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Fulham 3-1 Aston Villa Cham 43 1617 - Birmingham Mail

last updated Wednesday 19th April 2017, 9:19 AM

Birmingham Mail
Gregg Evans at Birmingham Mail

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

They call themselves ‘The Entertainers’ and it’s easy to see why.

Fulham have this free-flowing style that is so hard to contain right now and a play-off place looks likely if they can maintain the form they’ve showed in recent weeks.

A 3-1 victory over Villa was their fourth in five games as goals from Ryan Sessegnon, Sone Aluko and Neeskens Kebano cancelled out Jack Grealish’s equaliser.

It could have been so different had Jonathan Kodjia not seen red for losing his cool and kicking out at Ryan Fredericks in the first-half.

But, even then, Fulham, in front of a sell-out crowd, would still have been a difficult bunch to see off.

They came out all guns blazing and deservedly went in front.

The all-action right-back, Fredericks, dinked a ball to the back post that found Sessegnon as James Bree jumped and missed the ball.

Sessegnon’s first-time volley crashed off the crossbar but he steered the rebound home via a deflection off Nathan Baker.

The big talking point came when Fredericks collided with Kodjia soon after.

First the Fulham defender appeared to connect his boot with Kodjia’s chest but as he tumbled to the floor Villa’s top goalscorer kicked out and was given his marching orders.

Villa stuck at it in the first half and went close to equalising through Tommy Elphick but again it was that man Fredricks, seemingly at the heart of all the action, who kept his effort out on the line.

After the break Villa turned it up a notch and got their reward.

Keeping possession with careful and measured passing in their own half, they moved forward as a unit and found Grealish on the left.

He took one touch, cut inside and curled in a stunning equaliser, giving Marcus Bettinelli no chance whatsoever.

Villa were level for just five minutes, though, as Fulham hit back.

Bree, who had a difficult afternoon, struggled to keep hold of Floyd Ayite as he raced forward. His cross found Aluko and he acrobatically fired in the shot, minus a deflection from Baker, which wrong-footed Sam Johnstone.

Other chances went begging as the Cottagers enjoyed long spells of possession but the game was wrapped up with Kebano’s strike after good work from Stefan Johansen.


Villa played with an extra centre-back but it was the full-backs who struggled to deal with the onslaught from the Fulham attack. Losing Kodjia made a difference and even though Villa stuck at the task, the man disadvantage took it’s toll.

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