Saturday, 5 April 2014

Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham FC Match Report Saturday 5th April 2014

Fulham boosted their Premier League survival hopes by beating a lacklustre Aston Villa side who slipped to their 10th home defeat of the season.

Goals from Hugo Rodallega and Kieran Richardson were enough to give Fulham a vital three points that lifts them off the bottom of the table.

Villa fielded a patched up team that was missing key players such as Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph and lacked any creativity.

The first half offered very little in terms of entertainment value with few chances created by both teams, the best falling to Fulham's Cauley Woodrow who pounced on a mistake by Villa defender Nathan Baker but his shot was saved by keeper Brad Guzan from a tight angle.

 At half time Fulham manager Felix Magath sent on Hugo Rodallega and Ashkan Dejagah and they certainly made a difference. With 61 minutes gone, the Cottagers broke away on the right and Dejagah's cross fell perfectly into the path of advancing Kieran Richardson who made no mistake in blasting the ball past Villa 'keeper Brad Guzan into the top right corner.

On 70 minutes, Villa found a way back into the game. A corner from the right hand side by Marc Albrighton evaded all of the Fulham defence and Grant Holt met the ball at the far post to power it into the net and level the game.

Both teams were not happy to settle for just one point and Fulham thought they had won the game when a slick move down the right ended with a cross from Dejagah which found Holtby with an open goal but his shot was superbly cleared from close range by a lunging Matthew Lowton.

With 85 minutes gone Holtby made amends for his miss with a free kick from the right. His first effort hit a Villa defender and rebounded back to him but his second cross found substitute Rodallega who glanced the ball past Guzan to settle the game. 

At the final whistle, Fulham players and fans celebrated as if they had won a Cup final while Villa fans showed their feelings with a chorus of boos; some suggesting that Villa get rid of their manager Paul Lambert after a run of three defeats on the bounce.
After the game a delighted Felix Magath said this game was his side's "last chance" to stay in the Premier League and said he would reward his players with a "two day break" after all their hard work.

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