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')

Match Analysis: Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham

Fernando Amorebieta, Brede Hangeland, John Arne Riise and Kieran Richardson of Fulham celebrate at the end of the match against Aston Villa on April 5, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole analyses the Premier League match 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 the Cottagers hopes of surviving relegation to the Championship.

Below, Sports Mole assesses whether Fulham were deserving of the three points.

Match statistics

Aston Villa
Shots: 12
On target: 6
Possession: 51%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 10

Fulham
Shots: 16
On target: 8
Possession: 49%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 13

Was the result fair?

Aston Villa could argue that they were well worth a point from a contest that had plenty of action at either end, but Fulham's overall desire and determination to earn the three points probably meant that they deserved the win. At times, they looked shaky at the back, but they have plenty of flair going forward and that will be key if they are to avoid a season in the Championship.

Aston Villa's performance

Paul Lambert won't be too unhappy with his side's display, but the absence of Christian Benteke was noticeable. If the Belgian had been involved, then Villa would have probably won a share of the spoils. However, their defence is a cause for concern, with Brad Guzan and a remarkable clearance off the line from Matt Lowton keeping them in it at times in the second half.

Fulham's performance

Felix Magath will be beaming at his team's showing at Villa Park. They looked lively during the first half, but after the German made two alterations, they took the game to their opponents in the second 45 minutes. Kieran Richardson's goal was superb, while Hugo Rodallega's glancing header gave Lewis Holtby's pass the end result that it deserved.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Lewis Holtby: This accolade could be given to a number of Fulham players, but Lewis Holtby's creative spark in the final third played a pivotal role in his side picking up the victory. He will have nightmares about the one chance that he spurned, but overall, he proved his class throughout the 90 minutes and he remains one of Fulham's key figures in their quest to avoid the drop.

Biggest gaffe

Lewis Holtby's miss from six yards out will feature constantly on blooper reals for the next 10 years. The German playmaker did terrifically to glide past Brad Guzan but with the seemingly simple task of tapping the ball into the bottom corner, he fired it too close to Matt Lowton. It was a tremendous block, but he shouldn't have been given the opportunity to make it in the first place.

Referee performance

Michael Olivier had a solid outing in the middle. He wasn't required to make any game-changing decisions, but the calls that he did make were, on the majority of occasions, correct.

What next?

Aston Villa: Villa travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace in their next fixture, with a defeat leaving Paul Lambert's side under threat of being dragged into a relegation scrap.

Fulham: Fulham face the biggest match of their season when they host Norwich City at Craven Cottage next weekend.

Fernando Amorebieta, Brede Hangeland, John Arne Riise and Kieran Richardson of Fulham celebrate at the end of the match against Aston Villa on April 5, 2014
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