Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)  (Read 6512 times)

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2010, 11:32:56 AM »
http://www.kentnews.co.uk/kent-news/No-cash-for-Stones-from-Smalling-switch-newsinkent32330.aspx?news=sport


No cash for Stones from Smalling switch


Chris Smalling’s transfer to Premier League champions Manchester United won’t trigger any extra funds to his former side, Maidstone United it has emerged.

The central defender, who came through the youth ranks and made 12 first-team appearances at the Ryman Premier League club, completed a transfer to the Premier League champions from Fulham, believed to be worth £8 million in the week.

The 20-year-old former Chatham Grammar schoolboy, who joined Roy Hodgson’s Fulham in May 2008 from Maidstone, has become one of the nation’s hottest prospects.

The young defender initially captained the reserves, but he has since broken into the first-team, making four Premier League appearances, including a start in the 2-1 defeat against Chelsea last month. He has also been one of Hodgson’s first choice defenders in Fulham’s Europa League campaign.

Maidstone United chairman Paul Bowden-Brown is proud of the club’s former player, but is not expecting to receive any further funds from Smalling’s move to Old Trafford. He also admitted the club are not looking into setting up a pre-season friendly with United.

He said: “I’m really proud of Chris we all knew he had something about him as a footballer and he has proved that with his move. I’m sure one day he will play for England. I wish him and his family all the best.”

Smalling was on a non-contract basis while at Maidstone two years ago and was eligible to play for the England Schoolboys side where he was spotted by Fulham. When he joined the Cottagers, the Premier League club agreed to give Maidstone two sums of money in the form of a gesture of appreciation. The second sum is to be awarded once he has made 10 Premier League appearances, but the club won’t be getting any money as a result of his move to Old Trafford, despite reports to the contrary.

Bowden-Brown said: “There is no compensation agreement, but we are to receive a nominal fee once he has made 10 Premier League appearances. I’m not expecting to receive anything else, this was the arrangement agreed when Fulham signed him. “Obviously I would’ve loved to have put on a sell-on clause, but that was not possible. The club has received a lot of publicity and it can only help us.”     

Smalling will remain at Fulham for the rest of the season, before joining up with Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in the summer.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2010, 11:35:37 AM »

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2010, 11:37:25 AM »


Hodgson's Villa Reaction


Saturday 30th January 2010

Fulham FC News
 
Looking back on Saturday afternoon's two-nil defeat to Aston Villa at Craven Cottage, Roy Hodgson gave his post-match reaction: 

"Up until that two-goal period the game looked a 0-0 in the making. We didn't pose enough threat, they threatened more," he said.

"We've suffered a bad home defeat and don't feel good about that, but we weren't diabolical today.  We conceded two goals in a short space of time and at half-time it didn't seem that we deserved that.

"We're suffering from our injury situation but we were disappointed with the manner in which we conceded those goals. We gave it our all in the second-half.

"Of course I'm concerned about this run but I'm more worried that the players who would help us out of it aren't available.

"But we've got to keep working through it and make sure players don't start dropping their heads."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/January/HodgsonsVillaReaction.aspx#ixzz0eBmLSRMI


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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2010, 11:42:22 AM »
From the Other Side

Saturday 30th January 2010

Fulham FC News
 
Sepaking after Saturday's match between Fulham and Aston Villa at Craven Cottage, visiting manager Martin O'Neill gave his post-match reaction:

"I know that strikers need to score goals to keep themselves alive and give themselves confidence," said O'Neill.

"I learnt from a brilliant previous manager that sometimes you don't get your just deserts on the day.

"Gabriel taking those two goals today were as much about his performance against Arsenal on Wednesday night. He got his deserts today and he was fantastic.

"I'm pleased to be back to winning ways. I'm delighted with the team and thought we deserved to win.

"We scored two great goals and that helped us because we'd gone a few matches in the league without scoring, though the performances have been good. Winning today was a big boost.

