Premier League
Fulham2Aston Villa0

Fulham 2-0 Aston Villa

Fulham ended a run of seven consecutive defeats by beating Aston Villa to give head coach Rene Meulensteen his first win in charge of the team.

Steve Sidwell angled a shot in on the stretch to give the home side the lead.

The influential Dimitar Berbatov added a second from the penalty spot after Leandro Bacuna was adjudged to have fouled Alex Kacaniklic.

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Fulham 'lucky' to get penalty - Meulensteen

John Arne Riise's header hit the post for Fulham against a Villa side who might have had a late penalty.

Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor went down following a tackle from Aaron Hughes and Fulham would have been relieved referee Mike Dean saved them from a nervy finish by rejecting the away side's appeals.

Defeat ended Villa's five-game unbeaten run, while the Cottagers celebrated only their second home win of the season in the second game since Meulensteen succeeded Martin Jol last Sunday.

Fulham remain in the bottom three but are now only separated by goal difference from West Ham, who are one place above them.

The change of manager at Craven Cottage appears to have had an instant impact, with Fulham showing a marked improvement in their attitude and application under Meulensteen.

The home side almost took an early lead but Villa keeper Brad Guzan acrobatically palmed a Berbatov header against the woodwork.

The visitors responded with the recalled Christian Benteke, who has gone nine league games without a goal, glancing a header wide and having a low 18-yard shot parried away by keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

However, the Cottagers were the dominant side and Ashkan Dejagah, who appeared to be offside, stole in behind Villa's defence before Chris Herd recovered to get in a last-ditch tackle. The ball rebounded off Guzan to Kacaniklic and after his initial shot was blocked, his follow-up was cleared off the goal-line by Nathan Baker.

But Fulham's efforts eventually paid off when Berbatov knocked the ball down to Dejagah and he slipped a first-time ball though to Sidwell, who angled in a shot as he fell under pressure from Bacuna.

The second Fulham goal arrived via a more contentious route. Berbatov flicked the ball though to Kacaniklic and, after he went down as he was closed down from behind by Bacuna, Dean signalled a penalty. Berbatov waited for Guzan to dive to his left before nonchalantly putting the spot-kick in the opposite corner.

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Lambert disappointed with referee display

Riise had a chance to put the game beyond Villa's reach when Guzan missed a Giorgos Karagounis cross, but the left-back's header hit the outside of the post.

And although Villa had that strong late penalty claim turned down, they rarely threatened as Fulham earned their first win since 21 October.

To see a gallery of images from Sunday's Premier League action go to the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:

"We never deserved to win the game but I'm disappointed at some of the decisions. I thought their penalty wasn't one whereas ours when Gabriel Agbonlahor was brought down was a spot-kick.

"I thought referee Mike Dean's performance was poor. I still don't think we did enough to win the game.

"We never got going but couldn't fault the lads for effort. I'm honest enough to feel we didn't deserve to win."

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 1Stekelenburg
  • 27Riether
  • 3Riise
  • 28Parker
  • 4Senderos
  • 18Hughes
  • 7Sidwell
  • 14KaragounisSubstituted forKasamiat 73'minutes
  • 9Berbatov
  • 24Dejagah
  • 11KacaniklicSubstituted forDuffat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Kasami
  • 10Ruiz
  • 13Stockdale
  • 15Richardson
  • 16Duff
  • 22Zverotic
  • 37Christensen

Aston Villa

  • 1Guzan
  • 7Bacuna
  • 2Baker
  • 15Westwood
  • 17HerdBooked at 67minsSubstituted forLowtonat 81'minutes
  • 6Clark
  • 8El AhmadiSubstituted forTonevat 45'minutes
  • 16DelphBooked at 19mins
  • 20Benteke
  • 10WeimannSubstituted forAlbrightonat 81'minutes
  • 11Agbonlahor

Substitutes

  • 9Helenius
  • 12Albrighton
  • 13Steer
  • 18Sylla
  • 21Bowery
  • 24Tonev
  • 34Lowton
Referee:
Mike Dean
Attendance:
22,288

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamAston Villa
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home22
Away10
Shots on Target
Home10
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Maarten Stekelenburg.
Attempt saved. Christian Benteke (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.
Foul by John Arne Riise (Fulham).
Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Aaron Hughes.
Attempt saved. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pajtim Kasami.
Attempt missed. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ashkan Dejagah.
Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).
Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Fabian Delph (Aston Villa).
Attempt saved. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by John Arne Riise.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Marc Albrighton replaces Andreas Weimann.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Matthew Lowton replaces Chris Herd.
Attempt missed. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Pajtim Kasami.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Damien Duff replaces Alexander Kacaniklic.
Attempt blocked. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.
Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Pajtim Kasami replaces Giorgos Karagounis.
Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).
John Arne Riise (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Chris Herd (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).
Attempt blocked. Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.
Attempt saved. Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.
Hand ball by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).
Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Booking

Chris Herd (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Delay in match Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) because of an injury.
Foul by Chris Herd (Aston Villa).
Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked.
John Arne Riise (Fulham) hits the left post with a header from a difficult angle on the left. Assisted by Giorgos Karagounis with a cross.
Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).
Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Chris Herd (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).
Attempt missed. Scott Parker (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Dimitar Berbatov.
Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Scott Parker (Fulham).
Attempt missed. Giorgos Karagounis (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Dimitar Berbatov.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Scott Parker.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Philippe Senderos.
Attempt missed. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Scott Parker.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by John Arne Riise.
Attempt saved. Philippe Senderos (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexander Kacaniklic with a cross.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Chris Herd.
Attempt missed. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.
Attempt blocked. Fabian Delph (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Westwood.
Offside, Fulham. Aaron Hughes tries a through ball, but Dimitar Berbatov is caught offside.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

Second Half

Second Half begins Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0.

Substitution

Substitution, Aston Villa. Aleksandar Tonev replaces Karim El Ahmadi.

Half Time

First Half ends, Fulham 2, Aston Villa 0.
Chris Herd (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Arsenal1511221935
2Liverpool159331630
3Chelsea159331330
4Man City159242629
5Everton15771928
6Tottenham15834-127
7Newcastle15825-126
8Southampton15654523
9Man Utd15645322
10Aston Villa15546-219
11Swansea14536118
12Stoke15456-517
13Hull14527-617
14Norwich15528-1417
15West Brom15366-415
16Cardiff15357-1114
17West Ham15348-613
18Fulham154110-1213
19Crystal Palace154110-1213
20Sunderland152211-188
View full Premier League table

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