Harrison Reed and Aleksandar Mitrovic scored on either side of a Douglas Luiz red card as Fulham heaped misery on struggling Aston Villa 3-0 at Craven Cottage on Thursday.
Fulham forced a Villa own goal in the 83rd minute, moving up to ninth in the table with 15 points. The Cottagers improved their goal differential to minus-1 with the win.
Luiz’s headbutt of the tempestuous Mitrovic was caught by VAR in the 62nd minute, and Mitrovic doubled the Cottagers advantage six minutes later.
Villa was not bad early and eventually forced six saves out of Bernd Leno, but Steven Gerrard’s side again couldn’t find the scoreboard. Villa has one goal in its last 360 Premier League minutes.
The Villans’ nine points is pretty much out of the bottom three on goals scored at the moment, and managerial life for Gerrard could hardly be more precarious.
What we learned from Fulham vs Aston Villa
Gerrard let down by Luiz, but 10-man Villans fight: Steven Gerrard’s been under serious pressure at Villa Park and has been quick to point to injuries like the long-term ones suffered by Diego Carlos and Lucas Digne. So it was meaningful that his healthy players buzzed out of the gates on Thursday, showing support for the boss’ tenure (or at least pride). Villa took 13 of the first half’s 21 shots, putting seven on target. And villa held 66 percent of the ball in the second half, which was largely played down a man.
Silva’s Cottagers looking solid: Whether out-producing early-season performances or delivering points off superior displays, Fulham looks a lot better than it did at almost any point in its last Premier League season. Aleksandar Mitrovic’s converted penalty in addition to the red card he drew showed that his mayhem and magic remain at a peak ahead of Serbia’s World Cup run, as several of Fulham’s players look set for a bigger stage,
This one’s simple, and not really about tactics. If you know a mayhem maker like Mitrovic is out there, don’t put your head into him. Red cards help nothing.
Stars of the show
Villa hosts Brentford at 9am ET Sunday, the same day and time Fulham kicks off at Leeds.
Key storylines & star players
Fulham’s gotten seven goals out of Aleksandar Mitrovic and eight out of everyone else on the roster. Wide service has been a specialty for the Cottagers, with Neeskens Kebano, Kevin Mbabu, Kenny Tete, and Antonee Robinson all feeding the big Serbian forward.
Villa’s won the expected goals battle in four-straight matches including a loss to Chelsea last time out, but that’s only bagged Gerrard’s men five of nine points. Emiliano Buendia is averaging 2.05 key passes per game but is yet to register an assist for the Villans.
Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Nathaniel Chalobah (suspension), Layvin Kurzawa (calf), Manor Solomon (knee), Kenny Tete (other).
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