Sunday 3 February 2008, 4:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Davies 73'; Bullard 86'
Aston Villa
Aston Villa
o.g. Hughes 69'

73' Goal

Simon Davies

86' Goal

Jimmy Bullard

90' Yellow Card

Simon Davies Card was given for a foul

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Brian McBride
Off:Erik Nevland

79' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Diomansy Kamara
Off:Clint Dempsey

69' Own-goal

Aaron Hughes

63' Yellow Card

Wilfred Bouma Card was given for a foul

85' Yellow Card

Curtis Davies Card was given for a foul

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Marlon Harewood
Off:Gabriel Agbonlahor

87' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Craig Gardner
Off:Wilfred Bouma

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Isaiah Osbourne
Off:Curtis Davies

An 86th minute free-kick winner by Jimmy Bullard lifted the lid off Craven Cottage as Fulham secured their first league win since November in a crucial 2-1 victory.

First Half Action

1 min
Fulham won a free kick in a dangerous position when Clint Dempsey was brought to ground by Stiliyan Petrov. Jimmy Bullard stepped up and his whipped free kick deflected off the wall and spun just over the bar.

9 mins
A loose pass from Danny Murphy in the Fulham half was intercepted by Shaun Maloney who proceeded to run at pace at Fulham’s defence before releasing the ball to Agbonlahor. The Villa forward looked to have taken himself too far and Niemi was able to collect the subsequent cross with ease.

12 mins
Clint Dempsey managed to find space in the Villa penalty area to get his head to a well-delivered Simon Davies corner. The US international directed his header well but Wilfred Bouma was on hand to clear the danger from a yard out.

15 mins
With neither side fully able to establish a hold in the game it was Villa who were having the greater success going forward – albeit without troubling Antti Niemi. The Whites, lining up with a compact five-man midfield, were looking hard to penetrate.

18 mins
The accusation of not attacking with significant conviction is one that can often be levelled at teams lining up with a five-man midfield. However, Fulham’s early attacking moments were certainly disproving it, with plenty of players joining in upfield.

28 mins
As the first half progressed the Whites started attacking with greater fluency. Fulham were looking more comfortable in turning defence into attack as a result of a greatly improved team shape.

32 mins
Erik Nevland linked up well with Simon Davies in the Villa penalty area, feeding a nice back heel into the path of the Welsh international. Unfortunately for Davies, the ball sat up and he was unable to connect with a left-footed effort.

36 mins
John Carew certainly had his hands full in trying to win balls in the air against fellow Norwegian, Brede Hangeland.  However the Whites were not picking up the tall striker when he dropped off the front line to receive the ball. 

Second Half Action

50 mins
The second half started in much the same vein as the first ended, with the Whites maintaining their shape well. Clint Dempsey came close to giving Fulham the lead when he rose highest in the penalty area and headed Paul Konchesky’s cross wide.

60 mins
With the game such an evenly balanced affair, possession switched to Villa as they mounted a concerted effort to score the first goal of the encounter. Martin O’Neill’s side did well to keep the ball in Fulham’s final third but eventually the visitors ran out of options.

68 mins – GOAL VILLA – Own Goal Hughes
Fulham went behind in the most unfortunate of circumstances when a Villa corner worked its way through to Aaron Hughes who saw the ball deflect off his knee and into the back of the net.  With Carew lurking nehind him, Hughes needed to get a touch on the ball.

69 mins – Fulham Substitution – Nevland OFF McBride ON
Brian McBride made his return to competitive action for the Whites, replacing the hard-working  Erik Nevland.

72 mins – GOAL FULHAM – Davies
Fulham got back on level terms courtesy of a wonderful finish from Simon Davies who managed to cut in front of his marker to apply a cute final touch to a wonderfully weighted Jimmy Bullard cross. The midfielder shaped as if to deliver a ball to the back post but instead cut a low delivery into the path of Davies.

77 mins
Villa’s defence was at sixes and sevens following another teasing Jimmy Bullard delivery. The ball eventually fell to Hangeland who could only prod an effort weakly at Carson after Andreasen’s miss-hit volley.

79 mins – Fulham substitution – Dempsey OFF Kamara ON
With Fulham needing the win, Roy Hodgson threw Diomansy Kamara into the action in an attempt to give the Whites more threat going forward. It proved to be a match-winning change as the Senegal international looked a real danger and full of energy.

85 mins – GOAL FULHAM – Bullard
Fulham took the lead for the first time in the match when Kamara was brought down in a dangerous position. Jimmy Bullard stepped up and placed the free kick beyond the despairing dive of Carson. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Sunday 3 February 2008
Kick-off: 4:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 24,760

Referee: Chris Foy


Line-up: Niemi; Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Davies, Bullard, Andreasen, Murphy, Dempsey (Kamara 79'); Nevland (McBride 70')

Unused substitutes: Keller, Volz, Bocanegra

Aston Villa

Line-up: Carson; Mellberg, Davies (Osbourne 90'), Laursen, Bouma (Gardner 87'); Petrov, Barry, Reo-Coker, Maloney; Agbonlahor (Harewood 46'), Carew

Unused substitutes: Taylor, Knight

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 25 60
2 Manchester United 25 58
3 Chelsea 25 54
4 Everton 25 44
5 Liverpool 24 43
6 Aston Villa 25 41
7 Manchester City 25 41
8 Blackburn Rovers 25 39
9 Portsmouth 25 38
10 West Ham United 24 36
11 Tottenham Hotspur 25 29
12 Newcastle United 25 28
13 Middlesbrough 25 26
14 Bolton Wanderers 25 25
15 Wigan Athletic 25 23
16 Sunderland 25 23
17 Reading 25 22
18 Birmingham City 25 21
19 Fulham 25 19
20 Derby County 25 9
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 32Brede Hangeland
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 26Leon Andreasen
  • 27Danny Murphy
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 15Erik Nevland
  • 1Kasey Keller
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 11Diomansy Kamara
  • 20Brian McBride
Aston Villa (4-4-2)
  • 22Scott Carson
  • 4Olof Mellberg
  • 15Curtis Davies
  • 5Martin Laursen
  • 3Wilfred Bouma
  • 19Stilian Petrov
  • 6Gareth Barry
  • 20Nigel Reo-Coker
  • 28Shaun Maloney
  • 11Gabriel Agbonlahor
  • 10John Carew
  • 13Stuart Taylor
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 26Craig Gardner
  • 27Isaiah Osbourne
  • 9Marlon Harewood