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Stiliyan Petrov in first Aston Villa appearance since his battle with leukaemia

By Staff Reporter

Published 11/07/2016

Stiliyan Petrov made his return for Aston Villa after a long battle against leukaemia
Stiliyan Petrov made his return for Aston Villa after a long battle against leukaemia

Stiliyan Petrov made his first Aston Villa appearance in more than four years as Roberto Di Matteo's side hammered Austrians Gak 1902 8-0.

Petrov played the second half as Villa romped home over their opponents, the 37-year-old stepping up his comeback after beating leukaemia.

Bulgaria midfielder Petrov last turned out for Villa in March 2012, before retiring due to his illness. The 105-cap international confirmed his comeback earlier this summer, and has now played on their pre-season tour. A Jordan Ayew double and goals from Micah Richards and Libor Kozak put Villa in total control, leading 4-0 at the break. New boss Di Matteo changed the entire team at half-time, and braces from Joe Bennett and Rudy Gestede ensured Villa coasted home.

Middlesbrough started preparations for their Premier League return by thrashing York City 6-0 at Bootham Crescent. Jordan Rhodes netted twice, with David Nugent, Albert Adomah and Adam Reach all on target, and luckless York goalkeeper Scott Flinders registering an own goal.

Belfast Telegraph

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