English Premier League

Aston Villa 3-1 Fulham

Aston Villa 3-1 Fulham. Aston Villa maintained their winning start to the season at home with a routine Premier League victory over a lacklustre Fulham side.

Antonee Robinson’s own goal and John McGinn’s placed finish into the bottom right corner put Unai Emery’s side firmly in control at the break.

And Ollie Watkins’ tapped in substitute Leon Bailey’s cross, with McGinn again involved, just after the hour mark as Villa claimed a 13th consecutive win at home in the top flight for the first time since 1983.

The result also means Villa have opened a season in England’s top division with six successive home wins for the first time since 1932-33.

Raul Jimenez hit the post before rolling in from Robinson’s pass to give Fulham a consolation goal in a much improved second-half display.

However, the visitors rarely looked capable of clawing their way back into the contest despite a noticeable drop in intensity from the hosts after the interval.

Villa remain fifth with the Cottagers in 16th, six points clear of the bottom three.

While Villa’s form has been erratic away from home, they have at times looked irresistible on their own patch.

And while they did not need be at their best on a wet Birmingham afternoon, when they did go through the gears it proved too much for an underwhelming Fulham side to contend with.

Emery’s side, who have scored 23 goals in their six games at Villa Park, were always in control.

Fulham had already survived a Villa penalty claim, that was overturned after a VAR review showed Timothy Castagne’s head and not arm had blocked Ollie Watkins’ early goalbound effort, before they fell behind.

Youri Tielemans, who was continuously given too much space on the left, saw his cross bundled past Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno by American left-back Robinson, who was frantically attempting to cover Moussa Diaby’s dangerous near-post run.

Captain McGinn, who was impressive throughout superbly picked his spot from 18 yards to double the home side’s lead and almost had a hand in a fourth Villa goal late on when Joao Palhinha turned the Scottish midfielder’s cross onto his own bar, with Watkins and Bailey then spurning opportunities to score.

Fulham’s problems, as they fell to their third Premier League defeat in four matches, appear glaringly obvious. They are struggling to replace the goals of Aleksandar Mitrovic, who left to join Al Hilal in the summer.

At this stage last season the Serbian international had already scored nine goals, whereas this term Robinson’s two own goals are as many as the club’s joint-top scorers, Palhinha and Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Not even Jimenez’s first top-flight goal since March 2022 was enough to lift the gloom for Silva’s side, who were simply too passive during an opening 45 minutes in which they simply left themselves with too much to do.

Willian, Andreas Pereira and De Cordova-Reid all failed to impose themselves and were substituted, while Palhinha and Alex Iwobi often found themselves outmanoeuvred by the movement of an interchangeable Villa midfield.

source – BBC

Back to top button