Aston Villa continue fine home form by sweeping aside Fulham

Aston Villa registered their 13th Premier League home win on the bounce as Unai Emery’s men beat Fulham 3-1.

Villa were two goals up at the break following an Antonee Robinson own-goal and a strike from skipper John McGinn.

Fulham came close early in the second half when Emiliano Martinez tipped a Raul Jimenez shot against a post before Ollie Watkins added a third for the hosts with a 64th-minute finish.

Jimenez pulled a goal back for the visitors, but Villa were not to be denied as they equalled the post-war club record for successive top-flight home victories, matching the 13 in a row achieved in 1983.

Emery’s side have scored at least three times in each of their Villa Park wins this season, with the total being 23 goals for the midlands outfit across the six games.

It was also a return to winning ways in the league after last Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Nottingham Forest, since when they had defeated AZ Alkmaar 2-1 at home in the Europa Conference League.

While fifth-placed Villa are a point outside the top four, Marco Silva’s Fulham are 16th after their winless run in the league extended to a fourth game.

The home side made a lively start to the contest and after Moussa Diaby had a sixth-minute effort saved by Bernd Leno, another Villa attack moments later saw Watkins’ shot come off Timothy Castagne and referee Simon Hooper award a penalty.

However, VAR intervened and with Hooper having surveyed footage pitchside, the handball decision was overturned.

Martinez was then called into action to keep out an Andreas Pereira strike, although the flag was up for offside, before Emery’s men pushed forward again and took the lead in the 27th minute.

Youri Tielemans, making his first league start for Villa, curled a delivery from the left towards Diaby and the ball went off Robinson into the net – the defender’s second own-goal of the season, having also scored one in Fulham’s win against Sheffield United last month.

As Villa sought a second, Matty Cash was denied by Leno, and the advantage was doubled in the 42nd minute as McGinn collected the ball from a Robinson header, took a touch to move away from Joao Palhinha and fired in from just outside the box.

Fulham started well after the interval and almost reduced the deficit three minutes in when a Martinez touch diverted Jimenez’s strike against a post, with Willian shooting over on the follow-up.

There was also a shot just wide of the near post from Willian, but soon after Villa made it 3-0 as Leon Bailey, just off the bench, crossed and Watkins sidefooted in his 11th club goal of the season in all competitions.

Jimenez produced a similar finish, teed up by Robinson in the 70th minute, to open his Fulham account – his first Premier League goal since March 2022.

Substitute Carlos Vinicius thought he had scored another for Fulham in the 81st minute when he went around Martinez and slotted in, but he was flagged offside, before the ball hit the Fulham bar off Palhinha and Watkins headed the loose ball wide when looking certain to score – a surprising miss that mattered little come the final whistle.