Aston Villa edged past Fulham in what turned out to be a scrappy affair at Villa Park.
New manager Steve Bruce opted with Rudy Gestede up front with Jonathan Kodjia opposed to Ross McCormack who started on the bench.
In the opening minutes it was Villa who looked brighter going forward, and they had a few dangerous crosses into the box but they came to no avail. For much of the first half it was Villa who did most of the attacking, but there was definitely a cutting edge up front in which was missing. Fulham has to be resolute and tried countering but they were very limited to chances, and winger/striker Sone Aluko found himself chasing the ball back inside his own half for the majority of the game.
Villa improved after the break and looked a lot more threatening in front of goal. Bruce also decided to introduce Ross McCormack midway through the second half. His drive and power to go forward definitely made an impact on the game. Villa got their deserved lead when Jonathan Kodjia’s sublime volley found the corner of the net to delight the Villa faithful. They pushed for a second, and just minutes later Jordan Ayew should have put the game to bed but his one-on-one effort was put just wide.
Fulham were certainly rattled from the pressure that Villa were putting them under and they had no answers at the other end of the pitch… Villa had yet another glorious chance but Albert Adomah’s header which appeared to be an open goal fell the wrong side of the post. Fulham introduced Matt Smith but there was certainly still a lack of ambition and creativity.
The game finished one nil to Villa- they’re now starting to build a bit of momentum under new manager Steve Bruce with two wins on the bounce. Fulham go away empty handed, and won’t be satisfied with their performance at Villa Park whatsoever. A lacklustre performance where they rarely tested Villa goalkeeper Gollini from start to finish and that’s not what manager Slavisa Jokanovic would have asked of his players.
Man of the Match award
A difficult one to choose- James Chester was excellent all game once again for Villa however Jordan Amavi deserves this specific man of the match award through his pure determination to get forward in the second half and be creative. The full-back made some telling runs, and caused Fulham’s defence all kinds of problems in the second half with his excellent overlapping runs. He also defended solidly throughout the game and made it hard for Fulham’s Sone Aluko who appeared to have a quiet day at Villa Park.