Dec 8, 2013 at 1.30pm UK at ​Craven Cottage
Aston Villa
Sidwell (22'), Berbatov (30' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-0)

Delph (19'), Herd (67')

Match Analysis: Fulham 2-0 Aston Villa

Sports Mole looks back over Fulham's 2-0 home victory over Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.

Fulham welcomed Aston Villa to Craven Cottage today having been defeated in their six previous Premier League matches.

Now under the management of Rene Meulensteen, the home side got off to a positive start when Steve Sidwell put them in front, before Dimitar Berbatov doubled their advantage soon after from the penalty spot.

With no further goals during the second half, the Whites held on to claim all three points.

Below, Sports Mole has looked back over the clash to determine if the result was a fair one.

Match statistics:

Shots 21
On target 9
Possession 53%
Corners 4
Fouls 12

Shots 10
On target 2
Possession 47%
Corners 7
Fouls 13

Was the result fair?

Fulham have not deserved many victories this season, but they certainly did today. They were sharper, quicker and hungrier than their visitors and claimed their rewards with two unanswered goals against a Villa outfit that have been in good form away from home this term.

Fulham's performance

This game was billed as a must-win encounter for Fulham, but they dealt with the pressure extremely well. There was more energy about their performance under Meulensteen, who deployed a five-man midfield, all of whom won their individual battles. What will have also delighted the Dutchman is the fact that every single one of his players, including the substitutes, gave at least a seven out of 10 performance. It's given the West Londoners something to build on after a torrid run of results.

Villa's performance

Quite simply, Paul Lambert's men never not going. They did okay during the first 45 minutes and created a handful of chances, but Christian Benteke in particular was wasteful in front of goal. After the restart they were sluggish, with perhaps their exertions at Southampton in midweek to blame. While it can be put down as 'one of those days', the form, or lack of in Benteke's case, is bound to be a cause of concern for Lambert.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Steve Sidwell: Berbatov provided the gloss to the performance, but it was Sidwell and his partner Scott Parker who put in the hard yards. The former of those two gets the nod from us, largely because he refused to allow the Villa midfield any time to settle in possession of the ball. Then, when he gained control, he rarely wasted it with a misplaced pass. What's more, he opened the scoring with the sort of finish that would make Berbatov proud.

Biggest gaffe

He may have got away with it, but what Brad Guzan was doing midway through the second half only he will know. He was never going to get near Giorgos Karagounis's cross from the left, yet he came anyway. As anticipated, he got nowhere near the ball, but thankfully for him, John Arne Riise could only head against the post.

Referee performance

If truth be told, Mike Dean was not at his best today. Not only did he blow up for a foul too early on occasions when the advantage rule could have been enforced, but he also got two big calls badly wrong. First he was incorrect to award the home side a penalty and then in the closing stages he opted not to give a penalty to Villa, despite there having been clear contact between Fulham defender Aaron Hughes and Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor.

What next?

Fulham: Next Saturday Fulham will make the trip to Merseyside to take on Everton at Goodison Park.

Villa: Meanwhile, Villa return to home comforts with the visit of champions Manchester United.

Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen on the touchline during the match against Tottenham on December 4, 2013
Read Next:
Team News: Fulham make one change
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
1Wolverhampton WanderersWolves28195450222862
2Derby CountyDerby28158544232153
3Cardiff CityCardiff28156740251551
4Aston Villa28148642251750
5Bristol City2813964032848
6Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd281441042321046
10Leeds UnitedLeeds28134114033743
11Preston North EndPreston28101263228442
12Ipswich TownIpswich28124124140140
13Norwich CityNorwich28107112833-537
14Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest28112153543-835
16Queens Park RangersQPR2889113140-933
17Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds28711103034-432
20Bolton WanderersBolton2868142646-2026
21Hull City28510133945-625
23Birmingham CityBirmingham2866161639-2324
24Burton Albion2866162152-3124
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account