Late Trezeguet blitz breaks Fulham hearts as Aston Villa finally click into gear

Date published: Sunday 4th April 2021 6:25 - Steve Pearson

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Fulham suffered a costly defeat in their quest to avoid relegation as a late Aston Villa blitz proved too hot to handle.

Fresh off bagging five goals for Serbia during the international break, Aleksandar Mitrović was straight into the action.

The striker worked a yard of space before stinging the palms of Emiliano Martinez at the near post.

Perhaps with a greater sense of urgency after Newcastle’s late equaliser an hour prior, Fulham were much the busier of the two teams early on.

Martinez was again called upon to deny the lively Mitrovic, but with quarter of an hour played, the scores remained level.

Aston Villa were lacking fluency and spark in the final third. Jack Grealish’s absence was again sorely lacking after the playmaker suffered a late setback in training on Saturday that halted his return to action.

A win for the visitors would lift them out of the bottom three, but despite being the team in command, were flattering to deceive as half-time neared.

With seconds to go before the break, Villa thought they’d won a penalty after Mario Lemina was adjudged to have felled Ollie Watkins. The England forward showed great desire to nip in sharply as Lemina dawdled in his own area.

Referee Andy Madley pointed to the spot but overruled his decision after a brief VAR consultation.

Ademola Lookman was replaced by Ivan Cavaleiro barely a minute into the second half after succumbing to an injury seemingly picked up in the first half.

With the game drifting along without purpose, Fulham were handed a major lifeline.

Tyrone Mings’ under-hit back-pass under little pressure gave Martinez too much ground to cover. The alert Mitrovic was on hand to swoop, rounding the Argentine before tapping home to put his side ahead.

The onus was on Villa to respond, but barring a Bertrand Traore strike from distance, little in the way of threat was offered.

That was until the 77th minute when Mings atoned for his error by turning provider.

Set free down the left, the centre-half pulled the ball back to the centre of the box for the onrushing Trezeguet to hook into the bottom corner with a controlled first-time strike.

Emboldened by their resurgence, Villa threw everything forward and took an unlikely lead with the Egyptian winger notched his second.

Keinan Davis broke free down the right after Tosin Adarabioyo surrendered possession cheaply. With two targets to choose from, Davis opted for Trezeguet who swept home with another first-time effort.

Sensing blood, Villa soon added a third when Watkins was on hand to prod home after Traore whipped an inch-perfect ball across the face of goal.

That would prove to be the last meaningful action of the match as Villa rounded out 3-1 winners over Fulham.

 

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