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Key Events

86'
A. Hutton
Yellow Card
83'
C. Christie
R. Fredericks
82'
S. Hogan
C. Hourihane
77'
J. Kodjia
Ahmed El Mohamady
77'
T. Kalas
A. Kamara
77'
J. Onomah
M. Jedinak
77'
A. Kamara
Yellow Card
76'
M. Jedinak
Yellow Card
72'
O. Norwood
S. Johansen
70'
D. Odoi
Yellow 2nd/RC
63'
J. Grealish
Yellow Card
38'
D. Odoi
Yellow Card
23'
R. Sessegnon
Assist
23'
T. Cairney
Goal
8'
J. Chester
Yellow Card
3
4
3
1

Stats

Possession
% %
6
9
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 2 3
Total Passes 392 420

Commentary

Thanks for joining our commentary this afternoon. Until next time, goodbye.
Fulham return to the Premier League after a four-year absence. Tom Cairney's strike in the first half was enough to secure the victory this afternoon. The Cottagers dominated the first half and perhaps should have been further ahead. Aston Villa came back in the second half and had opportunities through Jack Grealish, but were not able to crack the Fulham defence even after Denis Odoi was dismissed. Villa will spend a third-straight season in the Championship and reports suggest that they may have to have an overhaul in the summer. Slavisa Jokanovic will now turn his attention to building for a campaign in the Premier League with a young team, who have been thrilling to watch this term.
FULHAM ARE PROMOTED TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE!
FULL-TIME: ASTON VILLA 0-1 FULHAM
90' + 5' Fulham clear and it's all over!
90' + 5' One last chance for Villa as they hook the ball forward.
90' + 4' Snodgrass clatters Sessegnon in the corner and it hands Fulham a free-kick. More valuable time is taken off the clock.
90' + 4' Fulham have the ball in the corner and are taking vital seconds off the clock. Christie loses out to Onomah and Villa have a goal-kick.
90' + 3' Grealish turns into the right inside channel and goes down as he runs out of room under pressure from Targett. However, he was always going down and the referee points for a goal-kick.
90' + 2' WIDE! Adomah has space to lift a cross in from the right flank and he angles his delivery towards the back post. Hogan rises to head at goal, but he fails to hit the target, sending the ball wide of the post.
90' There will be five minutes of added time.
90' Onomah loses possession and then brings down Targett. It allows Fulham to take further time off the clock.
89' WIDE! Poor from Snodgrass as he lifts his effort over the wall, but he drags his strike wide of the target. Not good enough from the midfielder.
89' Grealish goes down under pressure from Mitrovic in shooting range as he referee awards a free-kick. Snodgrass lines up the resulting free-kick.
87' Time is running out for Villa this afternoon. They need a source of inspiration from someone.
A. Hutton
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
86' Hutton catches Mitrovic late and goes into the book.
85' Hogan peels off the back of his man as he latches on to Grealish's ball over the top. However, the offside flag is raised against the striker.
84' BLOCK! Onomah drives towards the edge of the box and he lets fly with a powerful strike. Kalas makes the block, although it may have been with his arm. The referee waves play on.
C. Christie
R. Fredericks
Fulham
83' Christie replaces Fredericks for Fulham.
83' Snodgrass lifts a free-kick into the box and Bettinelli comes through a crowd to claim. However, he opts to punch rather than to gather cleanly.
S. Hogan
C. Hourihane
Aston Villa
82' Hourihane cannot continue as he makes way for Hogan.
80' Hourihane is down receiving treatment following the challenge from Norwood.
79' Norwood makes a vital tackle at the back to deny Hourihane in the box. The Irishman appeared poised to collect and fire at goal, only to be denied by a fine challenge.
J. Kodjia
Ahmed El Mohamady
Aston Villa
77' Kodjia is on for Elmohamady.
T. Kalas
A. Kamara
Fulham
77' Kalas comes on for Kamara for the Cottagers.
J. Onomah
M. Jedinak
Aston Villa
77' Onomah replaces Jedinak for Villa.
A. Kamara
Yellow Card
Fulham
77' Kamara takes his time to make way from the pitch as he is substituted. Taylor says enough is enough and brandishes the yellow card.
M. Jedinak
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
76' Jedinak takes one for the team to stop Mitrovic's driving run from his own half.
74' BLOCK! Fredericks does brilliantly down the right flank and he sends a low cross into the box. Mitrovic gets there ahead of Chester and controls to shoot on the half-volley. However, Chester makes a brilliant block to deny the forward, diverting the ball over the bar.
