Saturday 29 November 2008, 3:00pm at Villa Park, Birmingham
Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa
Aston Villa
Fulham FC

3' Yellow Card

Clint Dempsey Card was given for a foul

84' Yellow Card

John Pantsil Card was given for a foul

85' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zoltán Gera
Off:Bobby Zamora

Jimmy Bullard controlled the tempo of Fulham's game against Aston Villa at Villa Park, and made sure the team headed back to SW6 with a point.

Fulham got Saturday's game underway on a bitterly cold afternoon in Birmingham and the Whites made a lively start to the game, dominating possession in the opening exchanges.

Clint Dempsey was in the thick of it early on and picked up a booking from Referee Mike Jones after two minutes of play following a late challenge on Gareth Barry.

All the action for the home side during the first half came down the left flank in the form of Ashley Young. After 12 minutes of play the winger muscled past John Pantsil on the left by-line and skipped into the area before Clint Dempsey blocked the winger's path to goal. The home fans called for a penalty but Mike Jones was unmoved.

The home side constantly looked to utilise the pace of Young and Agbonlahor on the break but Fulhams defence coped admirably. Aaron Hughes put in a faultless performance and kept Agbonlahor at bay all afternoon. 

After 20 minutes of play Villa's pressure mounted and Gareth Barry looked to have put the home side ahead but his far post header from six yards fell wide of Schwarzer's far post.

Five minutes before the break Villa earned a free-kick 30 yards from goal and Ashley Young's delivery found Steve Sidwell unmarked eight yards from goal. Fortunately the midfielder sent his headed effort over the bar and the score remained level.

Fulham had two efforts on goal during the first period of play and almost grabbed the lead right before the break. Brad Friedel was untroubled by Simon Davies early effort from distance but was required to pull off a first class save to deny Clint Dempsey before the break.

A cross from the left flew across Villa's box and Dempsey beat his marker Laursen to fire in a superb left footed volley. Dipping under the post Friedel stretched to tip the ball over and keep the scores level going into the break.  

Villa got the second half underway and created their third chance of the game from close range five minutes into the second half but centre back Laursen failed to capitalise. Laursen met Ashley Young's inswinging corner at the near post but sent his headed effort wide six yards from goal.

As the hour mark approached Villa stepped up a gear and Mark Schwarzer was forced to make several first class clearances under pressure as the home side went on the attack. The home crowd were becoming increasingly frustrated by the deadlock as the game wore on but were almost celebrating the opener when Gareth Barry's headed effort hit the cross bar. Ashley Young sent in a pinpoint cross from the left to Barry eight yards from goal. The midfielder sent his effort low to Schwarzer's left but the keeper's instinctive save kept the ball out of the net with the aid of the cross bar.

Fulham almost caught Villa cold on the counter attack 15 minutes from time and Brad Friedel was required to save his side with a superb save to deny Dempsey. Fulham broke with pace and the ball found Dempsey on the right hand side of the area. The Amercian sent in a fierce right-footed drive to the far corner but Villa's keeper was equal to his effort. 

In the 83rd John Pantsil was booked for bringing down Ashley Young on the left flank as Villa continued to porbe but there was no way through Fulham's defensive ranks on Saturday afternoon. Five minutes from time Roy Hodgson replaced Zamora with Gera as the Whites comfortably saw out the closing stages to earn another point on their travels.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 29 November 2008
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 36,625

Referee: Michael Jones

Aston Villa

Line-up: Friedel; Cuéllar, Laursen, Davies, Young; Milner, Sidwell, Barry, Petrov, Young; Agbonlahor

Unused substitutes: Guzan, Knight, Shorey, Gardner, Harewood, Delfouneso, Williams


Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Davies, Murphy, Bullard, Dempsey; Zamora (Gera 85'), Johnson

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Kallio, Gray, Etuhu, Nevland

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 14 33
2 Liverpool 14 33
3 Manchester United 13 25
4 Aston Villa 15 25
5 Arsenal 14 23
6 Hull City 15 23
7 Bolton Wanderers 15 20
8 Fulham 14 19
9 Wigan Athletic 15 19
10 Everton 14 19
11 Portsmouth 14 19
12 Middlesbrough 15 19
13 Stoke City 15 18
14 Manchester City 14 17
15 West Ham United 14 17
16 Tottenham Hotspur 14 15
17 Newcastle United 15 15
18 Sunderland 15 15
19 Blackburn Rovers 14 13
20 West Bromwich Albion 15 11
Aston Villa (4-5-1)
  • 1Brad Friedel
  • 24Carlos Cuéllar
  • 5Martin Laursen
  • 15Curtis Davies
  • 2Luke Young
  • 8James Milner
  • 4Steve Sidwell
  • 6Gareth Barry
  • 19Stilian Petrov
  • 7Ashley Young
  • 11Gabriel Agbonlahor
  • 1Brad Guzan
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 21Nicky Shorey
  • 26Craig Gardner
  • 9Marlon Harewood
  • 38Nathan Delfouneso
  • 57Sam Williams
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 9Bobby Zamora
  • 8Andrew Johnson
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 17Julian Gray
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 11Zoltán Gera