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Middlesbrough 0-1 Aston Villa: Matty Cash's deflected winner sends Villa into FA Cup fourth round

Report as Aston Villa win in the FA Cup for the first time since 2016; Matty Cash's late deflected strike gives Premier League high-flyers 1-0 win at Championship side Middlesbrough; Villa book their place in fourth round after ending an eight-game losing run in the competition

Aston Villa's Matty Cash (right) celebrates scoring against Middlesbrough
Image: Aston Villa's Matty Cash (right) celebrates scoring a late winner against Middlesbrough

Matty Cash's late deflected goal gave Premier League high-flyers Aston Villa a first FA Cup win since 2016 as they beat Championship side Middlesbrough 1-0 to book their place in the fourth round.

The tie at the Riverside Stadium looked to be heading for a third-round replay until Cash's fortunate 87th-minute strike from outside the box deflected off Boro forward Emmanuel Latte Lath beyond goalkeeper Thomas Glover.

Cash's goal brought relief for Villa, who ended an eight-game losing run in the competition having been dumped out at the third round for seven straight seasons.

Aston Villa's Matty Cash celebrates scoring against Middlesbrough
Image: Cash hit his fourth goal of the season in all competitions

Villa boss Unai Emery praised the maturity in his team to push for the winner.

"We played big passions, being mature, I think we are growing up our mentality in matches like that," he said in his post-match press conference.

Meanwhile, a spirited Boro - who had just one shot on target - now look forward to another Premier League test on Tuesday as they host Chelsea in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, live on Sky Sports.

How Villa moved into FA Cup fourth round

Team news

  • Middlesbrough made two changes from the 3-1 Championship home defeat to Coventry on New Year's Day as Hayden Hackney and Alex Bangura returned, with Dael Fry and Jonny Howson dropping to the bench.
  • Aston Villa made four changes from the 3-2 Premier League home win over Burnley. Matty Cash, Leander Dendoncker, Boubacar Kamara and Jhon Duran came in with Ollie Watkins, Moussa Diaby, Douglas Luiz and Diego Carlos left on the bench.

Villa created the first chance of the game as Jhon Duran fired a powerful low shot from a tight angle which Glover turned behind at his near post.

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Duran was again denied by Glover in the 34th minute as his shot from distance was parried away.

Then a minute later, Boro had what proved to be their only shot on as Dan Barlaser played in Morgan Rogers who saw his shot saved by Emiliano Martinez at his near post.

Glover once again came to Boro's rescue at the start of the second half as he superbly tipped over John McGinn's first-time curling strike from the edge of the box.

The woodwork then saved the home side as Ezri Konsa headed against the base of the far post in the 52nd minute.

Villa's frustration grew when they had a penalty shout dismissed when Alex Moreno went down under Isaiah Jones' challenge inside the box.

Villa boss Emery then made a quadruple sub in the 70th minute as he brought on Ollie Watkins, Moussa Diaby, Douglas Luiz and Nicolo Zaniolo.

But it was starter Cash who made the difference in the 87th minute as his strike from distance took a huge deflection off Latte Lath to beat Glover and send Villa through.

Boro can take encouragement ahead of Chelsea semi-final

Jacob Ramsey shoots under pressure from Rav van den Berg
Image: Jacob Ramsey shoots under pressure from Rav van den Berg

Sky Sports News reporter Pete Stevenson at the Riverside:

"Spirited Boro were cruelly denied a Villa Park replay but this display will surely give them huge encouragement for their next big cup date.

"Villa missed more than 10 good chances in an attempt to make the fourth round for the first time since 2016. They needed a late deflected goal struck by Matty Cash to see off Michael Carrick's battlers.

"Boro, depleted by injuries, made a real fight of it in the second half, even forcing desperate saves from Martinez on the counter.

"At times the Riverside rocked, and they'll need similar backing on Tuesday when Chelsea visit in the league cup semi final. But it's a relieved Villa and a smiling Unai Emery who make it into the FA Cup fourth-round draw."

Emery: We want to be FA Cup contenders

Villa boss Unai Emery speaking at his post-match press conference:

"At the beginning we were favourite to win, but difficult to face each match. They prepared and tactically they played a very good match and even when they were keeping more possession on the transition they threatened us.

"We were always in control of the game and even the 15 minute, 20 minutes in the second half they were in that moment in control of the game better than us, after we had the three chances in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

"We were being passionate and trying to keep in our mind our gameplan and after that moment we reacted again, we pushed in the last minute because we took two or three chances and we scored one of them.

He added: "We were speaking before the match about the FA Cup, a very historic cup competition, maybe the best cup competition in the world. We're speaking about our players, how much they were successful in this competition - not a lot! Only Emiliano (Martinez) and Calum Chambers won with Arsenal.

"A long time Aston Villa was successful in this competition with seven titles. Of course we are here trying to do another step ahead in this club, trying to play facing different competition and trying to be contending to get something."

Carrick: I'm so proud of the lads

Boro boss Michael Carrick speaking at his post-match press conference:

"I thought the whole game, to be honest, was good. Really happy with them at half-time. They had a little bit more of the game in some ways second half, but I thought in general in the circumstances against the team we were playing against, I thought they were fantastic, the lads, I'm so proud of them.

"Tactically they were spot on in terms of their discipline, concentration, we played some good football at times to play that pressure and we probably had more opportunities to create chances than actually the chances themselves but we definitely looked dangerous enough in the game.

"Disappointed not to get anything from it really."

What's next?

Middlesbrough's next game is on Tuesday when they host Chelsea in their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 8pm. Boro then travel to Millwall in the Championship on Saturday; kick-off 3pm.

Live EFL Cup

Aston Villa's next outing is at Everton in the Premier League on Sunday January 14, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2pm. Unai Emery's side then host Newcastle on Tuesday January 30; kick-off 8.15pm.

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