"There has been a lot made of the fact we haven't scored a goal in four games so it was nice to right that today. They are three very valuable points as we try to stay with the leading pack.

"We played very well. We were the team pressing in the first-half and we got the goals which I think our play deserved.

"In the second-half it was a case of sitting on what we had but we saw it through reasonably comfortably and I thought it was an excellent performance."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/January/ONeillreaction.aspx#ixzz0eBniIBqM

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2010, 11:44:16 AM »
Fulham 0 2 Aston Villa

Both teams had gone four league games without a win, but despite a bright start from Fulham it was Aston Villa that claimed the three points and put an end to Fulham’s 11-game unbeaten run at home.

With the sun shining down on Craven Cottage, Fulham promised much early on, with the Whites creating the best of the opening chances with Bobby Zamora, Damien Duff and the returning Simon Davies all testing the Villa goal inside 10 minutes.

It was a positive start indeed for the hosts, but it wasn’t long before Villa started to show the type of football that has won them so many admirers this season with Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor and James Milner looking lively on the ball.

This week Villa manager Martin O’Neill had described his side’s run of forthcoming fixtures as a “make or break” phase of their season and his players looked intent on showing they were up for the challenge.

Stewart Downing crossed for Heskey who could only move Mark Schwarzer into a routine stop, before the Australian goalkeeper was forced into a smart low save to deny Ashley Young following Milner’s clever pass.

Having missed the majority of the season through injury, it had been a welcome return for Davies but the Welsh international’s contribution was cut short with the midfielder limping off and replaced by Zoltan Gera.

Within moments of coming on Gera had a close-range shot blocked by James Collins, while Danny Murphy was snuffed out on the edge of the box by Stiliyan Petrov’s desperate lunge.

With little more than 30 minutes gone Schwarzer made a super save to deny Villa captain Petrov, with the Bulgarian meeting Ashley Young’s pin-point cross with a brave header.

At the end other end Erik Nevland almost took advantage when Friedel spilled Gera’s hopeful strike from distance, but the American shot-stopper just managed to claw the ball back.

Buoyed by that chance Fulham pushed forward again and opened the visiting defence with Zamora breaking free. Unfortunately his shot was deflected over following Richard Dunne’s timely intervention.

From the resulting corner Chris Baird went close with a stooping header, and after a goal-mouth scramble Villa managed to clear the ball to safety.

From that the visitors broke forward and when they won a corner down the right, Petrov’s delivery was turned in by Agbonlahor whose clever header had Schwarzer well-beaten with four minutes of the first half remaining.

Fulham replied almost immediately and when Duff was upended on the edge of the Villa box, Murphy’s resulting free-kick curled narrowly wide.

However, within seconds Villa were on the attack again and when the ball fell to Agbonlahor just inside the Fulham box, the striker kept his nerve and curled in a delightful left-footed strike beyond the reach of Schwarzer to double the visitors’ lead and nab his 10th league goal of the season.

After the break, Villa continued to impress with Ashley Young and Downing swapping flanks and Agbonlahor’s pace stretching play.

One such moment of play saw Downing drill in a low strike from the left while Schwarzer had to be alert to get to the ball before one Agbonlahor burst of pace.

Approaching the hour mark, Murphy’s teasing lofted pass found Gera at the back post, and the Hungarian did well to bring the ball down and force a sprawling save from Friedel, with Hangeland heading the subsequent corner over the bar.

Fulham certainly began to see more of the ball in the second-half, but for all their possession the Whites just could not make the breakthrough in the final third with half chances falling for both Nevland and Zamora.

The latter did well to tee up Gera on the edge of the Villa box on 67 minutes, with the midfielder’s strike forcing another corner from which 20-year-old Chris Smalling almost diverted home with an angled header.

Substitute David Elm did have the ball in the net after 75 minutes doing well to slide home Gera’s delicate cross, but the Swede’s cool finish was ruled offside – a decision that looked close to call.

