Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Regan Foy (@FindFoy)
Aston Villa moved up to 5th in the league after a 2-1 win against Fulham this evening and other results elsewhere went their way.
The game started with some relatively open first five minutes, with both teams showing promise.
The first booking of the game was given to Fulham’s Oliver Norwood, who committed a cynical foul on an advancing Jonathan Kodjia in the 9th minute, with the resulting free-kick being rocketed at the wall by Snodgrass.
After a nice attack, with Kodjia and Onomah linking up well – Fulham looked rattled and seemed to back off the ball more than they had earlier in the game.
Fulham received their second yellow of the game just six minutes after their first, as Fonte committed a late foul on Robert Snodgrass.
The Cottagers came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the early reaches of the game, playing a ball across the empty goal line just before the 20 minute mark.
Just a few minute later, John Terry scored his first goal for the club since his arrival in the summer, after a delicious free-kick into the box by Hourihane found the former England captain’s head.
Fulham had the better opportunities after Villa went one ahead, but struggled to actually capitalise on their attacks.
As the game came closer to the end of the first half, Kodjia and Onomah linked up well once again, with Kodjia coming close to scoring his first goal from open play this season. His shot was blocked incredibly by the large frame of the Fulham keeper.
Just on the 45th minute, Glenn Whelan conceded a free kick on the edge of the Villa box. Stefan Johansen took this and placed it well, making it difficult for Johnstone, burying it into the back of the net.
At times in the first half Villa were the much better team, but Fulham equalising just on the brink of the break would have cast doubts in the Villa squad’s minds.
Villa restored their lead just four minutes after the break as a pass found Onomah, who held the ball up well before crossing it into the box. Jonothan Kodjia missed his attempt, but luckily it fell to Adomah who buried the ball in the back of the net.
Just four minutes after that, Sam Johnstone ensured that Aston Villa remained in the lead with a great save from an encroaching Fulham attack – although the player was potentially offside.
Fulham replaced booked Oliver Norwood for Tom Cairney, who we were told to watch out for in our article yesterday, on the 60th minute.
The away side got forward well, but their end product was missing.
In the 72nd minute, Jonathan Kodjia was replaced by youngster Keinan Davis. Kodjia had a lively game and was getting into great positions, but struggled in front of goal.
Steve Bruce looked to firm things up with ten minutes to go, with Robert Snodgrass being replaced by Ritchie De Laet.
Ritchie De Laet nearly made it three with his head six minutes before time as Adomah spotted his run towards the far post, but the Fulham keeper managed to turn it around the post. Before the corner was taken, Birkir Bjarnason replaced Albert Adomah.
Much of the later part of the game was Fulham attempting to score another late goal, but the Villa defence held strong.
Back again with another win, Villa looked good in terms of their pressing of the Fulham side, but they could improve whilst on the ball.