Aston Villa are back in the Premier League after a 2-1 victory over Derby in the Championship playoff final at Wembley. Goals from Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn were enough to restore the Villans' top-flight status after three years in the second tier.
El Ghazi put them ahead from Ahmed Elmohamady's cross at the end of the first half, before a howler from Derby goalkeeper Kelle Roos gifted McGinn the opportunity to head home from close range for 2-0. Jack Marriott's strike took a slight deflection off teammate Martyn Waghorn to half the arrears for the Rams, but Villa held on for victory.
They were also cheered on at Wembley by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and future king of England, and are co-owned by Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, the latter a joint-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks. Edens saw the Bucks lose their NBA Eastern Conference finals series against the Toronto Raptors at the weekend, so Villa's success will certainly soften the blow of that basketball disappointment.
On a financial level, at least, nothing comes close to winning a Championship playoff, with Villa's finances guaranteed to be boosted by at least 170 million Euros ($215 million) by winning this game and securing a passport back to the Premier League. But despite everything that is weighted in their favour -- history, a huge fan base and wealthy owners -- the hard work really does start here for Aston Villa.