Sensing that they may well find that elusive breakthrough the Whites pushed forward intently with Zamora doing much to unsettle the Villa back four.

A fantastic cross from Bjorn Helge Riise led to another goal mouth scramble and when the ball rolled to Elm, Dunne did just enough to turn the ball out of play. Hangeland rose highest to the resulting corner but the Norwegian’s header arrowed wide.

It was a brave final 15 minutes for the hosts who deserved a goal for their late endeavour, but there would be few that begrudge the visitors their points with O’Neill’s side showing the type of form that could make it a season to remember for the Villans.

The visitors face fellow UEFA Champions League hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United next, while Roy Hodgson’s side have the chance to bounce back on Wednesday evening when they face Portsmouth at the Cottage before travelling to Bolton Wanderers in seven days' time.   


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/MatchAndTeam/MatchCentre/Matches/0910/Premiership/AstonVillaHome.aspx#ixzz0eBo3J4Ex

White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2010, 11:46:23 AM »
http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/fulham-0-2-villa/

Fulham 0-2 Villa

Filed under: Match info — weltmeisterclaude @ 11:41 pm

Five defeats in a row.  This predicament has snuck up on us somewhat, the problems largely having come away from home (insert England captain joke here), but here, in a tricky but far from daunting fixture against a good but slightly out of form Villa side, we fouled up horribly.

Since his arrival two years ago Brede Hangeland has been a tremendous player for Fulham, but this season something has been askew.  Today he was directly involved in both Villa goals, first giving away a silly throw in from which Villa went ahead, then easily turned by Agbonlahor who curled in his second.   It was miserable defending.   How often have we said that under Hodgson?  Hardly at all until 2010. (That first goal also showed why Chris Smalling is not yet an England player: a fine cross from the right was nutted home by Agbonlahor, but Smalling was on the scene and could have done more.)

After that Fulham performed quite well, but as Roy Keane recently said of his Ipswich Town side, it’s no good playing well when you’re 2-0 down.  Playing when you’re 2-0 down is easy, said Keane, and there’s something to that.  Villa sat back and absorbed most of what we threw at them, but in truth Brad Friedel was not worked hard.   David Elm, on as a late sub, did manage to beat Friedel with a sweet falling volley, but he had strayed a yard offside in the buildup so it didn’t count.  Shame for Elm, who at least brings some freshness to an increasingly jaded looking side.  Baird and Gera came out of the game with credit, but few others performed to the level we have come to expect.  It is the beauty of Hodgson’s teams that the players, when going well, look so much better than the sum of their individual talents.  When things are not going well, when key players are missing, the sum of those talents is a minor concern.

Happily, next week brings Portsmouth, the biggest Premiership mess in recent memory.  Things can change quickly.


White Noise

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2010, 11:48:32 AM »
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/outside-the-box-if-beckford-stays-put-the-stones-wont-be-rolling-in-it-1884432.html

That's not a Duff record

Ryan Giggs may be the only player with at least one goal to his name in every Premier League season, but by scoring for Fulham early in the new year, Damien Duff has beaten him as the first to register a League goal in three different decades; Duff's very first came for Blackburn back in November 1997, and he has now been emulated by Chelsea's Nicolas Anelka (first goal in the same month) and Frank Lampard (August 1997). A whole crop of other strikers and midfielders could join them, as well as two long-serving defenders: Arsenal's Sol Campbell is now back in contention, having first scored for Tottenham as long ago as December 1992. But don't bank on Jamie Carragher, who averages one per decade and has famously scored as many times for Spurs (three own goals) as for Liverpool (three in over 400 League games).

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2010, 11:50:42 AM »
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/agbonlahors-double-brings-an-end-to-villas-dry-spell-1884434.html

Agbonlahor's double brings an end to Villa's dry spell

Fulham 0 Aston Villa 2

By Conrad Leach at Craven Cottage

Sunday, 31 January 2010

If this game was to prove anything about Aston Villa, it was meant to show that they were not arch- exponents of a long-ball game, nor that their strike force had dried up just when Martin O'Neill needed it most. On Wednesday, Arsène Wenger got under O'Neill's skin by suggesting in the wake of the goalless draw with Arsenal that Villa were a Route One side, a comment that drew a relatively fierce reaction from the Villa manager.

