Aston Villa 3-1 Sporting (aet): Grealish & Carruthers set up NextGen final with Chelsea

The Villans are through to the final of the youth tournament on Monday where they will meet the Blues after overcoming the dangerous Portuguese side after 120 minutes
Jack Grealish and Samir Carruthers fired goals in extra time to sink Sporting Lisbon 3-1 and send Aston Villa through to the NextGen final, where they will face Chelsea on Monday.

Graham Burke slotted home a penalty for the Villans after Carruthers was fouled, but Luka Stojanovic equalised deservedly for the Portuguese side, before the English outfit struck in extra-time.

Villa coach Tony McAndrew named an unchanged side from Wednesday’s quarter-final win over Olympiakos – the English team were without top-scorer Michael Drennan who missed out through injury.

Coach Abel Ferreira made one alteration from Sporting Lisbon’s 5-3 win over Tottenham in the quarter-final, Diego Rubio replacing Alberto Coelho.

Sporting started brightly and had a great chance after only two minutes on the clock - Farley Rosa side-footing over the bar from just six yards out after an excellent low cross from Luri Medeiros.

In a quiet first half, the Villans had another let-off right on half-time when Tobias Figueiredo nodded a free kick down for Paulhino to stab home – but the goal was rightly chalked off for a marginal offside.

Early after the break, Meideros cut inside from the right wing and curled an effort heading for the top-right hand corner until Villa keeper Bradley Watkins’ intervention. A header from resulting corner was hacked away on the line by Lewis Kinsella.

Villa took the lead against the run of play just before the hour as Carruthers hassled Sporting defender Mauro Riquicho and won the ball in the penalty area before being hacked down by the defender, and Burke slotted the resulting penalty past Mickael Meira.

Sporting were aggrieved at the goal and their frustrations continued when Meideros whipped in a pin-point cross to Paulinho who nodded home, but again the goal was disallowed, although replays showed the midfielder was onside.

Sporting deservedly found the equaliser their domination deserved when star man Meideros delivered a beauty of an in-swinging free kick from the right-hand side, substitute Stojanovic beating Watkins to nod home from five yards out.

Five minutes later Watkins saved well down to his left from Esgaio’s low drive after he was released by Meideros and, right on full-time, Fabrice Fokobo fired inches wide for Sporting as extra-time loomed.

In the opening minute of extra-time Callum Robinson weaved in between two defenders and fired in a shot on his right foot which was deflected straight to Grealish, who composed himself before firing in.

Villa finished the game off when Carruthers capitalised on an error from Jose Semedo, who gifted the ball to the attacker and he coolly slotted home to book the English side's place in the final.