Aston Villa continued their perfect start to the Premier League season with a 3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Monday evening.
Aston Villa took the lead inside four minutes as Jack Grealish turned home John McGinn’s lofted pass, and doubled their advantage 11 minutes later as Connor Hourihane found the net from close range.
Tyrone Mings put the game beyond Fulham’s reach by slotting home from a set piece early in the second half. Bobby Reid had a goal ruled out by VAR in the second period as Fulham attempted to launch a comeback, but Villa hung onto their clean sheet as Scott Parker’s side slumped to their third defeat on the bounce.
Alphonse Areola (GK) – 5/10 – Could do very little with Villa’s goals, and saved well with his feet in the second half to keep the scoreline down.
Tim Ream (CB) – 4/10 – Fulham just look so poor defensively. Good in possession but they allowed the Villa forward line so much time and space to run in behind and work the channels.
Michael Hector (CB) – 4/10 – Looked static and vulnerable all evening as Villa’s front line enjoyed one of the easiest evenings they will have all season. Was substituted before the hour mark.
Denis Odoi (CB) – 4/10 – Failed to track the run of Grealish for the first goal, before allowing Watkins to slide the ball to the Villa captain with ease in the build up to the visitor’s second.
Joe Bryan (LWB) – 5/10 – Gave the ball away cheaply in the build up to Villa’s opening goal, and struck the crossbar in stoppage time with a decent effort.
Tom Cairney (CM) – 6/10 – Very composed and tidy in possession. When Fulham got the ball down and knocked it about quickly they looked slick and dangerous, and Cairney and Anguissa were often at the heart of this. However, the hosts did look a bit lightweight in the middle, with Villa able to move through the thirds with ease.
André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (CM) – 6/10 – Neat and tidy in possession, gave Villa far too much time and space out of possession.
Kenny Tete (RWB) – 6/10 – Was really lively and saw plenty of the ball down the right flank, picking out Mitrovic on a couple of occasions. Was Fulham’s most creative outlet, but was forced off after 38 minutes through injury.
Bobby Reid (FW) – 6/10 – Combined well with Mitrovic in the first half. Gobbled up Martinez’s fumble to score for Fulham – only for the goal to be disallowed by VAR.
Aleksandar Mitrovi? (ST) – 5/10 – Fulham looked most threatening when they were getting the ball into Mitrovic in the box. Missed three decent headed chances. His foul resulted in Fulham’s goal being chalked off by VAR.
Ivan Cavaleiro (FW) – 5/10 – Blazed over from outside the area when presented with a promising opening following a loose Grealish pass. Was otherwise relatively quiet.
Aboubakar Kamara – 6/10
Maxime Le Marchand – N/A
Neeskens Kebano – N/A
Emi Martinez (GK) – 6/10 – Was fortunate to get away with spilling the ball to Reid, but the Fulham forward’s goal was chalked off for a foul in the buildup. Claimed a couple of crosses confidently, and tipped Bryan’s effort onto the crossbar late on.
Matty Cash (RB) – 7/10 – Was not able to get forward as much as he had during his Premier League debut last time out, but it was another thoroughly assured defensive performance from the summer arrival from Nottingham Forest, with one particularly crucial interception when Mitrovic looked to be through on goal.
Ezri Konsa (CB) – 6/10 – Helped Mings cope with the potentially potent threat of Mitrovic, and worked hard to protect Villa’s clean sheet, leaving Martinez with very little to do.
Tyrone Mings (CB) – 7/10 – Made a clever run and poked home Hourihane’s free kick for Villa’s third. Good in possession and dealt well with the aerial threat of Mitrovic.
Matt Targett (LB) – 6/10 – Gave Tete a bit too much time and space to pick out crosses in the first half, but looked more solid once the Fulham winger hobbled off, and got forward dangerously a couple of times in the second half.
John McGinn (CM) – 8/10 – Got his head up and picked out Grealish’s run with a superb lofted pass as Villa took the lead, before teeing up Hourihane for Villa’s second. So efficient in possession in key areas, such impressive decision making and produced a filthy Maradona turn to boot.
Conor Hourihane (CM) – 7/10 – Doubled Villa’s lead with a calm finish from close range, and his teasing set-piece delivery was turned home by Mings for his side’s third.
Douglas Luiz (CM) – 7/10 – Helped the Villa midfield three overwhelm Fulham in the middle, but was fortunate to not be pulled up for kicking out at Bryan.
Trezeguet (RW) – 6/10 – Had a teasing cross almost turned home in the first half by Watkins. Worked tirelessly all evening.
Ollie Watkins (ST) – 7/10 – Demonstrated a willingness to run the channels, picking up the ball down the left flank and sending Grealish away in the build up to Villa’s second. Created a good opening for himself after cutting inside from the left, but fired well over. Headed a really good chance wide.
Jack Grealish (LW) – 8/10 – Produced a fantastic run in behind and the finish to match to open the scoring for Villa, and his surging drive into the box led to Villa’s second. Characteristically at the heart of every dangerous Villa move.
Jacob Ramsey – N/A
Bertrand Traore – N/A
Marvelous Nakamba – N/A