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Aston Villa 1-0 Fulham Prem28 Daily Mail

last updated Tuesday 13th March 2012, 12:40 PM
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Mark Ryan at Daily Mail

Aston Villa (0) 1 Fulham (0) 0

Those Villa fans who booed their manager and loudly questioned his competence were left feeling a strange blend of embarrassment and joy at the final whistle.

They were up in arms when Alex McLeish replaced the ineffective Charles N'Zogbia with Andreas Weimann after 71 minutes.

But in the last minute the Austrian bundled home Villa's winner to secure their first home victory since Bonfire Night.

And just to reinforce McLeish's know-how, it was another substitute, Barry Bannan, who supplied the pass for a third replacement, Gary Gardner, to shoot at Mark Schwarzer.

The Fulham keeper spilled the ball to Weimann, who was on all fours when he finally put his finish over the line.

Austria 1, Australia 0.

McLeish said: 'Weimann was a certainty to come on, he is a goalscorer, he has been prolific in the reserve team and deserved his moment.

' 'Big Eck' learned all about the fickle nature of football supporters decades ago.

'You've got to,' McLeish said with a smile.

As for that derogatory chant, he added: 'You don't want to be hearing it, but it's part of the game in the modern day.

I'll take it on the chin.

' One day the Villa fans might accept the former Birmingham boss as their own.

'It wasn't easy not winning at Villa Park for so long but today it feels pretty sweet and there is relief,' McLeish admitted.

Damien Duff was Fulham's best player and struck the angle between post and bar after a one-two with John Arne Riise.

That completed a 20-pass move which reflected the Fulham's domination after the break.

In reply, Marc Albrighton struck the woodwork for Villa and Carlos Cuellar clumsily prodded a fine chance wide.

Fulham boss Martin Jol was still viewing the point he had expected to take home as the one that got away.

Pointing to Riise and Moussa Dembele as culprits in the build-up to Villa's goal, Jol said: 'We couldn't say they caused us real problems, but they scored in the final minute and that was harsh.

' Clint Dempsey and the previously prolific Pavel Pogrebnyak lacked a finishing touch.

And skipper Danny Murphy sustained such a nasty cut and bruising to his left eye from a stray Stephen Ireland elbow that he sat out the second half.

McLeish might have been feeling battered himself had Weimann not come good.

Instead, he enjoyed the last laugh on the boo-boys - and probably earned another season at Villa Park as well.

Aston Villa Given, Hutton, Cuellar, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton, Herd (Bannan 82), Petrov (Gardner 90), N'Zogbia (Weimann 71), Ireland, Agbonlahor.
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Heskey, Lichaj, Baker.

Booked: Petrov, Herd.

Goals: Weimann 90.

Fulham Schwarzer, Kelly, Senderos, Hangeland, John Arne Riise, Duff, Dembele, Murphy (Diarra 46), Dempsey, Pogrebnyak, Johnson (Ruiz 67).
Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Baird, Orlando Sa, Etuhu, Davies.

Att: 32, 372

Ref: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

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