Petrov plays for Villa four years after leukaemia fight

Date published: Sunday 10th July 2016 10:55

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 Austrian sixth-tier 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 duly donned Villa’s claret and blue 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.

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