Saturday 5 April 2014, 3:00pm at Villa Park, Birmingham
Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa
Aston Villa
Holt 70'
Fulham FC
Richardson 61'; Rodallega 86'

70' Goal

Grant Holt
Assist by Marc Albrighton

59' Yellow Card

Joe Bennett Card was given for a foul

67' Yellow Card

Ashley Westwood

90' Yellow Card

Marc Albrighton Card was given for a foul

66' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Aleksandar Tonev
Off:Joe Bennett

90'+1 Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jordan Bowery
Off:Marc Albrighton

61' Goal

Kieran Richardson
Assist by Ashkan Dejagah

86' Goal

Hugo Rodallega
Assist by Lewis Holtby

84' Yellow Card

Steve Sidwell Card was given for a foul

87' Yellow Card

Lewis Holtby Card was given for celebrating in an unsporting manner

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Ashkan Dejagah
Off:Pajtim Kasami

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Hugo Rodallega
Off:Cauley Woodrow

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:John Arne Riise
Off:Johnny Heitinga

Substitute Hugo Rodallega’s header four minutes from time earned Fulham a priceless three points at Aston Villa.

Substitute Hugo Rodallega’s header four minutes from time earned Fulham a priceless three points at Aston Villa.

Introduced at the break with Ashkan Dejagah, Rodallega’s deft header from Lewis Holtby’s cross beat Brad Guzan to win it for the Whites and keep Fulham’s survival hopes alive.

After a goalless first half, Fulham went in front just after the hour mark when Dejagah cut inside and set up Kieran Richardson to send a brilliant left-footed drive past Guzan.

Villa levelled through Grant Holt’s header and with the game heading for a draw, Rodallega nodded home his first league goal of the season to win it for the Whites. It was nervy, it wasn’t exactly pretty but, quite frankly, who cares?

Felix Magath made three changes to the side that lost 3-1 at Everton last week. The biggest news was that Mahamadou Diarra made his first start for the Whites since the 3-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur at the Cottage back in December 2012. The midfielder recently rejoined the Club after working tirelessly to come back from a knee injury. Fernando Amorebieta returned from suspension for John Arne Riise, while Cauley Woodrow was named in attack in place of Moussa Dembélé. Amorbeieta partnered Brede Hangeland at centre-back, with Richardson at left-back and John Heitinga at right-back. Sascha Riether moved to midfield.

Backed by 3,000 vociferous travelling fans, the Whites started brightly, with Woodrow nodding a Pajtim Kasami cross a couple of yards over the bar in the second minute.

At the other end, Andreas Weimann fizzed a delivery across the face of the box which Holt was inches away from connecting with after Diarra had lost the ball in midfield.

Fulham should have done better in the 20th minute when Nathan Baker gave the ball straight to Holtby. A three-v-three break was suddenly on and Holtby passed to Woodrow who tried to slip Kasami through only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for offside against the Swiss international.

Another misplaced Fulham pass caused problems in the 26th minute but Weimann headed Marc Albrighton’s cross wide after Joe Bennett had picked up a loose ball.

It was proving something of a cagey encounter and neither goalkeeper was forced into a save until the 31st minute when a long diagonal pass by Baker found Bacuna who cut inside past Kasami but saw his low drive palmed away by David Stockdale.

At the other end, Fulham were presented with a real chance in the 35th minute. Bennett’s pass to Baker was too short, allowing Woodrow to race clear but, with defenders getting back, the youngster saw his angled drive saved by Guzan.

Two minutes later the ball sat up nicely for Woodrow to have a shot from distance but his half-volley was held comfortably by Guzan after bouncing in front of the American, before Holtby cut inside just before the break but saw his low effort clutched by the Villa man.

Steve Sidwell then let fly from range but Guzan got down to deal with his shot from 25 yards as the Whites finished the first half on the front foot.

Magath made a double substitution at the break, with Rodallega and Dejagah replacing Woodrow and Kasami. Richardson also moved to the left wing, Amorebieta went to left-back, Riether reverted to right-back and Heitinga to centre-half.

