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FulhamFulham0Aston VillaAston Villa3

Fulham 0-3 Aston Villa: Clinical Villa brush off sloppy Fulham

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport
Jack Grealish
All four of Jack Grealish's Premier League goals in 2020 have been away from home

Aston Villa cruised to a comfortable Premier League win as they took advantage of another horrific defensive performance by Fulham.

Villa are now unbeaten in eight games, including six wins, stretching back to last season.

Jack Grealish put them ahead with a shot on the bounce after John McGinn's clipped ball over the top caught Fulham out.

Conor Hourihane doubled their lead when McGinn laid the ball into his path.

And Tyrone Mings wrapped the game up early in the second half when he snuck in behind a high Cottagers line to stab home Hourihane's free-kick - Villa's third shot on target of the game.

That means Fulham have conceded 10 goals in their opening three games, which would have been a joint record in Premier League history - if West Brom had not conceded 11 this season.

Fulham had a Bobby Decordova-Reid goal disallowed after a video assistant referee review for a foul, but that was one of their few clear chances at goal.

Villa keep their momentum going

Jack Grealish thriving under less pressure - Dean Smith

Villa stayed up last season thanks to eight points in their final four games. Dean Smith's side have carried that good form into this season with four wins from four games, including two in the Carabao Cup.

They will face much tougher tests than this one though.

Villa were clinical and scored with three of their five shots on target, all the result of good play.

BBC Radio 5 Live's Matt Upson called the link-up play between McGinn and Grealish for the opener "almost like telepathy".

The second came from a nice passing move as Grealish found McGinn, who passed to Hourihane, with the midfielder slotting into the bottom corner.

That was the earliest Villa have gone 2-0 up in a Premier League game since May 2011 - and the first time McGinn has set up two goals in a game for Villa.

Dean Smith's side did not create too many clear opportunities, but still managed a third goal.

Mings had the freedom of the penalty area to tuck home a left-wing Hourihane free-kick.

They never looked back and move onto six points from two games.

The unusual 17:45 BST kick-off time was so it did not overlap with the late game between Arsenal and Liverpool, which was changed so it was finished before pubs have to shut in England at 22:00 BST.

Fulham need to sort it out quickly

Fulham are only the fourth team to concede at least three goals in each of their opening three Premier League games - following West Brom this season and West Ham in 2010-11 and 2017-18.

Scott Parker tried a five-man defence instead of his usual back four, but it did not work. Perhaps the problem is the personnel and not the tactics.

Only one of their starting line-up - Ivan Cavaleiro, with Wolves in 2018-19 - has ever played in a Premier League team who have not been relegated.

There are a combined 10 Premier League relegations in 11 seasons (six with Fulham and four with other teams) among the rest of the team.

They were sloppy for all Villa's goals and their attacking tactics were one-dimensional.

Fulham ended the game with 36 crosses from open play - by comparison Villa tried two.

They thought they had a goal when Decordova-Reid pounced after Emiliano Martinez spilled Aboubakar Kamara's shot. But after viewing the screen, referee Stuart Attwell decided Mitrovic had fouled Konsa as the first shot came in.

Bryan went close late on when his shot was tipped onto the bar by Martinez.

Fulham will be passengers without new signings - Parker

Parker will have to go back to the drawing board again if Fulham are to stay up this season. The transfer deadline is in a week's time.

Match stats - Villa's best start since 1999

  • Aston Villa registered a clean sheet for the first time in their last 27 away Premier League games, since a 0-0 draw with West Brom in January 2016.
  • Villa have opened a Premier League campaign with back-to-back victories for just the third time, also doing so in 1995-96 and 1999-00.
  • Fulham have failed to find the back of the net in consecutive home league games for the first time since January 2016.
  • Aston Villa found themselves two ahead within 15 minutes in the Premier League for the first time since May 2011, when they led Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates.
  • Jack Grealish's goal in the fourth minute was the earliest goal Aston Villa have scored away from home in the Premier League since Christian Benteke against Everton in February 2013 (second minute).
  • Five of John McGinn's eight goal involvements for Aston Villa in the Premier League have come in London (two v Fulham, one v West Ham, Arsenal and Spurs).
  • Aston Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane scored for the first time in his last 17 Premier League appearances, since netting against Norwich on Boxing Day 2019.
  • Half of Aston Villa defender Tyrone Ming's Premier League goal involvements (six in total in 52 games) have come in his last four appearances (one goal, two assists).

