Former Hibs’ star ‘Super’ John McGinn has helped Aston Villa to the brink of the English Premiership with a superb display in last night’s penalty shoot out victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
The Scotland international who has been in inspirational form since his summer move to Birmingham is adored by the Villa fans and recently won both the supporters and players ‘Player of the Year’ awards.
Villa went into the game with a 2-1 lead from the first leg of the play-offs but Albion levelled the tie when Craig Dawson flicked home a near-post header from a long throw.
The Villa team were furious at the decision to allow the goal as centre half Tyrone Mings looked to have been found in the run up.
Just before the half-time break, Albion’s Chris Brunt stamped on McGinn’s arm but referee Chris Kavanagh controversially deemed it accidental.
Brunt was then booked early in the second half for a late challenge on McGinn, which could easily have been interpreted as a sending-off offence in its own right.
With 10-minutes remaining, Brunt’s lunging challenge on McGinn who had cleverly won possession on the edge of the area resulted in a second yellow card and a dismissal for Albion’s captain.
From then on it was one-way traffic but Albion held on for the penalty shoot-out. Tammy Abraham scored the winning spot-kick, after keeper Jed Steer had saved Albion’s first two penalties, sparking wild scenes amongst the travelling supporters.
After the final whistle a jubilant McGinn told Sky Sports: “That’s the Aston Villa way, we always do it the hard way. Ove the two legs I don’t think we played the best we can play. We’ve been on a great run of form. West Brom made it difficult for us but in the end we are just glad to get the job done.
“We crawled over the line but I’m over the moon. You can see the potential of the club. Everyone knows the size and the stature of the place and I think we would be a great addition to the Premier league but we’ve got a very tough game coming up, whoever it is Leeds or Derby and I think neither of them will look forward to playing us, that’s for sure.
“We are really looking forward to it and every one of the fans will be as well.”
Villa will now play either Leeds United or Derby County who face each other tonight.