Sidwell almost met a Rodallega cross in the early stages of the second half, before Bacuna was denied by a combination of Stockdale and the near post. Bennett went into the book in the 58th minute for a chest-high challenge on Dejagah.

Stockdale had to be alert to hold a deflected shot from Weimann and at the other end, Holtby sliced wide from 20 yards after Rodallega had chested the ball into his path.

But Fulham went in front in the 61st minute. Dejagah cut inside from the right, skipped past a challenge and teed up Richardson who let fly with a venomous left-footed that flew like an arrow past the stranded dive of Guzan.

Villa responded by throwing on striker Aleksandar Tonev for Bennett and the hosts were level on 69 minutes. Albrighton’s corner from the right was met by Holt who had lost his marker and his header beat the outstretched leg of Richardson near the line to find the back of the net.

Albrighton then beat Amorebieta and forced a good save from Stockdale and Fulham went straight down the other end and thought they’d gone in front. Rodallega got down the right and pulled the ball back. Dejagah stepped over it for Holtby, who rounded Guzan and slotted towards goal only to see Matthew Lowton make a miraculous goalline clearance. Replays showed the ball was literally millimetres from being fully over the line.

As the game opened up, Lowton then saw a long-range effort brilliantly tipped away by Stockdale, before Albrighton’s cross was headed inches over the bar by Weimann. Weimann went down under a shoulder challenge from Riether with nine minutes left but referee Michael Oliver waved play on before Heitinga made way for Riise.

A goalmouth scramble saw Rodallega’s shot saved by Guzan, with Richardson getting to the rebound but seeing his effort blocked. Sidwell went into the book – somewhat harshly on 84 minutes – for a foul on Holt when he appeared to win the ball.

Fulham went back in front with four minutes left. Diarra won the ball in midfield and played the ball to Holtby on the right. The German’s delivery was met by Rodallega whose deft header found the far corner. Cue unbridled joy in the away section. Holtby was booked for his part in the celebrations.

Hearts were in mouths moments later when Holt scuffed a shot wide and despite four minutes of additional time, Fulham held on to take three massive points.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 5 April 2014
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
Attendance: 33,532

Referee: Michael Oliver

Aston Villa

Line-up: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett (Tonev 66'); Bacuna, Westwood, Bertrand; Albrighton (Bowery 90'), Holt, Weimann

Unused substitutes: Steer, Clark, Luna, Sylla, Robinson

Manager: Paul Lambert


Line-up: Stockdale; Heitinga (John Arne Riise 83'), Hangeland, Amorebieta, Richardson; Holtby, Riether, Sidwell, Diarra, Kasami (Dejagah 45'); Woodrow (Rodallega 45')

