Apr 5, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Villa Park
Aston Villa
1-2
Fulham
Holt (70')
Bennett (59'), Westwood (67'), Holtby (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Richardson (62'), Rodallega (86')
Sidwell (84'), Albrighton (90')

Live Commentary: Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham - as it happened

Lewis Holtby of Fulham is challenged by Joe Bennett of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Fulham at Villa Park on April 5, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Fulham.

Fulham have moved off the bottom of the Premier League table with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.

After a goalless first half, Kieran Richardson's 20-yard effort gave Fulham the lead, only for Grant Holt to net his first goal for Villa with a header from a corner.

However, with four minutes remaining, Hugo Rodallega glanced a header past Brad Guzan to give Fulham hope of surviving relegation to the Championship.

Read below to see how the action unfolded at Villa Park.


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2.01pmHello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match between Aston Villa and Fulham in the Premier League.

2.03pmIt's an interesting encounter, this one. Many will have Villa has the clear favourites, but the Achilles injury to Christian Benteke is a huge blow to the club. As for Fulham, they are struggling under Felix Magath but they could fancy their chances at Villa Park this afternoon.

2.07pmThe Premier League table reads heavily in Villa's favour. Their home record is nothing to shout about, but Fulham have suffered 11 defeats on the road this season, scoring just 12 times and conceding 39. More importantly, there are 10 points and eight places separating the two teams, but as I have already mentioned, that Christian Benteke injury could make it a even playing field today.

2.10pmThe team news is in from Villa Park. Full details to follow, but the most notable selections for both teams appear to be in attack...

2.12pmASTON VILLA XI Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand; Westwood, Bennett, Bacuna, Albrighton; Weimann, Holt

2.14pmASTON VILLA SUBSTITUTES: Steer, Sylla, Tonev, Clark, Robinson, Luna, Bowery.

2.16pmWhat do you make of that, Villa fans? It isn't a major surprise, but Paul Lambert has opted to go with Grant Holt in attack. The striker, who is on loan from Wigan Athletic, has made no impact at Villa Park since his arrival, but he gets his opportunity to make amends this afternoon.

2.18pmFULHAM XI: Stockdale; Riether, Hangeland, Heitinga, Amorebieta; Diarra, Sidwell; Kasami, Holtby, Richardson; Woodrow

2.19pmFULHAM SUBSTITUTES: Stekelenburg, Riise, Kvist, Kačaniklić, Rodallega, Dejagah, Roberts.

2.23pmFelix Magath has made several changes to the side that suffered defeat to Everton last time out. The German chief has recalled defender Fernando Amorebieta, who returns from suspension, while Cauley Woodrow is preferred to Moussa Dembele. Darren Bent is not permitted to face his parent club.

2.27pmBefore we go any further, let me bring your attention to our Stat Centre. Rather than me pick out specific statistics for you, you can find all you need to know by navigating your way around the page.

2.31pmAs ever, Sports Mole are all over the Premier League fixtures this afternoon. Each of the our five commentaries can be found by clicking here, while we also have some La Liga action too.

2.36pmI'm particularly intrigued to see how Grant Holt performs this afternoon. Many eyebrows were raised when he was brought to Villa Park by Paul Lambert after the duo had formed a successful partnership in their days at Norwich City. However, Holt hasn't scored since August 25 (yes, you read correctly...) in a run that spans 22 games! Will today be the day...

2.39pmThe recall of Cauley Woodrow will be talked about too. The 19-year-old was surprisingly thrown into the first-team picture last month after a loan spell with Southend United that only brought four goals in 21 appearances...hardly form that warrants being the club's number one striker. That said, he has an opportunity to take advantage of a Villa defence who will be low in confidence, and a positive display could see him retain his place for the remainder fixtures this season.

2.43pmThe lunchtime fixture between Manchester City and Southampton has just reached a conclusion, with Manuel Pellegrini's side prevailing by a 4-1 scoreline. You can read our match report here.

2.49pmPREDICTION! I will probably get criticised for this, but I'm going for a Fulham win. Their form on the road has been poor, but they need a win a lot more than Villa do, and their motivation to climb off the bottom of the table could see them to a 2-1 victory.

