Fulham ended a run of seven consecutive defeats by beating Aston Villa to give head coach Rene Meulensteen his first win in charge of the team.

Steve Sidwell angled a shot in on the stretch to give the home side the lead.

The influential Dimitar Berbatov added a second from the penalty spot after Leandro Bacuna was adjudged to have fouled Alex Kacaniklic.

Fulham 'lucky' to get penalty - Meulensteen

John Arne Riise's header hit the post for Fulham against a Villa side who might have had a late penalty.

Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor went down following a tackle from Aaron Hughes and Fulham would have been relieved referee Mike Dean saved them from a nervy finish by rejecting the away side's appeals.

Defeat ended Villa's five-game unbeaten run, while the Cottagers celebrated only their second home win of the season in the second game since Meulensteen succeeded Martin Jol last Sunday.

Fulham remain in the bottom three but are now only separated by goal difference from West Ham, who are one place above them.

The change of manager at Craven Cottage appears to have had an instant impact, with Fulham showing a marked improvement in their attitude and application under Meulensteen.

Analysis

"Scott Parker provided the perspiration for Fulham, while Dimitar Berbatov was the inspiration. Aston Villa are beaten away from home for only the second time this season - it just wasn't their day."

The home side almost took an early lead but Villa keeper Brad Guzan acrobatically palmed a Berbatov header against the woodwork.

The visitors responded with the recalled Christian Benteke, who has gone nine league games without a goal, glancing a header wide and having a low 18-yard shot parried away by keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

However, the Cottagers were the dominant side and Ashkan Dejagah, who appeared to be offside, stole in behind Villa's defence before Chris Herd recovered to get in a last-ditch tackle. The ball rebounded off Guzan to Kacaniklic and after his initial shot was blocked, his follow-up was cleared off the goal-line by Nathan Baker.

But Fulham's efforts eventually paid off when Berbatov knocked the ball down to Dejagah and he slipped a first-time ball though to Sidwell, who angled in a shot as he fell under pressure from Bacuna.

The second Fulham goal arrived via a more contentious route. Berbatov flicked the ball though to Kacaniklic and, after he went down as he was closed down from behind by Bacuna, Dean signalled a penalty. Berbatov waited for Guzan to dive to his left before nonchalantly putting the spot-kick in the opposite corner.

Lambert disappointed with referee display

Riise had a chance to put the game beyond Villa's reach when Guzan missed a Giorgos Karagounis cross, but the left-back's header hit the outside of the post.

And although Villa had that strong late penalty claim turned down, they rarely threatened as Fulham earned their first win since 21 October.

To see a gallery of images from Sunday's Premier League action go to the BBC Sport Facebook page.  

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:

"We never deserved to win the game but I'm disappointed at some of the decisions. I thought their penalty wasn't one whereas ours when Gabriel Agbonlahor was brought down was a spot-kick.

"I thought referee Mike Dean's performance was poor. I still don't think we did enough to win the game.

"We never got going but couldn't fault the lads for effort. I'm honest enough to feel we didn't deserve to win."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Fulham

  • 01 Stekelenburg
  • 27 Riether
  • 03 Riise
  • 28 Parker
  • 04 Senderos
  • 18 Hughes
  • 07 Sidwell
  • 14 Karagounis (Kasami - 73' )
  • 09 Berbatov
  • 24 Dejagah
  • 11 Kacaniklic (Duff - 77' )

Substitutes

  • 08 Kasami
  • 10 Ruiz
  • 13 Stockdale
  • 15 Richardson
  • 16 Duff
  • 22 Zverotic
  • 37 Christensen

Aston Villa

  • 01 Guzan
  • 07 Bacuna
  • 02 Baker
  • 15 Westwood
  • 17 Herd Booked (Lowton - 81' )
  • 06 Clark
  • 08 El Ahmadi (Tonev - 45' )
  • 16 Delph Booked
  • 20 Benteke
  • 10 Weimann (Albrighton - 81' )
  • 11 Agbonlahor

Substitutes

  • 09 Helenius
  • 12 Albrighton
  • 13 Steer
  • 18 Sylla
  • 21 Bowery
  • 24 Tonev
  • 34 Lowton
Ref: Mike Dean
Att: 22,288

Match Stats

Shots

22 10

On target

10 2

Corners

4 7

Fouls

12 13

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0.

90:00 +3:04 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0.

90:00 +2:13

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Maarten Stekelenburg.

