Home Sport English Premier League Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa

Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa

Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa

Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa. Ollie Watkins scored twice as Aston Villa returned to the Premier League’s top four with a narrow victory at Fulham.

Jacob Ramsey pinched the ball off Willian after a poor throw-in from Antonee Robinson and set up Watkins who slotted Villa into a 23rd-minute lead.

And the England forward deservedly doubled his tally when he buried Youri Tielemans’ through-ball just after the restart.

The hosts were gifted a way back into the match as Rodrigo Muniz capitalised on a mix-up between Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez and defender Clement Lenglet.

Martinez was then called into two fine saves in second-half injury time as Unai Emery’s side held on.

They now sit fourth in the table after rivals Tottenham were beaten 2-1 by Wolves on Saturday.

It is no secret that Aston Villa have not had the start to 2024 the club would have wanted.

After missing out on a chance to go top of the Premier League on Boxing Day, Villa have lost four of their past 10 matches in all competitions, and had slipped down to fifth in the league table.

The visitors started brightly with Tielemans, in for the injured Boubacar Kamara, setting up Watkins, only for his goal to be ruled offside in the first two minutes.

After the forward’s opener, Leon Bailey struck the crossbar with a curling effort and Tielemans was denied by Fulham keeper Bernd Leno when through on goal.

Alex Moreno also had a first-half headed finish ruled out for a tight offside, timing his run a fraction too early to meet Watkins’ flick on.

The England striker had a superb game and has now scored 19 goals in all competitions this season. He had come into Saturday’s match with just two goals from his past 10 games.

Villa, now two points clear of Tottenham in fifth, face Nottingham Forest at home in their next match next Saturday.

Fulham were the creators of their own downfall at Craven Cottage, and were unable to follow their fine win over Bournemouth last week.

Robinson’s sloppy throw-in set up Villa’s first, and poor defending enabled their second.

Minutes before the opener, Tim Ream had a goal disallowed for offside when he rounded the keeper after Joao Palhinha’s flick-on.

Muniz, who scored his fourth goal in three games, looked dangerous from crosses into the box and halved the deficit in the 63rd minute after Martinez and Lenglet hesitated following a low Robinson cross.

Buoyed by that strike, Fulham pushed for an equaliser with Harry Wilson volleying wide and Alex Iwobi, back from Africa Cup of Nations action, having a shot saved by the feet of Martinez.

And the Argentine goalkeeper made up for his earlier error, brilliantly racing off his line to deny former Villa forward Adama Traore in injury time.

Fulham, who are away to Manchester United in their next match, will be without Palhinha, who will now serve a two-match ban after picking up his 10th yellow card of the season.

source – BBC