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Fulham 3-1 Aston Villa Cham 43 1617 - BBCSports

last updated Tuesday 18th April 2017, 9:39 PM

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Fulham (1) 3-1 (0) Aston Villa

Fulham maintained their Championship play-off hopes with victory over 10-man Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.

Teenage full-back Ryan Sessegnon put the hosts in front, bundling in after his first shot bounced off the bar.

Villa's Jonathan Kodjia was then sent off on 22 minutes after seeming to kick Ryan Fredericks as the pair tussled.

Jack Grealish equalised with a superb 25-yard curler, but Sone Aluko's deflected effort and Neeskens Kebano's low finish earned a vital win.

Aluko's close-range strike took a huge diversion off the head of Villa defender Nathan Baker, wrongfooting goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, while victory was no more than the hosts deserved after dominating for large periods.

Ivory Coast forward Kodjia can count himself a little unlucky to have been dismissed, as Fredericks appeared to aim his own kick at the 27-year-old while falling to the floor.

Referee David Coote consulted with one of his assistants before deciding to send off Kodjia and not issue any punishment to full-back Fredericks.

Midfielder Grealish bent home a stunning effort from the left-hand side of the box to equalise for Villa, but Aluko and Kebano ensured Fulham are still in with a chance of a Premier League return for the first time since 2013-14.

Leeds' home defeat against Wolves means Fulham move up into sixth, level on points with Garry Monk's side who are seventh.

Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic:
"Today was a fantastic atmosphere at Craven Cottage, my players believe, and I believe we can finish in the top six.

"We showed the quality and the character. We believe in the way we want to play football. It will encourage us for the last three games.

"It's important for the next steps to concentrate on the next game. I'm not thinking who will be chasing us or which team we will be chasing. We need to concentrate on our work and the next game."

Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce:
"It [Jonathan Kodja's red card] cannot be deemed as violent conduct, surely. I hope the referee looks at it, because the referee didn't give it - the fourth official did.

"We have 3,500 people spending their hard-earned money, it's live on the telly and you never want to see it. They want to see the players perform.

"Two games in 48 hours has cost us the match. We still may not be good enough to beat them but it's still a hell of an advantage for them. It was too much for us."

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