Aston Villa 0 Middlesbrough 0
Tue 12th Sep 7.45pm
Both teams had a player sent-off as Aston Villa and Middlesbrough remained scoreless in a disappointing encounter at Villa Park.
Boro's Adama Traore was dismissed against his former club inside five minutes, and was joined an hour later by Henri Lansbury for tripping substitute Marvin Johnson.
Goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was immediately forced to turn aside a Ben Gibson header from a corner delivered by Lewis Baker. But Traore then lunged in on Conor Hourihane and was sent-off.
Darren Randolph went on to thwart Lansbury, who then fell under his subsequent follow-up challenge. He also dealt with a Robert Snodgrass effort prior to the break.
The visitors introduced newcomer Marvin Johnson for Stewart Downing upon the restart, while their opponents brought on Albert Adomah against his former club.
His cross from the left was soon parried by Randolph and Snodgrass' effort found only the crossbar. However, Lansbury then received his marching order after bringing down Johnson with over an hour played.
Britt Assombalonga's firm drive from the edge of the area was later kept out by Johnstone, whose opposite number Randolph reacted to substitute Jonathan Kodjia's header and Hourihane's follow-up struck team-mate Scott Hogan on the line.
Aston Villa: Johnstone, Elmohamady, Chester, Terry, Taylor, Lansbury, Jedinak (Hogan 46), Hourihane, Snodgrass, Davis (Kodjia 70), Bjarnason (Adomah 46)
subs (unused): Samba, Whelan, Steer, Hutton
Middlesbrough: Randolph, Christie, Fry, Gibson, Fabio, Traore, Leadbitter (Howson 72), Clayton, Downing (Johnson 46), Baker, Assombalonga
subs (unused): Konstantopoulos, Friend, Shotton, Bamford, Fletcher
Ref: J. Linington