Unused substitutes: Stekelenburg, Kvist, Kacaniklic, Roberts

Manager: Felix Magath

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Liverpool 32 71
2 Manchester City 31 70
3 Chelsea 32 69
4 Arsenal 32 64
5 Everton 31 60
6 Manchester United 33 57
7 Tottenham Hotspur 32 56
8 Southampton 33 48
9 Newcastle United 33 46
10 Stoke City 32 40
11 West Ham United 32 37
12 Hull City 33 36
13 Aston Villa 32 34
14 Crystal Palace 32 34
15 Swansea City 33 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 32 32
17 Norwich City 33 32
18 Fulham 33 27
19 Cardiff City 33 26
20 Sunderland 30 25
Total Shots
Shots On Target
Passing Accuracy
Sending Offs
Aston Villa (4-3-3)
  • 1Brad Guzan
  • 34Matthew Lowton
  • 4Ron Vlaar
  • 2Nathan Baker
  • 3Joe Bennett
  • 7Leandro Bacuna
  • 15Ashley Westwood
  • 23Ryan Bertrand
  • 12Marc Albrighton
  • 29Grant Holt
  • 10Andreas Weimann
  • 13Jed Steer
  • 6Ciaran Clark
  • 14Antonio Luna
  • 18Yacouba Sylla
  • 24Aleksandar Tonev
  • 21Jordan Bowery
  • 37Callum Robinson
  • Paul Lambert
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 4Johnny Heitinga
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 35Fernando Amorebieta
  • 15Kieran Richardson
  • 10Lewis Holtby
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 9Mahamadou Diarra
  • 8Pajtim Kasami
  • 25Cauley Woodrow
  • 1Maarten Stekelenburg
  • 3John Arne Riise
  • 6William Kvist
  • 11Alexander Kacaniklic
  • 24Ashkan Dejagah
  • 26Patrick Roberts
  • 20Hugo Rodallega
  • Felix Magath
Total shots
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
Minutes played by player
Assists from open play
Successful aerial duels
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
Pass forwards
Successful dribbles
Sum of all a players ball events
Accurate passes
Key passes
Player intercepts a pass
Goalkeeper saves
Goalkeeper catches a cross
  • The players all celebrate in front of an away end which is absolutely rocking!
  • 90'+5' We've done it! Rodallega scores the winner to clinch a huge three points in the Whites' battle for survival.
  • 90'+2' The Whites are trying to run the clock down and Riether wins a corner. Dejagah takes it short.
  • 90'+1' Bowery comes on for Albrighton.
  • 90' Holtby picked up a yellow card during the Whites' goal celebration. Four minutes to be added
  • 87' A good chance for Holt to level goes begging only a minute after the Whites goal. The Villa goalscorer pulls his 20-yard shot across the face of Stockdale's goal.
  • 86' Rodallega wriggles free of his marker to flick Holtby's cross past into Guzan's far corner, and he heads straight for the away fans!
  • 86' RODALLEGA HAS DONE IT! He flicks Holtby's cross past Guzan and the Whites go wild!
  • 85' Sidwell goes into the book for a fairly innocuous tackle on Holt.
  • 84' So close for the Whites. Rodallega races to beat Guzan to the ball, and the keeper blocks his effort. Richardson lines up the rebound from ten yards but that effort is also blocked.
  • 83' A final sub for the Whites, Heitinga has taken a knock and Riise will replace him.
  • 82' A big Aston Villa penalty appeal is turned down by the referee after Wiemann tussles with Riether.
  • 80' A heart-in-mouth moment for the Whites. Alrighton's cross is flicked goal-wards by Weimann and the ball narrowly misses the Whites crossbar.
  • 77' Brilliant save from Stockdale, diving full length to save Lowton's 25 yard effort. Minutes earlier, the Whites stopper parried a hard drive from Albrighton.
  • 76' Unbelievable goal-line clearance from Lowton. Rodallega finds Dejagah, who leaves the ball for Holtby. He goes around the goalkeeper and, from six yards, the defender dives full stretch to block the strike.
  • 73' Richardson does well to race to the byline a swing a cross back across the box. It's only half cleared at first but Villa scramble it away.
  • 70' Villa win a corner after Richardson tackles Albrighton, and the winger delivers a lofted cross for Holt to head into the far corner.
  • 65' A bold move from the Villa Manager, a striker, Tonev, on for a defender, Bennett.
  • 61' Dejagah cut inside from the right and rolled the ball across the penalty area. The pass looked intended for Sidwell but it fell perfectly for Richardson, who fired a rocket into the top corner.
  • 61' Aston Villa 0-1 Fulham! What a superb strike from Richardson! Outstanding effort!
  • 61' The Whites respond to the Villa chance immediately, with Dejagah on the right. He finds Holtby who goes past one defender and fires a shot over.
  • 60' Holt makes a strong run down the right and cuts the ball back for Weimann. Riether closes him down quickly and Stockdale saves the strike.
  • 57' The game is starting to turn into a midfield battle, when Bennett goes in with high feet on Amorebieta. The left back is booked.