2.52pmWe are less than 10 minutes away from kickoff at Villa Park. I'm looking forward to this one. Two teams who are conceding goals left, right and centre should result in at least a few goals, right?

2.56pmThe two teams are ready to walk out onto the pitch at Villa Park. We will be underway shortly.

1 minVilla get us underway in the West Midlands.

3 minFulham are dominating possession in the early stages. They are being patient with their approach and not trying to force the ball to Woodrow in attack.

3 minCHANCE! Talking of Cauley Woodrow, he very nearly gets on the score sheet. Pajtim Kasami delivered a teasing cross to the near post for the 19-year-old, who could only divert his header over the crossbar.

6 minGrant Holt gets on the ball for the first time in the match, and he shows his superior strength to hold off the Fulham defence. However, his build-up play comes to nothing as Marc Albrighton's shot is deflected into the hands of David Stockdale.

10 minPossession is the name of the game at the moment. Fulham had a spell on the ball without any progression up the pitch, and Villa followed suit soon after.

13 minMarc Albrighton has made a lively start for Villa. He looks a constant threat down the right, but so far, his delivery hasn't found a teammate in a position where they can test the goalkeeper.

15 minKieran Richardson makes a burst down the left-hand side to force Matt Lawton to concede the first corner of the match. It comes to nothing, but the Cottagers have another.

17 minIt's a decent ball into the box, but Villa manage to clear. Felix Magath will be encouraged with the last few minutes.

20 minThere's been a goal at Carrow Road, where both Norwich City and West Bromwich Albion are hoping to improve their survival prospects. It's the Baggies who have taken the lead through Morgan Amalfitano.

21 minCHANCE! Big chance for Fulham. Cauley Woodrow broke towards the Villa defence but after playing in Pajtim Kasami, the winger could only poke the ball at Brad Guzan after a bad first touch.

25 minJohnny Heitinga concedes a needless foul on Grant Holt on the corner of the penalty area to give Villa a chance to get the box into the box. It's a decent cross from Marc Albrighton, but David Stockdale confidently claims the ball.

27 minCHANCE! The best move of the match sees the ball played into Leandro Bacuna in the penalty area who dinks a super cross for Andreas Weimann, but the striker can only head just wide of the far post. Better from Villa.

30 minBack come Fulham, who win a corner after Pajtim Kasami threatened to get in behind the defence after a delicate pass from Lewis Holtby. The corner into the box isn't dealt with initially, but Villa clear.

31 minSHOT! Leandro Bacuna shows fantastic strength to hold off Pajtim Kasami, but after advancing into the box, his shot across goal is well parried away by David Stockdale.

35 minSAVE! Cauley Woodrow capitalises on in-decision in the Villa defence to break through on goal, but his shot from 16 yards is well saved by Brad Guzan. The youngster hasn't scored, but he is doing enough to justify his selection.

38 minWoodrow is full of confidence this afternoon. He drives towards the Villa backline, but after making an angle for himself, his shot is deflected safely at Brad Guzan.

41 minThere's less than five minutes remaining until half time. The opening 40 minutes have flown by. Both managers should be content with their teams efforts so far.

43 minCrystal Palace have gone ahead at Cardiff City. The door has been left ajar for Fulham to move off the bottom of he table. Lewis Holtby and Steve Sidwell test Brad Guzan with 20-yard attempts.

45 minThere will be one minute of added-on time.

45+1 minHALF TIME: Aston Villa 0-0 Fulham

3.48pmMichael Oliver brings an end to the first half at Villa Park and we go into the break goalless. It hasn't been a bad game, but both teams have, so far, lacked conviction inside the penalty area.

3.51pmRather surprisingly, Villa had the majority of possession in the first half. For me, Fulham edged it. Anyway, the visitors have had more shots on goal than their hosts - seven attempts to five - while the home side are yet to win a corner.

3.56pmAs it stands, with West Brom winning at Norwich, there is a six-point gap between 17th and 18th. At this stage of the season, that's a mighty difference. As I said before, Fulham need the three points. A point isn't good enough.

3.59pmI wouldn't imagine that either manager will make a change at the break. Fulham might consider introducing Dejagah or Rodallega at some stage, but for now, I expect Magath to stick with the same lineup.

