggled with the hosts’ quality.
A midfield combination of Grealish and John McGinn were once more the architects of Villa’s opener as the two combined on 30 minutes. Anwar El Ghazi collected the ball on the left wing before sliding across the box towards Kodjia, who stabbed in at the near post.
After the interval, the Ivorian continued to disrupt a fragile Millwall backline. He wriggled past Jake Cooper and James Meredith and worked enough space within the box to get his shot off. Kodjia, however, made a hash of his finish, dragging wide of the far post from an acute angle.
Villa captain – Jack Grealish – also went close on two separate occasions, but it was El Ghazi that should’ve wrapped up the three points for a Villa side searching for their eleventh win in a row, as they travel to Elland Road on Sunday.