O. Norwood
S. Johansen
Fulham
72' Johansen is forced off for the Cottagers due to injury. Norwood replaces the midfielder.
D. Odoi
Yellow 2nd/RC
Fulham
70' OFF! Odoi catches Grealish late and having already been booked the defender receives a red card. Senseless from Odoi, who should have not committed himself there.
69' Kamara makes a lung-bursting run into the Villa half and then into the box. Hutton dives in, but fails to make contact as the forward goes down. The referee waves play on.
68' OVER! Chester plays a pass straight to Sessegnon and the youngster releases the run of Johansen on the edge of the box. He goes for the strike on his weaker right foot, only to blast his effort over the bar.
66' There's pushing and pulling in the box as Targett sends a cross into the box. McDonald makes contact with a headed effort as he goes down, but it goes wide of the post. Fulham still think a decision should have gone their way there.
65' BLOCK! McDonald lines up a strike from the edge of the box, but his effort deflects off Chester and goes out for a corner.
J. Grealish
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
63' Grealish slides in with an uncontrolled challenge on Cairney. The Fulham players erupt and are determined to get at the midfielder for the reckless nature of his tackle. The referee brandishes only a yellow card, which after Fredericks' call in the first half maybe a fair outcome. It was a red-worthy tackle though.
62' PENALTY SHOUT! Elmohamady lifts a cross into the box from the right. Fulham clear the danger as far as Grealish, who goes the strike at goal. It's blocked by Odoi, but Villa scream for a penalty It did strike his arm, although the defender was very close to the action and there's not a great deal he could do about it.
60' CHANCE! Grealish dances his way through the Fulham defence and into the box. He goes for the low strike, only to be denied by a sharp save from Bettinelli. It was an incredible run by the 22-year-old, but he just not could produce the finish it deserved.
58' McDonald goes for the spectacular from distance, but he blasts his effort over the bar after latching on to Mitrovic's offload.
57' BLOCK! Cairney is loose with possession and Grealish pounces on the ball. He releases Grabban into the left inside channel, but his tame strike is blocked by Odoi.
56' WIDE! Fulham have space on the counter and Targett sends a cross into the box. Mitrovic pulls off Terry and glances a header at goal, but it drifts harmlessly wide of the post.
55' All hands on deck for Fulham at the back to deal with the Villa onslaught at the start of the second period. It's much better from Bruce's men.
53' Adomah has Fredericks on his heels and he slides a pass inside to Hourihane. He goes for the strike with Grabban lurking in the middle, but the ball flashes across the face of goal and goes out for a throw-in.
52' Adomah has come to life in the second half and he sends a teasing cross to the back post. Targett rises with Snodgrass and is brave as he takes the blow making the clearance.
51' OVER! Adomah finds space on the flank once again and he sends a dangerous cross into the middle. Grealish makes a late run, but he can only send his effort over the bar from close range.
49' Adomah finds space down the left flank to dig out a cross, but Snodgrass can only guide his headed effort comfortably over the bar.
48' SAVE! Johansen creates room for a strike on his left foot from the edge of the box, but Johnstone gets down to make a comfortable save.
47' Fulham break on the counter after a slip from Grealish. Kamara and Mitrovic combine in the final third, with the latter firing a low cross into the middle. Chester has to act to clear his lines ahead of Sessegnon.
46' Better start from Villa as Adomah whips a cross into the box and Fulham struggle to clear their lines. Snodgrass closes down Fredericks as he clears, but the ball trickles out for a goal-kick.
46' We're back underway at Wembley.
STAT! The team scoring first in the Championship play-off final has gone on to win promotion on each of the last six occasions in which the final hasn’t been goalless – the last time a team failed to win having scored first was Cardiff in 2010 vs Blackpool.
Fulham are 45 minutes away from a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2014. Tom Cairney's strike has put the Cottagers on the path to promotion as he collected Ryan Sessegnon's lay-off and fired his effort past Sam Johnstone. The first half has been all Fulham bar one opening for Aston Villa when Jack Grealish should have at least hit the target from close range. Steve Bruce's side have been extremely poor for 45 minutes. They have to respond in the second half to get back into the contest and keep their Premier League dreams alive.
HALF-TIME: ASTON VILLA 0-1 FULHAM
45' + 3' The referee ends the first half.
45' + 2' Ream boots the ball into touch as Villa try to advance. It has been that sort of half for the Midlands outfit.
45' There will be two minutes of added time.