Here at Craven Cottage, calmed by a fairly straightforward victory which proved that his strikers were not in danger of redefining that particular word, he admitted he had probably overreacted in midweek.

Yet the Northern Irishman still felt moved to defend his side's reputation, saying: "The players can play, no doubt at all, and we've got centre-backs as confident as any in the Premiership with the ball at their feet. Perhaps Arsène Wenger's comment was a bit overblown. I got irked in the week, but if I had thought about it I would have let it go."

Part of O'Neill's frustration also stemmed from the fact that his side, just when they were positioned so well for the final Champions' League place, had stuttered in the League since Christmas. Four games had come and gone, two of them defeats, without his players scoring, even if reaching the Carling Cup final has acted as a soothing balm. But it is in the League where O'Neill wants to show he can compete with the biggest teams, and that goalscoring drought had seen his side slip from fourth place.

After beating Stoke by one goal on 19 December, O'Neill could not have imagined he would have to wait seven hours and change – 429 minutes, to be precise – for another one in the League. The wait ended here when two of the precious blighters turned up in short order, and now Villa sit only two points behind Tottenham, who are in fourth place.

Gabriel Agbonlahor got them both, his ninth and 10th of the campaign. The first was simple, as Stiliyan Petrov crossed to the near post, where Agbonlahor outjumped Chris Smalling to head home from eight yards.

Four minutes later, Villa had a second and a decisive lead. Carlos Cuellar passed to Agbonlahor, whose marker, Brede Hangeland, slipped just at the wrong moment, leaving Villa's top scorer to turn and curl his shot beyond Mark Schwarzer's right hand.

Roy Hodgson, Fulham's manager, was critical of his defenders, saying: "Make a mistake for the first goal then compound it a few minutes later leaves you a lot to do." Too much to do, as it turned out, despite Fulham pressing desperately to get back in the game. David Elm, a substitute, had the ball in the net but was given offside in the 72nd minute, which Hodgson rued, and after that Brad Friedel was relatively untroubled, protected by the imposing defensive duo of Richard Dunne and James Collins.

Sir Alex Ferguson, in town for his side's game at Arsenal today, took the chance to watch Villa, his opponents in the Carling Cup final at the end of February, and also to look at his latest purchase, Smalling, whom he bought for Manchester United this week but who will continue to play for Fulham this season.

The central defender, on his third League start, was caught out for the first goal, even if he was covering for Hangeland. But he showed the attributes of calmness in possession and a willingness to play simple, neat passes that caught not only Ferguson's attention in the first place but Wenger's too this month.

This was Fulham's fifth consecutive League defeat, although Hodgson was not about to panic given the level of possession his side had enjoyed here. For O'Neill, having proved a couple of footballing points and earned three, the panic is over too, for the time being.

Attendance: 25,408

Referee: Lee Mason

Man of the match: Agbonlahor

Match rating: 6/10

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2010, 11:54:14 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5044


Fulham slump to another defeat


by Dan on January 30, 2010

One thing really annoyed me today. The booing at half time and full time. A lot of it came from people around me, who had mostly sat on their hands, refusing to join in any singing, and only opened their mouths to barrack their own players. I know Fulham have lost a few in a row, but we still are in a good position in the table, with a run of winnable home games in front of us, and the injury situation makes Roy Hodgson’s job particularly difficult.

Take today, for example. Stephen Kelly came in at left back but the successful defence of last season has been rearranged. Brede Hangeland doesn’t look as commanding without Aaron Hughes alongside and Chris Smalling was all too easily outjumped by Gabriel Agbonlahor for the first goal. Hughes is no right back, but he gave it his best against two very quick wingers and we missed the surging forward runs of Pantsil and Konchesky.