46 minUnbelievable! Forget what I just said. Rodallega and Dejagah are coming on at half time. Woodrow is one of the men who have been withdrawn. We are back underway.

46 minPajtim Kasami was the other man taken off.

49 minIt's been a frantic start to the second half. Rodallega and Dejagah have had an immediate impact since their introduction, but Villa look a big threat on the break.

49 minIt's been a frantic start to the second half. Rodallega and Dejagah have had an immediate impact since their introduction, but Villa look a big threat on the break.

53 minAshkan Dejagah flies down the right-hand side and manages to reach the byline. However, his curling ball into the box evades everyone and goes out for a throw-in.

57 minFulham have had 66% of possession at the start of the second half. They aren't making their dominance count though. They have 33 minutes to find a goal.

59 minBOOKING! Bennett goes into the book for an extremely crude challenge. His boot when studs first into Ashkan Dejagah. He is back on his feet.

60 minCHANCE! Lewis Holtly shows a quick turn of foot to ease past Nathan Baker but he slices his right-foot attempt wide of the post.

61 minGOAL! Aston Villa 0-1 Fulham (Richardson)

61 minWhat a hit! Keiran Richardson has scored an absolute screamer for Fulham. The ball reached him on the edge of the area and the winger struck a first-time effort from 20 yards into the roof of the net. Fulham have the advantage.

64 minThe Villa fans look deflated, but there is plenty of time to go. Fulham look well up for this. Maybe Felix Magath is managing to get his message across at Craven Cottage?

67 minNot much has happened since that Richardson goal. Fulham are content to see how it goes for the time being. Ashley Westwood has been booked.

70 minGOAL! Aston Villa 1-1 Fulham (Holt)

70 minGrant Holt has ended his 22-match scoring duck! A corner was floated into the back post and the on-loan forward powered his header into the bottom corner.

73 minShortly after that goal went in, Crystal Palace doubled their advantage at Cardiff. I will reiterate, Fulham need a winner.

76 minCHANCE! HOW...HOW HASN'T LEWIS HOLTBY SCORED! That's one of the most crazy misses of the season. The German jinked his way past the goalkeeper and with the goal at his mercy, Matt Lowton got back to make one of the most astonishing clearances off the line that you are ever likely to see.

77 minBack up the other end, David Stockdale is required to make a stunning one-handed stop to deny Aleksandar Tonev. It's all happening at Villa Park!

78 minI'll tell you what, has the goal-line technology failed? I'm guessing that it probably hasn't, but Lewis Holtby's effort couldn't have been any closer to going over the line. We are talking millimetres.

81 minThere are less than 10 minutes to go at Villa Park. This match definitely has another goal in it. It deserves one.

84 minBOOKING! Steve Sidwell has gone into the book for Fulham for a foul on Grant Holt. Looked a bit harsh to me.

86 minGOAL! Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham (Rodallega)

86 minHow important could this goal be! Lewis Holtby whips a superb ball into the box and Hugo Rodallega glances the delivery into the bottom corner from eight yards. That's his first league goal for 15 months!

89 minWhat have Villa got left? Grant Holt wasted a clear opening minutes shortly after the restart, but Fulham have regained the ball and are pushing for a third.

90 minThere will be four minutes of added-on time. This is the biggest four minutes of Fulham's season.

90+2 minFelix Magath is pacing up and down the touchline. He knows how much this means!

90+3 minVilla manage to stop Fulham holding onto the ball in the corner, but the Cottagers have possession once again.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham

4.53pmFulham have done it! Felix Magath has guided his team to a priceless 2-1 victory at Villa Park. They rode their luck at times, but they are fully deserving of the three points.

4.57pmThat result means that Fulham will move off the bottom of the Premier League table - that must sound good to their supporters. However, wins for Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion has seen the gap to safety remain at five points. Still, there will be genuine belief at Craven Cottage that the great escape can be achieved. It's Fulham vs. Norwich next weekend, and if Fulham win, the gap will be down to two points!

4.58pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this match. I hope you have enjoyed the game as much as I have. We all love a good relegation scrap (if your team isn't involved...) and after Fulham's win, we could be on the verge of one. Goodbye for now.

Ashkan Dejagah of Fulham celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Fulham at The Hawthorns on February 22, 2014
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