90:00 +2:11

Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

90:00 +0:54

Foul by John Arne Riise (Fulham).

90:00 +0:54

Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

89:29

Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:29

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

89:09

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Aaron Hughes.

88:27

Attempt saved. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pajtim Kasami.

87:04

Attempt missed. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ashkan Dejagah.

86:33

Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

86:33

Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).

85:40

Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

85:40

Foul by Fabian Delph (Aston Villa).

81:02

Attempt saved. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by John Arne Riise.

80:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Marc Albrighton replaces Andreas Weimann.

80:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Matthew Lowton replaces Chris Herd.

77:42

Attempt missed. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Pajtim Kasami.

76:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Damien Duff replaces Alexander Kacaniklic.

74:53

Attempt blocked. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.

73:39

Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

72:21 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Fulham. Pajtim Kasami replaces Giorgos Karagounis.

71:33

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

71:33

John Arne Riise (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:37

Chris Herd (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

70:37

Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).

69:36

Attempt blocked. Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

69:31

Attempt blocked. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

69:01

Attempt saved. Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.

68:27

Hand ball by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

67:25

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

66:57 Booking

Booking Chris Herd (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

66:51

Delay in match Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) because of an injury.

66:31

Foul by Chris Herd (Aston Villa).

66:31

Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

64:54

Attempt blocked. Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.

64:53

John Arne Riise (Fulham) hits the left post with a header from a difficult angle on the left. Assisted by Giorgos Karagounis with a cross.

62:58

Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).

62:58

Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:22

Chris Herd (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

62:22

Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).

61:52

Attempt missed. Scott Parker (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Dimitar Berbatov.

59:55

Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

59:55

Foul by Scott Parker (Fulham).

58:26

Attempt missed. Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Dimitar Berbatov.

57:37

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Scott Parker.

57:10

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Philippe Senderos.

54:32

Attempt missed. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Scott Parker.

52:53

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by John Arne Riise.

51:51

Attempt saved. Philippe Senderos (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexander Kacaniklic with a cross.

51:11

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Chris Herd.

51:08

Attempt missed. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.

49:13

Attempt blocked. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

48:05

Offside, Fulham. Aaron Hughes tries a through ball, but Dimitar Berbatov is caught offside.

46:24

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

45:00

Second Half begins Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Aleksandar Tonev replaces Karim El Ahmadi.

45:00 +2:32 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0.

45:00 +2:08

Chris Herd (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +2:08

Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).

45:00 +0:53

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

45:00 +0:10

Delay in match Chris Herd (Aston Villa) because of an injury.

44:00

Attempt missed. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

42:49

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42:49

Foul by Sascha Riether (Fulham).

41:04

Offside, Fulham. Sascha Riether tries a through ball, but Ashkan Dejagah is caught offside.

38:35

Hand ball by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).

37:52

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Philippe Senderos.

36:40

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Brad Guzan.

36:38

Attempt saved. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.

35:33

Offside, Aston Villa. Karim El Ahmadi tries a through ball, but Gabriel Agbonlahor is caught offside.

31:57

Attempt missed. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

29:23 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

28:38

Penalty Fulham. Alexander Kacaniklic draws a foul in the penalty area.

28:38

Penalty conceded by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) after a foul in the penalty area.

28:03

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Steve Sidwell.

27:27

Foul by Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham).

27:27

Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

26:00

John Arne Riise (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:00

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

25:37

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

24:10

Delay in match Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) because of an injury.

23:59

Foul by Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham).

23:59

Chris Herd (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:54 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Fulham 1, Aston Villa 0. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ashkan Dejagah with a through ball.

18:02 Booking

Booking Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

17:55

Attempt blocked. Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashkan Dejagah.

17:13

Attempt blocked. Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

17:12

Attempt blocked. Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

16:53

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

16:53

Philippe Senderos (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:59

Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fabian Delph.

11:56

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Gabriel Agbonlahor with a cross following a fast break.

11:16

Aaron Hughes (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

11:16

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

10:05

Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:05

Foul by Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa).

9:28

Attempt missed. Nathan Baker (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Ashley Westwood following a set piece situation.

8:57

Foul by Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham).

8:57

Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

7:51

Attempt saved. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Alexander Kacaniklic with a cross.

7:25

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Nathan Baker.

7:23

Attempt blocked. Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

6:32

Scott Parker (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:32

Foul by Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa).

3:50

Foul by Scott Parker (Fulham).

3:50

Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:10

Foul by Philippe Senderos (Fulham).

1:10

Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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