Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/20...  (Read 922 times)

Offline alfie

  • Gentleman Jim
  • ***
  • Posts: 5892
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/20...
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2020, 08:57:14 AM »
Aston Villa keep up winning start and leave Fulham looking out of their depth

It was hard not to feel sorry for Bobby Decordova-Reid as he saw the claret and blue shirts swarming towards him. The Fulham winger knew his hopes of sparking a counterattack were fading. Decordova-Reid had no support from his teammates and he could do nothing more than boom an up-and-under towards Emi Martínez, Aston Villa’s underworked goalkeeper.

It was the kind of thing you see from a player looking to protect a lead in the closing stages. Only Fulham were 3-0 down and there was more than half an hour left. Villa had played them off the park and there was no sign that any of Scott Parker’s players believe they belong at this level.

Three games in and Fulham, promoted after winning the play-offs, already look destined to return to the Championship. They are yet to pick up a point, have conceded 10 times and have a goal difference of minus seven, underlining the need for Tony Khan, Fulham’s director of football operations, to strengthen the squad before the transfer window shuts next Monday.

“I apologize to @FulhamFC supporters for our performance tonight,” he tweeted at full-time. “We’ve looked to add centre-backs since Wembley, I’m sorry we haven’t yet as 2 got COVID + we lost a Free we thought was close + had another issue with a 4th CB. I promise players in + better efforts from this squad.”

Parker was diplomatic about Khan’s post. But Fulham, whose hopes of signing Marlon are over after the Sassuolo defender failed a medical, were lucky it ended 3-0.

After staying up on the final day last season, Villa are feeling quietly optimistic after opening with two wins. Jack Grealish ran the show, John McGinn oozed class in midfield and although sterner tests lie in wait, it was impossible to pick any holes in a purposeful performance.

Villa exposed Fulham’s defensive deficiencies after four minutes. None of the home players were alive to the danger when McGinn received a pass 30 yards from goal. There was no push to close the space from Fulham’s frail midfield and McGinn had time to lift a pass through to Grealish, who drilled a low shot through Alphonse Areola’s legs.

McGinn, who took the breath away with a glorious dragback as half-time approached, provided the assist for Villa’s second in the 15th minute. This time, though, the spark came from Grealish, exchanging passes with Ollie Watkins and slicing Fulham open with a sharp burst before playing a clever pass to McGinn, who teed up Conor Hourihane for another emphatic finish.

“In terms of defending, we weren’t good enough,” Parker said. “It’s an area that everyone at the club can see. We played very well for large parts but the first time they’re in our box they score a goal. You can’t give up goals in this division and expect to win.”

Outnumbered in midfield, Fulham were limited in their 3-4-3 system. Aleksandar Mitrovic found it hard to shake off Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings, Villa’s centre-backs. The visitors were a solid unit and on the one occasion when Mitrovic looked poised to give his markers the slip Matty Cash stormed across from right‑back to dispossess the Fulham striker.

“There was a real desire from the whole team to keep the ball out the net,” said Dean Smith, the Villa manager.

Cash looks like a smart buy from Nottingham Forest. Villa have shown ambition. Watkins gives them mobility in attack after arriving from Brentford and Grealish’s decision to sign a new deal has given everyone at Villa Park a lift.

Grealish, who will surely be named in the England squad on Thursday, is a special talent. Two minutes into the second half he pushed the ball past Denis Odoi and tore past the centre-back despite giving him a five-yard headstart. Odoi was booked for dragging Villa’s talisman down and Fulham capitulated from the resulting free-kick, freezing as Mings converted Hourihane’s delivery.

Fulham’s misery deepened when Mitrovic had a goal disallowed after a VAR review detected a foul by the Serb on Konsa.

Villa had their clean sheet and Fulham were left to contemplate how to navigate the long road ahead.
Mostly true,except it wasn’t Mitrovic who had the goal disallowed.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71109
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/20...
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2020, 09:02:25 AM »
Bookmaker pays out on Fulham relegation after just three games

It's a long, long season ahead

In these early weeks of a season, all football fans know the importance of not getting too carried away.

Sure, your team might have won their first three games on the bounce, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're destined for league glory, just as three consecutive defeats doesn't mean it'll end in certain relegation.

Fulham, though, do have a look of a team in a spot of bother, even at this ridiculously early point in the campaign.

Back in the Premier League following their promotion in the summer, Scott Parker's men lost their opener at home to Arsenal 3-0 before going down 4-3 at fellow top flight new boys Leeds United in their second game.

On Monday evening they lost their third game in succession, Aston Villa winning 3-0 at Craven Cottage, a result which prompted an apology from owner Tony Khan.

Another loss was also enough for bookmaker Paddy Power to tweet that they'd seen enough of Fulham to pay out on their relegation.

Sheffield United are the only other side to have lost all three of their opening league fixtures so far, with Burnley, who have only played twice, also on zero points.

The Cottagers will look to gain their first points of the season when they return to Premier League action at Wolves on Sunday.

Offline whitejc

  • Administrator
  • Mornington Crescent
  • *
  • Posts: 71109
  • I'm tall for my height
Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff - 29/09/20...
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2020, 09:03:41 AM »
No defence for Fulham in Aston Villa’s Cottage cruise

Fulham 0-3 Aston Villa

ASTON Villa extended their winning start to the season to four successive matches in all competitions after a convincing 3-0 victory at Fulham.

Captain Jack Grealish scored his first Premier League goal of the campaign to give his side a fourth-minute lead, before Conor Hourihane followed it up just over ten minutes later.

Tyrone Mings struck just after half-time to seal the three points, before the hosts had a Bobby Decordova-Reid goal ruled out after a VAR referral.

Cottagers boss Scott Parker had spoken before the game about his desire to improve the defence, and Fulham’s frailties were soon on show again.

The hosts were punished almost immediately after failing to convincingly clear the ball from the back.

John McGinn sent in a well-weighted ball over the top to Grealish who made no mistake in front of goal, slotting past Alphonse Areola.

Fulham’s task was then made more difficult, when Hourihane doubled his side’s lead in the 15th minute, after good work from Grealish and McGinn.

Villa all but wrapped up the three points at the start of the second half, as an unmarked Mings put the ball past Areola from a Hourihane free-kick.

Fulham looked to have pulled one back when Decordova-Reid had the ball in the back of the net but following a VAR review and after consulting the pitchside monitor, referee Stuart Attwell ruled it out for a foul by Aleksandar Mitrovic on Ezri Konsa.

The hosts were limited to long-range efforts as the game drew to a close, with Villa able to hold off the challenge to secure a clean sheet.

Khan says sorry and promises to strengthen squad

FULHAM owner Tony Khan took to Twitter to apologise for his team’s display in last night’s home defeat to Aston Villa. He wrote: ‘I apologize to @FulhamFC supporters for our performance tonight. We’ve looked to add centre-backs since Wembley, I’m sorry we haven’t yet as 2 got COVID + we lost a Free we thought was close + had another issue with a 4th CB. I promise players in + better efforts from this squad.’

Meanwhile, Dean Smith praised the defensive solidity of Aston Villa and believes his players are full of confidence following their fine run of form to avoid relegation last season. ‘You’ve got to find a balance in football and sometimes the balance is a desire to keep the ball out of the back of the net, and the players have certainly found that at the moment,’ the Villa boss said.