There’s no shame in losing to Aston Villa, who could very easily nick a Champions’ League spot if they repeat this level of performance. The likes of James Milner, Ashley Young and Stewart Downing had Fulham’s midfield tracking back rather than threatening Brad Friedel’s goal, although Hodgson’s planning was made redundant after Simon Davies injured himself in shooting on goal in a low-key opening. The Welshman forced a good from Brad Friedel but had to come off after colliding with James Collins just after he had fired on goal. Fulham’s football lacked their usual spark but they did manage to apply some late pressure on Friedel’s goal. Carlos Cuellar had to be alert to prevent Bobby Zamora from latching onto a fine through ball from Chris Baird and Danny Murphy’s deflected shot was parried by the Villa goalkeeper.

The damage was done in three minutes at the end of the first half, although O’Neill’s side could have been ahead before that – Luke Young’s cute header was creeping under the crossbar until Mark Schwarzer intervened. Both goals came in quick succession down the right, showing how much Hodgson was ruing the injury Konchesky picked up at Blackburn.

Fulham were slow to shut down Stiliyan Petrov down the right and Agbonlahor headed home at the near post. Smalling might have received a push in the back as he challenged for the ball, but you can bet your bottom dollar that Sir Alex Ferguson will be wanting him to stronger than that at Old Trafford next season. Still recovering from the shock of going behind, Fulham’s task got all that more difficult when Hangeland got the wrong side of Agbonlahor and the striker’s deft curler left Schwarzer clutching at air. Agbonlahor’s celebrations might have irritated the Hammersmith End, but the game seemed up for Fulham.

The home side did at least put up a spirited second half showing. For all their possession, they perhaps should have tested Friedel more. The American pulled off a fine reaction save from Zoltan Gera and susbstitute David Elm was cruelly denied a first goal for the club when his impressive volley was ruled out by an offside flag. Elm, increasing looking like an intriguing proposition up front, might have got his goal a little later were it not for a fine saving challenge from Richard Dunne.

Portsmouth on Wednesday now becomes a massive game. Another defeat could see us start looking over our shoulders.

FULHAM (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Hughes, Kelly (Riise 75), Hangeland, Smalling; Baird, Murphy, S. Davies (Gera 25); Zamora, Nevland (Elm 66). Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Stoor, Dikgacoi, Greening.

ASTON VILLA (4-4-2): Friedel; Cuellar, L. Young, Dunne, Collins; Petrov, Milner, A. Young, Downing; Heskey, Agbonlahor. Subs (not used): Guzan, C. Davies, Shorey, Beye, Sidwell, Delph, Delfouneso.

BOOKED: Heskey, L. Young.

GOALS: Agbonlahor (40, 44).

REFEREE: Lee Mason (Bolton).

ATTENDANCE: 25,408


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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2010, 11:55:39 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5042


A Bit of a Blip



by lydia on January 30, 2010

A disappointing run in the league has just seen us drop down to the bottom half of the table for the first time in months. No players bought in the transfer window ( you just never know with the Okaka deal!) and several bad injuries to deal with. What do we make of it all?

Firstly, Lets look at our last results in the league-

Chelsea 2-1 Fulham

Stoke 3-2 Fulham

Blackburn 2-0 Fulham

Spurs 2-0 Fulham

Fulham 0-2 Villa

Four of those games where away from home against difficult opposition and one was against a high flying Villa side at home. Yes I would have wanted Fulham to have picked up a number of points here but all you Fulham fans who are beginning to doubt the man who saved us, lets just relax. Every team goes through a sticky patch and this is just a rather bad one from Fulham. It happens to every team and to have lost 5 in a row and be 11th, is a fair achievment.

This run is bound to end soon especially as we welcome Portsmouth to the Cottage on Wednesday night. That game follows one away to Bolton and then we are home to travel sick Burnley. We couldn’t have hand picked these fixtures better ourselves and it is an excellent opportunity to climb back up the table and ease a little bit of pressure.

