Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Aston Villa 2 Fulham 2

Either Fulham and Aston Villa forgot to eat their cornflakes for breakfast or someone needs to remind them that residence outside the relegation zone is no excuse to stop fighting.

One would have thought that for two teams who have had such sketchy seasons, and who have much still to do to stay safe, this would have been an energetic affair. Not a bit of it.

So unambitious was the first half of this match that Villa were content to sit on an early goal courtesy of John Pantsil, while Fulham were apparently coming round from anaesthesia.

It changed, but only thanks to Andy Johnson’s equaliser. Kyle Walker’s excellent shot from range took the home side ahead again, but by then Fulham had belatedly engaged themselves and Clint Dempsey rescued a draw – a fair result all things considered.

Jean Makoun got Villa on their way quick distribution to Stewart Downing which brought him a round of applause and rightly so.

The pass set Downing loose, and the midfielder crossed into the area, where Pantsil, under pressure from Gabby Agbonlahor, headed across his goalkeeper into the far corner.

It would have been a tidy finish had it been at the other end of the pitch, and Agbonlahor touchingly patted the defender on the back in consolation.

Fulham came back, Steve Sidwell testing his former team-mate Brad Friedel with a low, zippy shot, Damien Duff searching for openings, Pantsil putting his head to better use by springing Dembele on a run down the right sideline.

But there was too much waste, set-pieces in promising positions coming to nothing either because of a lack of accuracy or, worse, lack of purpose.

Villa cushioned these attacks with the ease of a boxer who knows he is in a light sparring session, soaking up the half-hearted jabs then springing back, probing but never over-exerting.

By the start of the second half, the most engaging moment had been the entertainment during the break, when a man tried to break the world record for the longest throw. Fittingly, he fell short by some margin.

Fifteen minutes with Mark Hughes and no doubt some hairdryer treatment, however, did Fulham the some good. Sidwell took it upon himself to raise the tempo, trying his luck again with another low effort at Friedel.

The midfielder knows his man after two ½ years with Villa, and clearly passed on some intel to Johnson, who profited nicely when Friedel failed to smother.

Villa’s second came from Kyle Walker. The right-back likes to surge forward and he let loose in the 72nd minute with a low shot from 30 yards which burrowed into the bottom corner.

The good work was undone six minutes later when Dempsey ghosted in from deep to meet Danny Murphy’s corner, levered his way between Richard Dunne and James Collins, and headed in.

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