  • 53' There's been a defensive reshuffle at half time, with Riether moving to right back and Amorebieta to left back. Dejagah makes good progress on the right but his cross can't quite find Rodallega.
  • 51' The Whites work the ball around the box well but Holtby and Dejagah both have shots blocked. Villa counter and Heitinga makes an important clearance.
  • 49' Stockdale makes a superb save to deny Bacuna after the winger drives in from the right. Rodallega hacks away the corner.
  • 47' Rodallega has started promisingly with a couple of good runs. He gets behind the Villa defence and pulls back for Sidwell but the midfielder can't quite reach.
  • Rodallega and Sidwell get the second half started. A huge 45 minutes for the Whites.
  • The Manager has shaken things up at half-time with a double substitution: Rodallega and Dejagah on for Kasami and Woodrow.
  • 45'+1' A closely-fought first half ends in deadlock. Woodrow's driven effort, which was blocked by Guzan, and Stockdale's save from Bacuna were the highlights.
  • 43' Woodrow lays the ball off to Holtby and he works some space before unleashing a shot. Guzan saves it well, before collecting another effort from Sidwell.
  • 40' Bennett breaks on the left and his driven cross is deflected goalwards. Stockdale adjusts well to take the catch.
  • 39' A good ball from Woodrow beats the full-back but Kasami doesn't react quick enough to collect it. Woodrow's deflected shot is stopped by Guzan.
  • 35' Baker slips and is robbed of the ball by Woodrow. He runs through on goal but is forced wide. Woodrow drills it from a tight angle and Guzan makes a fine save.
  • 34' Villa are back in the ascendancy and Albrighton puts in two good crosses. The first is headed away by Amorebieta, the second Stockdale punches to safety.
  • 31' On the counter, Bacuna charges into the Whites area and drives in a low shot, which forces Stockdale to react quickly to make the block. Excellent save.
  • 30' A delicate lifted pass from Hotlby almost puts Kasami in behind but Lowton gets there first and gives away a corner, and Villa clear their lines.
  • 27' Good football by the home side, as Albrighton crosses for Holt but Stockdale has the header covered and watches it drop wide.
  • 25' A slip by Hangeland results in Heitinga conceding a free-kick. Albrighton whips it in and Stockdale collects confidently amid a crowded penalty box.
  • 22' A strong tackle by Richardson in the corner brings a roar from the Whites supporters. Sidwell wins a free-kick to ease the pressure.
  • 20' Woodrow reacts quickly to intercept a loose pass and the Whites are three-on-three. The youngster feeds the ball to Kasami but Guzan is out quickly to block.
  • 18' Holt makes a good run into the channel and Amorebieta concedes a free-kick. Albrighton crosses but Kasami gets in the clearance.
  • 16' Hangeland wins the first ball and Riether finds Woodrow, who fires the ball across goal forcing Vlaar clear to for a corner, which Villa clear.
  • 15' The Whites are keeping good possession but are struggling to find a way through. Richardson's burst on the left wins a corner.
  • 12' Albrighton's cross causes a scare in the Whites penalty box, and Bacuna eyes up a shot but Heitinga is quick to intercept a loose touch.
  • 8' Smart spin by Holtby to win a throw. Woodrow lines up a shot but drags it across goal, and it won't be troubling Guzan.
  • 5' Villa show their first threat with Westwood's shot, but Sidwell and Amorebieta close it down quickly. Weimann crosses but Holt can't reach it.
  • 4' Riether and Diarra have made a good start in midfield. More Fulham pressure ends when Heitinga just over hits a pass.
  • 2' A good early opening for the Whites. Kasami chases a lost cause to win possession on the byline, and his cross is headed over by Woodrow.
  • Villa get us kicked off, and the Whites will be attacking the Holte End. Richardson is left-back with Amorebieta at centre half.
  • The Whites are looking pumped as the applaud our travelling fans and psych each other up for kick-off.
  • Here come the teams, led by Brede Hangeland and Ron Vlaar, as the away end erupts. Great support for the Whites today.
  • Substitutes Riise, Kačaniklić and Dejagah applause the vocal Whites following as they head to the dugouts.
  • Mahamadou Diarra plays his first match for the Whites in 16 months. His last appearance was in December 2012.
  • Subs: Stekelenburg, Riise, Kvist, Kačaniklić, Rodallega, Dejagah, Roberts.
  • Stockdale; Riether, Hangeland, Heitinga, Amorebieta; Diarra, Sidwell; Kasami, Holtby, Richardson; Woodrow.
  • The Whites are building up to a huge match in our survival battle at Villa Park. We'll have all the updates right here.