Hopefully we will have Okaka soon and have some players back to their usual form ( I thought Murphy was great today) and we will be fine.

I can see 6 or 7 points from the next three matches- COYW

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2010, 11:57:36 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/tv_show/story/0,20144,12383_5901736_12383,00.html

The angel Gabriel

Agbonlahor finds his finishing touch at Fulham

Last updated: 30th January 2010   
 


Agbonlahor always gets a decent return because he goes in little spells where he dries up then all of a sudden he's scoring goals - and very important goals for Villa.

Charlie Nicholas


Charlie Nicholas watched Gabriel Agbonlahor silence his critics with a two-goal salvo against faltering Fulham.

The England striker netted his first Premier League goals since the winner at Old Trafford in early December as Villa kept in the hunt for that fourth and final Champions League spot.

Agbonlahor's brace, in the space of four minutes before the break, also ended his side's four-game goal drought in the league, as well as maybe leaving one or two of the Soccer Saturday regulars a little red-faced.

"Gabriel Agbonlahor, who we always say is not the most natural finisher, scored two good goals; the second one in particular was very classy," said Nicholas.

"What he did - and it's not often you say this about Fulham - is expose both centre-backs. On both occasions he took advantage of Chris Smalling's inexperience.

"Sir Alex Ferguson was there to watch his new signing, but he bossed him in the six-yard box; it was a great cross, which Villa do time and time again, he got the wrong side of the defender and it was a smart headed finish.

"For the second one, (Brede) Hangeland got the wrong side and it's an easy decision for him to turn him and he just played a lovely bending left-foot finish, really cool and composed.

"I think he always gets a decent return because he goes in little spells where he dries up then all of a sudden he's scoring goals - and very important goals for Villa."

While Agbonlahor had a field day, it was another thankless afternoon for Fulham, who have now lost five league games on the spin.

Roy Hodgson deployed Bobby Zamora in a lone striking role and once the Cottagers were left chasing the game, that meant they made little headway against the Richard Dunne and James Collins in the centre of the visitors defence.

And with Andy Johnson and Clint Dempsey out injured, Nicholas admitted Fulham were barely recognisable from the side that made such a bright start to the season.

"At 2-0 there was no way back for Fulham," he said. "Zamora tried, had a couple of half chances didn't quite fall for him, but this wasn't the same Fulham team we were talking about six weeks ago.

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2010, 12:02:35 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3150822,00.html

Villa cruise to Fulham win

Comfortable victory for Martin O'Neill's men

By James Riach   

Last updated: 30th January 2010   
 


Man of the match: Gabby Agbonlahor takes this award after his two well-taken goals - Richard Dunne was also immense.

Goal of the match: Agbonlahor's second goal was expertly taken - Cuellar rolled the ball into his path and Hangeland was nowhere to be seen as he curled it into the far post.

Save of the match: Mark Schwarzer had to produce a fine stop to deny Luke Young in the opening period.

Moment of the match: The second goal on the stroke of half-time killed the game off and Fulham never responded.

Talking point: Brede Hangeland and Chris Smalling are two much-admired central defenders, but they did not shine on this occasion.

Two goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor secured a 2-0 win for Aston Villa against a toothless Fulham side at Craven Cottage.

Villa were good value for their win on the bank of the Thames and took the lead in the 40th minute when Agbonlahor rose at the near post to head past Mark Schwarzer.

Stiliyan Petrov crossed from the right touchline and the ball evaded Chris Smalling as the Villa striker opened the scoring.

He doubled the lead just four minutes later with a superb effort - turning on a sixpence after being fed in by Carlos Cuellar to bamboozle Brede Hangeland and curl the ball into the far post.

Fulham huffed and puffed in the second half, and although they had a goal ruled out for offside, never really threatened a comeback.

O'Neill following concerns the club's leading scorer had been suffering from a crisis in confidence.

