LONDON: Aston Villa returned to the Premier League, after a three year absence, beating Derby County 2-1 in the Championship playoff final at Wembley on Monday (May 27).

Goals from Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn put Villa 2-0 up before Martyn Waghorn pulled a goal back for Derby in the 81st minute but Dean Smith’s side held on for the victory against intense pressure.

The playoff final is considered the most lucrative single game of football in the world, earning Villa an estimated £170 million (US$215.51 million) in revenue.

Norwich City and Sheffield United had already secured promotion to the top flight for next season after finishing in the top two positions in the second tier Championship.

El Ghazi opened the scoring just before the break with a diving header from cross from right by Ahmed Elmohamady.

McGinn doubled the advantage in the 59th minute when a deflected shot from El Ghazi looped into the area and Derby keeper Kelle Roos came out but was unable to capture the ball under challenge from McGinn who bundled the ball home.

Derby, managed by former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard, got back in the game when substitute Jack Marriott’s low shot was turned in by Waghorn and then piled on the pressure in the final minutes but were unable to break through.