What's next?

Both these sides are in Carabao Cup action against Championship sides on Thursday, before Premier League matches on Sunday.

Fulham visit Brentford (17:30 BST) and then Wolves (14:00 BST), while Villa host Stoke (19:00 BST) and then Liverpool (19:15 BST).

Player of the match

McGinnJohn McGinn

with an average of 7.87

Fulham

  1. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic
    Average rating

    5.51

  2. Squad number23Player nameBryan
    Average rating

    4.92

  3. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid
    Average rating

    4.85

  4. Squad number10Player nameCairney
    Average rating

    4.81

  5. Squad number1Player nameAreola
    Average rating

    4.68

  6. Squad number17Player nameCavaleiro
    Average rating

    4.64

  7. Squad number2Player nameTete
    Average rating

    4.58

  8. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa
    Average rating

    4.54

  9. Squad number3Player nameHector
    Average rating

    4.10

  10. Squad number13Player nameReam
    Average rating

    4.05

  11. Squad number4Player nameOdoi
    Average rating

    4.02

  12. Squad number47Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    3.80

  13. Squad number7Player nameKebano
    Average rating

    3.75

  14. Squad number20Player nameLe Marchand
    Average rating

    3.63

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    7.87

  2. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating

    7.78

  3. Squad number5Player nameMings
    Average rating

    7.65

  4. Squad number2Player nameCash
    Average rating

    7.42

  5. Squad number4Player nameKonsa
    Average rating

    7.29

  6. Squad number26Player nameMartínez
    Average rating

    7.28

  7. Squad number14Player nameHourihane
    Average rating

    7.27

  8. Squad number11Player nameWatkins
    Average rating

    7.26

  9. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz
    Average rating

    6.97

  10. Squad number17Player nameTrézéguet
    Average rating

    6.90

  11. Squad number18Player nameTargett
    Average rating

    6.67

  12. Squad number41Player nameRamsey
    Average rating

    6.67

  13. Squad number15Player nameTraoré
    Average rating

    6.52

  14. Squad number19Player nameNakamba
    Average rating

    6.22

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 1Areola
  • 4OdoiBooked at 47mins
  • 3HectorSubstituted forLe Marchandat 58'minutesBooked at 68mins
  • 13Ream
  • 2TeteSubstituted forKamaraat 39'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 29Zambo Anguissa
  • 10CairneyBooked at 23mins
  • 23BryanBooked at 45mins
  • 14De Cordova-ReidBooked at 11minsSubstituted forKebanoat 78'minutes
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 17Cavaleiro

Substitutes

  • 7Kebano
  • 11Knockaert
  • 12Rodák
  • 20Le Marchand
  • 25Onomah
  • 33Robinson
  • 47Kamara

Aston Villa

  • 26Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 4Konsa
  • 5MingsBooked at 90mins
  • 18TargettBooked at 11mins
  • 7McGinnBooked at 59mins
  • 6Douglas LuizSubstituted forNakambaat 87'minutes
  • 14HourihaneSubstituted forRamseyat 76'minutes
  • 17TrézéguetSubstituted forTraoréat 84'minutes
  • 11Watkins
  • 10Grealish

Substitutes

  • 12Steer
  • 15Traoré
  • 19Nakamba
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 30Hause
  • 39Davis
  • 41Ramsey
Referee:
Stuart Attwell

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home16
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home18
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 0, Aston Villa 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 0, Aston Villa 3.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).

  4. Post update

    Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Matthew Cash.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  7. Booking

    Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Booking

    Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa).

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Joe Bryan (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Matthew Cash.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. John McGinn tries a through ball, but Tyrone Mings is caught offside.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Marvelous Nakamba replaces Douglas Luiz.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Alphonse Areola.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by John McGinn with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).

  19. Post update

    Matt Targett (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ivan Cavaleiro.

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