Villa make it 10 unbeaten as they beat Fulham to go fifth in the Premier League

Take yourself back to a cold autumn night, Thursday 20th October, when Aston Villa went to Craven Cottage and were crushed. Fulham ran out 3-0 winners that night and if we are being honest, the scoreline flattered Villa.

I don’t need to remind you but that was the night when the vast majority of the travelling Aston Villa faithful turned on our then-manager, Steven Gerrard.

Fast forward a little over six months, and the two sides met again at Villa Park. And more importantly, this time with Unai Emery standing in the dugout.

You could argue that Fulham weren’t as good as they were back on that October night but id argue that it was because Villa under Emery are a different proposition and didn’t allow The Cottagers to build on their already successful season.

Villa ran out 1-0 winners and restricted the visitors to just a single shot on goal. It was far from a classic but enough to make it ten games unbeaten for Aston Villa as they climbed up to fifth in the Premier League.

Report: Aston Villa 1-0 Fulham

Fulham were forced into a late change to their starting line-up when Willian, who scored in the reverse fixture, picked up an injury and was replaced by Manor Solomon. Emery named the same side that got a point against Brentford on Saturday.

The visitors were unaffected and nearly caught the Villa defence off guard straight from the kick-off. Andreas Pereira got on the end of a Harrison Reed cross as his volley rippled the wrong side of the post with some Fulham fans thinking they took an early lead.

The home side soon took control of the game and Fulham had to rely on some last-minute blocks to keep the game goalless.  Chances for Ashley Young, Emi Buendia and Ollie Watkins all deflected wide while Watkins also had a claim for a penalty after going down from a challenge from Tosin Adarabioyo.

It was also going to be one of those nights and in the words of the goalscorer Tyrone Mings, it needed a set piece or something to score. John McGinn swung in a corner (his third delivery in a short space of time) and found Mings who was able to direct a header over Bernd Leno in the Fulham goal and inside the far post. 1-0.

The home side’s next effort came when Jacob Ramsey held off two defenders before releasing Watkins but his effort was straight at Leno.

The game drifted towards half-time as Villa controlled the game amongst the back four with Fulham surprisingly happy to sit off them.

There was always the danger that Villa would switch off with their opponents offering very little and although the performance was far from perfect, Fulham never really looked a threat as they were very poor in possession.

With seven minutes to go, Fulham thought they have levelled despite it being obvious from everywhere on the ground that it was offside. Reed’s cross deflected off Mings and past Emi Martinez but a late but correct decision came moments later as the goal was chalked off.


Villa have put themselves in a wonderful position but still have five huge games to go. They will play against better opponents between now and the end of the season but equally they will have to perform better.

This feels special but we have a long way to go yet!

Up next for Emery’s men, Manchester United at Old Trafford.


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