Aston Villa had a miserable night on Tuesday as they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup thanks to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough.
Bruce fielded a completely different starting XI to the one that dispatched Barnsley at the weekend for Villa’s second Championship win of the season. He obviously wanted to give his fringe players the chance to stake a claim for a regular spot in the side, but it was an opportunity that most of them failed to grasp with both hands.
Villa started off brightly and should have been ahead in the 7th minute, but Elphick’s header was wrongly ruled out for offside. Bamford went closest for Middlesbrough, but he saw his header strike the crossbar. Neither side could find the breakthrough and the teams went in level at the break.
The game changed in the 58th minute when Elphick brought down Bamford in the penalty box and was duly sent off. Villa had no chance of recovering from that setback, and the game was taken away from them in the 67th minute when Bamford doubled his tally.
Here are our player ratings for yesterday’s match: