April 13, 2018 / 9:18 PM / 4 months ago

Villa beat Leeds to seal Championship playoff spot

(Reuters) - Aston Villa sealed a place in the playoffs and stayed in the hunt for automatic promotion to the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Leeds United in the second-tier Championship on Friday.

Soccer Football - Championship - Aston Villa vs Leeds United - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - April 13, 2018 Aston Villa's Lewis Grabban celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

Lewis Grabban, on loan from top-flight Bournemouth, scored the only goal in the 29th minute at Villa Park with a perfectly timed run to head in Jack Grealish’s cross from the left.

Slideshow (6 Images)

The win guaranteed fourth-placed Villa a top-six finish as they battle Fulham and Cardiff City for the second automatic promotion place behind runaway leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Fulham, who host Brentford on Saturday, are second with 81 points from 42 games, a point above third-placed Cardiff, who have a game in hand and visit Norwich City, while Villa have 79 points after playing 43 of their 46 matches.

If Fulham fail to win then Wolves will be promoted by the time they host struggling Birmingham City on Sunday.

Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris

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