The England marksman started the day with 10 strikes this season, yet the last time he had scored in the Premier league was against Manchester United on 10th December.

More crucially for Villa, who named an unchanged side following the goalless draw with Arsenal, the brace ended their four-match winless run that was in danger of seeing them fade in the race for a top-four finish.

There was little of the long-ball football Arsene Wenger had complained of in midweek, just a comfortable and clinical victory over a team in freefall.

Out-of-form Fulham were unbeaten at Craven Cottage since September before today and must cast their minds back to their 3-0 drubbing of Manchester United six weeks ago for their last Premier League victory.

Fulham midfielder Simon Davies made his first start since 3rd December and was involved early on when his well-struck volley bounced off goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

It was then the turn of Cottagers keeper Schwarzer to come to his side's rescue as he plucked a fine Stewart Downing delivery from the air as Emile Heskey attempted to shove him off the ball.

Ashley Young forced an easy save from Schwarzer and by the 24th minute Davies' match was over as he limped off to be replaced by Zoltan Gera.

Soon in the thick of the action, Gera was crowded off the ball as he picked his shot, giving Friedel time to react, and then Nevland nodded over the crossbar as Fulham finally began to threaten.

Sharp reflexes from Schwarzer saved the Cottagers at the other end when Ashley Young's cross was met by Luke Young whose header was expertly palmed to safety by the Australian.

Petrov wasted a great chance when he picked up the ball with just Schwarzer to beat from six yards out only to sky his shot high.

With the tempo of the match finally starting to pick up after a lethargic start, Bobby Zamora wasted a great opportunity to send Fulham ahead, only to stab over the crossbar after showing great technique to control a long ball.

But Villa were clearly the more dangerous side and in the 40th minute they deservedly raced ahead through Agbonlahor.

Petrov produced a cross which should have been cleared by Smalling but instead the 20-year-old soon-to-be United centre-back allowed Agbonlahor to sneak in and nod home.

Sir Alex Ferguson, who was watching in the stands, will not have been impressed.

Three minutes later Villa surged 2-0 ahead, Carlos Cuellar picking out Agbonlahor who left Hangeland for dead before producing a brilliant finish.

Fulham fans watched in frustration as their team broke clear through Danny Murphy midway through the second half only to see the move peter out amid a lack of decisiveness.

Substitute David Elm finally found the net for Fulham but the flag went up for offside and then the forward was denied by a great last-ditch block from Richard Dunne.


Fulham
Team Statistics
Aston Villa

0 Goals
2

0 1st Half Goals
2

4 Shots on Target
6

5 Shots off Target
4

10 Blocked Shots
2

9 Corners
3

11 Fouls
15

5 Offsides
1

0 Yellow Cards
2

0 Red Cards
0

77.4 Passing Success
71

21 Tackles
18

90.5 Tackles Success
94.4

55.1 Possession
44.9

53.8 Territorial Advantage
46.2




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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff (31.10.10)
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2010, 12:03:32 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/user_ratings/0,19768,11065_3150822,00.html

Fulham Player ratings  Player Our Rating Your Rating Rate player
 Mark Schwarzer
Made a great save  7 6.3  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Brede Hangeland
A poor performance  4 4.5  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Stephen Kelly
Looked vulnerable  4 4.0  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Chris Baird
Out of sorts in midfield  6 4.5  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Aaron Hughes
Not convincing  5 5.2  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Chris Smalling
Still learning the game  5 5.0  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Danny Murphy
Overrun in the middle  5 5.7  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Simon Davies
Went off injured  5 5.3  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Bobby Zamora
Worked hard  5 5.8  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Erik Nevland
Never a threat  4 5.3  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Damien Duff
Never got going  5 5.5  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Bjorn Helge Riise
(Sub)
Couldn't make an impact  5 5.2  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 David Elm
(Sub)
Goal ruled out for offside  5 5.7  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Zoltan Gera
(Sub)
Fulham's brightest player