- Aston Villa hosted Fulham at Villa Park in a Premier League clash on Tuesday, April 25
- Villa headed into the match in great form and in the hope of a European slot for next season
- A sole goal from Tyrone Mings ensured the hosts won all three points to climb fifth in the log
Aston Villa climbed up to fifth position in the Premier League with a 1-0 home victory over Fulham, continuing their push for Europe.
Tyrone Mings’ header in the 21st minute was enough for Unai Emery’s side in a game in which they were barely threatened by their opponents.
Villa have extended their unbeaten run to ten games, eight of which have been wins, leapfrogging Tottenham into fifth place, a point ahead of Spurs, who visit fourth-placed Manchester United on Thursday.
Emery has witnessed some progress for the midlands club, which was 17th in the table on goals scored when they lost 3-0 at Fulham in October, their final game under Emery’s predecessor Steven Gerrard.
Fulham, however, stays ninth in the league under Marco Silva.
After the Cottagers came close to grabbing the lead in the first minute, with Andreas Pereira putting an acrobatic effort wide, Villa responded with early pressure that included Ashley Young’s shot deflecting behind.
Tosin Adarabioyo’s challenge on Ollie Watkins in the box resulted in home cries for a penalty, but none were granted.
Then, having already made a late alteration to their starting lineup by replacing Willian with Manor Solomon, the visitors were forced to make a 17th-minute substitute, with Harry Wilson unable to play as Bobby Decordova-Reid came on.
Mings connected with John McGinn’s corner and flicked the ball past Bernd Leno and into the far corner, the defender’s first goal for the club since November 2021.
Leno then dealt with a Watkins shot and a McGinn header as Villa maintained control of the game for the remainder of the half, with Fulham unable to get going.
After that continued for the Cottagers in the early stages of the second half, and Villa likewise displayed little attacking danger, Silva made a triple substitution midway through, bringing on Carlos Vinicius, Tom Cairney, and Cedric Soares.
Watkins then fired an off-target shot as Adarabioyo worked to stop him before Douglas Luiz looped an effort.
Villa fans may have been nervous with only one goal in it, and the ball was in the hosts’ net in the 83rd minute when Harrison Reed’s delivery went in off Mings – but the flag was raised for offside.
After that, there was nothing more from Silva’s side, though the hosts could have scored again in stoppage time when McGinn blasted a shot wide.