MATCH REVIEW | 2-0 Loss vs. Fulham
Pictured Above: Axel Tuanzebe battles in the air on his full debut at Craven Cottage. The youngster impressed and was Villa's best player on the day.
DATE: 19TH FEBRUARY 2018 | KICK OFF: 3PM | VENUE: CRAVEN COTTAGE
ASTON VILLA 0 - 2 FULHAM
Aston Villa weren't able to emulate their fantastic form of late at Craven Cottage. Jack Grealish and Albert Adomah both missed out due to injury and Villa never really looked the same side. It wasn't the best trip for the estimated 7000+ Villa fans heading up to the capital on Saturday to watch the promotion hopeful clash.
Fulham crafted all the chances early in the first half, before some neat football between Bjarnason and Hogan saw Hogan lash one just wide of the right hand post. Bjarnason then interchanged with Hourihane and dragged his shot just wide of the very same post. Hourihane then got under another shot to put it wildly over.
The second half saw more attacking intent from Fulham. A lovely passing move down the right found Ryan Sessegnon who gave Fulham the lead. The man surely ready to leave Craven Cottage in the summer. Hourihane got caught napping on the ball in midfield which almost led to a second in quick succession.
Despite being 1-0 down, the Villa fans were still incredibly loud. Tuanzebe won a foul in the right back position which Johnstone trotted over to take. He put it straight into Ayite's pass who chipped home into an open net from 50 yard for 2-0. Villa never really crafted anything that, even after throwing on both Keinan Davis and Lewis Grabban. Bjarnason managed to whip one towards Hogan but his finish whipped past the right hand post.
Fulham deserved winners in the end and Steve Bruce's men were very lucky not to lose by a larger margin. Villa will want to regroup and go back to Villa Park on Tuesday against Preston North End which is another huge match.
LEAGUE POSITIONS: DOWN 1 PLACE - 3RD
Aston Villa move into the Automatic Promotion spot. After a sensational 7-game winning streak, Villa leapfrop Derby into 2nd spot. We sit 10 points clear of 7th place in the play-off spots.
We sit 12 points behind league leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers who continue to dominate the Championship. A brilliant position to find ourselves in with 15 league games remaining.
Both Albert Adomah and Jack Grealish, two of Villa's instrumental players were unavailable. In came Axel Tuanzebe for his debut and Birkir Bjarnason. Axel played right back and Elmo was pushed slightly further forward to right midfield.
Robert Snodgrass was asked to play on the left which made it increasingly difficult for him to effect the game and the side just wasn't set it properly on the day unfortunately. No need to worry to much though.
Hopefully Jack and Albert are back very soon. Onto the next one! UTV!