Adomah makes no mistake!! pic.twitter.com/ufSGg0dr01
— Villa Underground (@avfc_vilr) October 21, 2017
VILLA 2-1 FULHAM
Johnstone continues to turn heads with his confident displays. Once again a commanding and vocal figure between the sticks. The United loanee’s main contribution being a superb stop in the second half with the game at 2-1. It’s these singular moments of quality that are the difference between languishing in mid-table obscurity and making a sustained push up the table.
Elmo endured a torrid time in the early part of the game, with Fulham testing arguably our weakest point across the back line. The pace and width of the visitors almost reaped rewards, with at least 3 successful forays beyond the Egyptian international. However, as Villa found their feet, so did Elmohamady, who grew more composed and contributed as the game wore on. Elmo never hides, is a willing runner and looks a composed footballer. However, his defensive solidity will always raise a question.
A solid performance from the Welsh centre half, who coped well whenever called upon. Always offers a calm head and plays the ball out of trouble over and over again.
The former Premier League champion is really beginning to build some personal form after quiet beginnings at Villa Park. From the Holte End his orders can be clearly heard, his positional sense is visible excellent and his headed goal – the hallmark of a decorated career. An excellent display.
Another committed performance from the Marmite fullback, again deputising for the suspended Neil Taylor. Whilst unspectacular, Hutton was effective in his duties and hasn’t done much wrong after being called upon by Bruce. Indeed, it was another typically committed display. A moment of realisation does occur at least once a game – and this fixture was no different. After being dispossessed high up the pitch midway through the second half – Hutton gifted Fulham the freedom of the right to burst forward unopposed & dangerously.
The West Ham man struggled to impose himself over the 80 minutes he was on the pitch. However, he took a heavy challenge early in the first half and carried a knock throughout, looking visibly out of sorts when requiring a burst of pace or a stretch.
de Laet (Sub On 81 Mins)
Welcome match time for the likeable Belgian who assumed an unfamiliar wide/right midfield role having replaced Snodgrass. Whilst obviously a tactic by Bruce to load the pitch with defensively minded players, De Laet almost converted Albert Adomah’s deep, pin-point cross at the death, forcing a save from the Fulham keeper.
The Irish international has struggled for form and this latest showing perhaps showed the best and worst of his abilities since his arrival. As with the Wolves game, Whelan struggled with the pace in the middle of the park, often getting out run as the game turned. He was also guilty of a desperate, clumsy challenge to concede a foul on the edge of the Villa box, to allow Fulham to convert a free-kick on the stroke of half-time. However, it would be one-eyed to suggest that there weren’t positives also. Whelen harried and gave everything over 90 minutes, with any number of passes out of danger which go unheralded when you’re bang out of form. Equally, few might readily recall the superb pass Whelan picks to release Onomah, leading to the winning goal.
Hourihane ghosted in and out of the fixture and perhaps was another who had a game to illustrate his inconsistencies since arriving at Villa Park. The Irishman delivered a superb cross for Terry’s opener in the first half, but struggled to effect much more in the game. A telling moment came in the second half, with the ball begging to be struck at goal, Hourihane opted to release the closely marked Kodjia from which the chance was lost. Hourihane still appears shackled too deeply at times and arguably suffers in the absence of an effective central midfield partner.
A tireless, dangerous display from the wide man who left the field to a standing ovation on 86 minutes. Direct, threatening and a constant menace for the Fulham right back, Adomah was capable of hurting the visitors almost at will. Was rewarded for his constant bursts forward, finishing expertly to secure the win after Kodjia miss-kicked. Unlucky not to secure an assist late on, pinging an outrageous cross-field ball from which De Laet forced a good save.
Bjarnason (Sub on 86 Mins)
Onomah had the kind of performance which underline’s his potential, almost certainly to be played out at a higher level. Skillful, technically excellent and marauding with an understated physicality, Onomah impressed once again with his overall contribution. Whilst the stats will underline his excellent cut-back to assist for Adomah’s winner, the Spurs midfielders overall contribution was superb.
A frustrating afternoon both for Kodjia and spectators with the striker visibly struggling to return to his predatory form of last season. Whilst a markedly improved display in comparison to his no-show at Wolves, Kodjia’s inability to release a pass defies both logic and reason at times. Ultimately his performance was summed up with the air-kick at the centre of the goal, which fortunately Adomah was lurking behind to finish.
Davis (Sub on 73 Mins)
After a deserved rest following a run of games and a meteoric rise through the Villa ranks, Davis appeared to see out the game. His strength and legs entered the fray at a key moment, but were used sparingly as Villa needlessly reverted to play long-ball. Showed a little immaturity pushing a Fulham man in view of the referee/assistant when a cooler head was required, but fortunately escaped punishment.