Aston Villa rallied late on to come from behind and beat Fulham 3-1 at Villa Park, the result leaving the west London club in the relegation zone with seven games to play.
Scott Parker’s side started the game brightly with the likes of Ademola Lookman and Bobby Decordova-Reid causing problems down the wings, but as the game progressed Villa began to find their rhythm and almost had a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
Ollie Watkins went down inside the box following a Mario Lemina challenge, but after a lengthy VAR and an on field check by referee Andy Madley, the penalty was chalked off.
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The second half was drifting towards a goalless draw, but a poor Tyrone Mings back pass allowed Aleksandar Mitrovic to pounce and calmly slot the ball past Emiliano Martinez, a goal that took the Cottagers out of the relegation zone albeit with the game still in play.
But the jubilation wasn’t to last long, as less than 20 minutes later substitute Trezeguet struck twice in less than three minutes to send the Londoners back into the bottom three. Watkins added a third to put the result beyond the visitors with the simplest of tap ins from close range on 87 minutes.
Parker will have to find a way to pick his team up as they have seven games remaining to extricate themselves from trouble.
Next up for Villa is a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool who they beat 7-2 earlier in the season. Fulham host Wolves at Craven Cottage.
TALKING POINT - FULHAM MISSING THAT EXTRA SPARK
For all of Fulham's effort they leave Villa Park empty handed, which has been the story of their season. They cannot often be faulted for lacking energy and at times produce some eye-catching football, but over the course of 90 minutes they rarely threatened the Villa goal.
Aston Villa - Martinez 6, Cash 6, Konsa 6, Mings 6, Targett 6, Douglas Luiz 6, McGinn 6, Traore 6, Sanson 6, El Ghazi 6, Watkins 7, Trezeguet 9, Davis 7, Ramsey 5
Fulham - Areola 6, Tete 6, Andersen 6, Tosin 6, Aina 6, Reed 6, Lemina 6, Decordova-Reid 6, Loftus-Cheek 6, Lookman 7, Mitrovic 7, Cavaleiro 5, Onomah N/A, Maja N/A
MAN OF THE MATCH - TREZEGUET (ASTON VILLA)
The Egyptian was the definition of a super sub and flipped the game on its head with two superb finishes. His first showed his technique to keep his shot down and lash home a fierce Mings cross. His second was all about composure as he popped up at the back post to hit a neat half volley past Alphonse Areola. Aston Villa have been calling out for a game changer in the absence of Jack Grealish, and judging by his performance they may have found one.
45'+2 - Penalty for Villa? VAR are looking over Lemina's challenge on Watkins, to see if he got a touch on the ball before the striker
45'+3 - No penalty given. A big sigh of relief for Fulham
61' - GOAL FOR FULHAM! Mitrovic pounces on a Mings mistake. His poor under-hit back pass gifts the striker the simplest of goals
78' - GOAL FOR ASTON VILLA! Trezeguet gets the goal thanks to a Mings cross, which was fizzed in at pace, and the Egyptian does well to keep his shot down and rifle it into the back of the net
81' - GOAL FOR ASTON VILLA! Another Trezeguet goal and Fulham are punished for loose play at the back. Davis picks out Trezeguet who hits it on the half volley from a couple of yards out
87' - GOAL FOR ASTON VILLA! Watkins was on his toes to slot the ball home from close range to make it three for Villa
- Aston Villa have 44 points after 29 Premier League games this season – 18 more than they did in 2019-20 – their highest number in a top-flight campaign at this stage since 2009-10, when they had 50 and went on to finish sixth
- Trezeguet is only the third Aston Villa substitute to score twice in a single Premier League match, after Julian Joachim versus Derby in September 2000 and Dwight Yorke against Liverpool in May 1999
- Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored his first goal in 22 Premier League appearances for Fulham, ending a streak of 45 shots without scoring in this stretch
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