0 users online

Fulham crushed by Aston Villa - Match Report Premiership MD 03 20/21

last updated Friday 08th January 2021, 1:01 PM

Match Report

Fulham (0) 0-3 (2) Aston Villa

Premier League Match Day 03 2021 at Craven Cottage

Monday 28th September 2020    KO: 17:45

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Live on Sky Sport

Striker Bobby De Cordova-Reid
Fulham Striker
Bobby De Cordova-Reid
Bobby De Cordova-Reid
His Wiki page
This was Aston Villa’s second league game of the season - they will not have an easier one from the remaining 36.

That’s not to say Dean Smith’s side weren’t impressive here at Craven Cottage because they were; goals from Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Tyrone Mings maintaining Villa’s perfect start to the season.

But as good as they were, Fulham were equally as poor. Three games in, zero points with 10 goals conceded isn’t an easy read for any football manager - particularly one with the standards of Scott Parker.

Yet that’s the reality. Judging by this most comprehensive of defeats it’s difficult to see how it improves.

This encounter was effectively over after 15 minutes. Villa’s attacking invention was sharp and decisive; but Fulham’s defending - just like it was during their previous Premier League season when they conceded 81 goals - was disastrously basic.

The opener arrived in the fourth minute. John McGinn’s pass was on point, Grealish’s run was timed to perfection while his finish past Alphonse Areola was crisp.

But it was all too easy for Villa; the disappointment written on Parker’s face told its own story.

Eleven minutes later Fulham were two down. Yet again there was plenty to desire about the slickness of Villa’s attacking play as Oliie Watkins, Grealish and McGinn combined to effortlessly dissect Fulham before Conor Hourihane smartly finished beyond Areola.

Match Stats Fulham Aston Villa
Goals (0) 0 3 (2)
Scorers Grealish 3
Hourihane 14
Mings 47
Goal attempts 16 12
On target 3 5
Shooting Accuracy 19% 42%
Possession 65% 35%
Passes 450 208
Passes Success 86% 71%
Crosses 43 8
Crosses Success 28% 63%
Corners 5 3
Tackles 10 21
Tackles Success 50% 71%
Saves 2 2
Fouls 18 14
Offsides 0 3
Yellows 6 3
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
The defending, in contrast, was atrocious. Smith would have been ecstatic - but by the same token, he knew his team were on easy street here.

In layman’s terms: if Fulham continue defending in this vein, they will be relegated. Simple.

Parker will be well aware of that harsh reality if he doesn’t find a solution to their defensive deficiencies - and fast.

Aleksander Mitrovic headed narrowly wide from Joe Bryan’s cross in the 19th minute - but that was all Fulham to show for their opening 45 minutes. Indeed, they were lucky not to have conceded two more before the break. Watkins missed Trezeguet’s cross by a whisker before seeing his header on the stroke of half time unwittingly deflected wide.

It wouldn’t have been harsh on the host’s either. The only positive for Parker was that his team couldn’t be any worse in the second half.

But to honest they weren’t much better. It took Villa less than four minutes to notch a third - Mings left unmarked to stab home Hourihane’s outswinging free kick after Dennis Odoi cynically brought down Grealish - who is surely in with a strong shout to retain his place in the England on Thursday on the back of this showing.

It was a simple goal, much like Fulham’s defending.

McGinn was denied the goal his display deserved in the 52nd minute, Alphonse saving with his feet as Villa waltzed through again.

Parker could only stand and watch, his team were being dismantled by a team who last season scraped to survival on the final day of the season.

Yet the gulf between the teams was abundantly clear here.

Even when Fulham thought they’d pulled a goal back they were left on their knees after Bobby Cordova-Reid tapped the ball home when Emiliano Martinez’s spilled Aboubakar Kamara’s long-range striker only for the goal to be ruled out by VAR for a foul by Mitrovic in the build up.

But at least Fulham were showing a semblance of fight. Mitrovic headed narrowly wide before Tom Cairney curled an effort. It was all too little too late, of course.

Fulham sporting director Tony Khan issued an apology to supporters on Twitter after the final whistle.

Unless something changes, he may be doing a lot of that this season.

Fulham manager Scott Parker said: "I'm not too sure [how to sum up the game]. You dominate for large periods, you stream crosses into the box, we had a real control and endeavour about us. They enter our box on the first occasion, they score a goal. The second occasion, they score a goal.

"I've stood in this position for the first three games and it's a common theme of what I'm saying. You can't give up goals like we are, I've highlighted it and we know where we are.

"It's tough [to fix the defensive frailties]. I went with a back five today just to maybe give us a bit more solidity and it didn't work obviously. I felt like it worked well in possession but you just can't be that fragile.

"It's well documented that we are trying to bring people in, I've highlighted that and the club understand that.

"I feel like I can help the team, I think you saw that today. the way we set up and how we played and how progressive we were, I thought we looked like a very good team at times. But the decisions that are being made when the opposition are in possession and on that side of the game, it's tough."

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith: "We scored some quality goals. On top of all that, you have to find the balance in football, and that can be the desire to keep the ball out the back of the net, and the players have found that at the moment.

"This was always going to be a tough game for us, our first away game, and we knew they'd have the share of possession. But we knew with our quality and defensive ability we could get the win here.

"John McGinn being fit makes a massive difference. He's a fantastic player, and he was terrific tonight. Also Ollie Watkins, who will be frustrated not to get his first PL goal, but he's such an outlet for us, his work-rate and all the lads are patting him on the back for the role he's brought to our team."

Fulham: Areola, Odoi, Hector (Le Marchand 58), Ream 5, Tete (Kamara 39), Anguissa, Cairney, Bryan, Cordova-Reid (Kebano 78), Mitrovic, Cavaleiro.

Unused substitutes: Rodak, Onomah, Robinson.

Booked: Cordova-Reid (11,f), Cairney (23,f), Bryan (45+3,f), Odoi (47,f), Le Marchand (68,f), Kamara (90+1,arg).

Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Ngoyo, Mings, Targett, Hourihane (Ramsey 77), Luiz (Nakamba 88), McGinn, Trezeguet (Traore 84), Watkins, Grealish.

Unused substitutes: Steer, El Mohamdy, Hause, Davis.

Grealish 04 (right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by John McGinn with a through ball.)
Hourihane 15 (right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by John McGinn.)
Mings 48 (left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross following a set piece situation.)

Booked:Targett (11,f), McGinn (59,f), Mings (90+1, arg).

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Attendance: 0

Source Sportsmail/SkySports
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"