45' Johansen takes a knock and the game stops to allow him to receive treatment.
44' Grabban breaks forward, but a loose touch allows Ream to close in and break up a promising attack.
42' A mis-communication between Chester and Johnstone almost spells disaster for Villa. However, the defender takes action to send the ball away ahead of the advancing Mitrovic.
41' BLOCK! Mitrovic latches on to Kamara's offload in the box, but takes too much time to get his strike away, allowing Chester to make the intervention.
40' Jedinak saves Villa at the back as Fredericks breaks forward into the right inside channel. The Aussie does just enough to bundle the ball out for a corner.
39' CHANCE! Snodgrass lifts the ball over the wall with a chipped delivery for Grealish. He has space and time to fire at goal on the volley, only to blast his effort well over the bar.
D. Odoi
Yellow Card
Fulham
38' Odoi is booked for his challenge on Grealish.
38' Grealish goes on the charge through the middle of the Fulham defensive line and he wins a free-kick from Odoi's challenge.
35' Johansen's delivery is cleared by the Villa defence, but the Cottagers maintain the pressure. Targett collects and goes for the drive, only to blast his effort well over the bar.
34' Hutton catches Kamara late on the right flank and hands Fulham a free-kick in a good position. Johansen stands over the ball.
33' Ream has to do some defending in his own box, clearing away Snodgrass' cross towards the near post away from Grabban.
32' SAVE! Kamara has space to whip a cross into the box and Terry miscues his header. It travels towards Sessegnon, who meets it with his head, only to send a tame effort straight at Johnstone.
31' Snodgrass latches on to Johnstone's ball over the top, only to see the offside flag raised. Fulham have been disciplined at the back.
30' Fredericks is lucky to escape without punishment as he lands on Grealish with his studs when trying to hurdle the midfielder. The Fulham man lands on his opponent's leg - not a good look from Fredericks.
28' Grealish floats the ball forward looking for Grabban to get behind Odoi. The Fulham centre-back is well placed and nods the ball back to Bettinelli.
26' Villa cannot get going in the final third as Adomah is caught offside on the left flank. Bruce's men cannot afford to go two goals down with the way they're playing this afternoon.
24' Fulham continue to probe away and Kamara goes for glory from distance, but he hammers hs effort well over the bar.
R. Sessegnon
Assist
Fulham
23' Sessegnon collects on the edge of the box and threads a delightful throughball for Cairney to convert.
T. Cairney
Goal
Fulham
23' GOALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! FULHAM GET THE BREAKTHROUGH!!! The Cottagers' pressure pays off as Cairney puts his side ahead. Sessegnon is the architect as he slides a pinpoint pass into the right inside channel. Cairney held his nerve from the opening stroking a left-footed strike beyond the reach of Johnstone into the bottom corner. A composed finish from the Fulham skipper.
22' Fredericks breaks behind the Villa backline and cuts the ball back to Mitrovic, but Chester is there to make the interception.
22' Johansen tries to release Kamara in the final third, but he just cannot take the ball in stride after getting between the two Villa defenders.
21' OVER! Mitrovic rolls the ball back to Johansen, who feeds it forward for Kamara on the edge of the box. He rolls Chester and shoots on the half-volley, sending his strike narrowly over the bar. Johnstone gets a fingertip to the ball, although it's not spotted by the referee.
19' Sessegnon advances with the ball into space down the left flank. Jedinak spots the danger and slides over to protect Elmohamady, blocking the youngster's attempted offload.
17' Snodgrass wastes the opening from the free-kick firing a tame effort well wide of the post after advancing with the ball.
17' Cairney tripes Grealish on the charge and again the referee opts not to go to his yellow card, much to the fury of Bruce on the bench.
16' Elmohamady whips a cross in from the right, which almost bounces towards Adomah at the back post. However, he can only head the ball straight to Bettinelli.
15' Hourihane catches Targett late on the flank, although he avoids a booking from referee Taylor.
14' Bettinelli puts Ream under huge pressure with a pass out from the back. The ball falls for Snodgrass, but he cannot pick out Adomah with his offload.
11' Fulham have dominated the early stages of the game and are moving the ball well around the pitch.
9' Mitrovic wheels off Chester in the final third once again, but Hourihane gets back to help his team-mate complete the challenge to stop the Serb's run.
J. Chester
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
8' Referee Taylor goes back to book Chester for his challenge on Mitrovic.
8' Mitrovic is brought down 30 yards from goal by Chester's challenge, but the referee plays advantage as Targett collects. His cross into the box is cleared with ease by the Villa defence.
6' Hutton has to get his foot in at the back after Fulham emerge from a midfield battle with possession. Mitrovic tries to send Kamara behind, only to be denied by the Scot.
5' Snodgrass knocks the ball forward for Adomah to chase, but Fredericks tracks his run all the way to see the pass safely behind for a goal-kick.
4' Sessegnon and Targett combine down the left flank, but the former's offload is guided out of play by Elmohamady.
2' McDonald looks for the run of Kamara down the right flank, but he overhits his pass out for a goal-kick.
1' We're underway at Wembley.
The players are ready for the off. Here we go.
STAT! Bruce has won four promotions to the top-flight (2001-02, 2006-07, 2012-13 and 2015-16), a joint-record with Neil Warnock, who achieved his fourth this season with Cardiff.
FLASHBACKS! The two sides split their matches this term, with both home sides emerging victorious. Villa won 2-1 at Villa Park thanks to goals from Terry and Adomah, while Johansen got on the scoresheet for the Cottagers. Jokanovic's men got their revenge in February at Craven Cottage as Sessegnon and Ayite found the net in a 2-0 triumph.
STAT! Steve Bruce is set to manage in his third play-off final – he has been promoted in both of his previous two, progressing on penalties in 2001-02 as Birmingham manager against Norwich and beating Sheffield Wednesday with Hull in 2015-16.
STAT! Fulham are featuring in their first ever play-off final, having previously lost in the semi-finals in 1988/89 (third-tier), 1997/98 (third-tier) and 2016/17 (second-tier), while Aston Villa have reached the final in their first ever play-off campaign.
Fulham are unchanged from their win over Derby last time out. Mitrovic leads the line supported by Sessegnon and Kamara in the final third. 
Villa have made one change from the side that drew with Middlesbrough at Villa Park in the second leg of their semi-final clash. Elmohamady has recovered from a hamstring injury that ruled him out of action. He replaces Bree at right-back this afternoon.
Fulham subs: Rui Fonte, Floyd Ayite, Oliver Norwood, Lucas Piazon, Cyrus Christie, Tomas Kalas, David Button.
FULHAM (4-3-3): Marcus Bettinelli; Ryan Fredericks, Denis Odio, Tim Ream, Matt Targett; Tom Cairney, Kevin McDonald, Stefan Johansen; Aboubakar Kamara, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon.
Aston Villa subs: Glenn Whelan, Scott Hogan, James Bree, Josh Onomah, Birkir Bjarnason, Jonathan Kodjia, Mark Bunn.
ASTON VILLA (4-1-4-1): Sam Johnstone; Ahmed Elmohamady, John Terry, James Chester, Alan Hutton; Mile Jedinak; Robert Snodgrass, Conor Hourihane, Jack Grealish, Albert Adomah; Lewis Grabban.
The team news has been announced and we'll start with Villa.
Jokanovic's men faced off against Derby in their semi-final clash. Cameron Jerome's goal won the game for the Rams, although the Cottagers dominated the second half. Fulham had work to do at Craven Cottage to avoid a premature exit. Goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Denis Odoi in the second half sent them through to the final.
Fulham were perhaps the most exciting team to watch in the Championship this term. Slavisa Jokanovic's men played some beautiful football, although it was not enough to secure an automatic berth into the Premier League. The Cottagers just missed out after hitting their stride after Christmas. They went 22 matches without defeat, losing on the last day of the term to Birmingham. Cardiff finished ahead of Fulham anyway, leaving the West London outfit in third on 88 points.
Villa were handed a draw against Middlesbrough in the playoffs, which saw them travel to the Riverside for the first leg. Mile Jedinak's strike in the 15th minute would be the decisive one of the tie as neither team found the net again over the course of the two legs, allowing Bruce's side to progress to the final.
Steve Bruce's men were expected to challenge for automatic promotion after another summer of strong business in the transfer market, adding John Terry. However, the club struggled in the early stages of the campaign, and their poor start would cost them later in the term when they finally hit their stride. The Midlands did not have enough to maintain a place in the top two after brief stay, forcing them to take the long road to the Premier League.
Villa and the Cottagers are ready to face off after a week of preparation for the contest. Both teams are vying to join Wolves and Cardiff City in the Premier League, who were promoted automatically ahead of them. It should be an enthralling game between two different philosophies.
Good afternoon and welcome to the live commentary of the Championship play-off final between Aston Villa and Fulham at Wembley.
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