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Played
October 20, 2012 10:00 AM EDT
Craven Cottage — London
Referee:‬ C. Foy‎
Attendance:‬ 25693‎
 
84′ Chris Baird
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Fulham 1-0 Aston Villa

A late Chris Baird goal gave the Cottagers the win their play deserved, and piles on the misery for Paul Lambert's Villans, who recorded a third straight loss in the capital

By Ewan Roberts

  • Mark Schwarzer
    3
    0
    3.00

    Mark Schwarzer

    Rarely tested, Schwarzer maintained his concentration across the 90 minutes and was reliable and solid but only infrequently called upon.

  • John Arne Riise
    7
    1
    3.50

    John Arne Riise Top of the Match

    Constantly attacked down the left, driving into the space Richardson created ahead of him. A threat throughout, Riise frequently got into dangerous positions to provide good scoring opportunities for his teammates. Made a fantastic recovery challenge to prevent Holman from breaking clear.

  • Brede Hangeland
    2
    0
    3.00

    Brede Hangeland

    Solid and commanding in the air, Hangeland was more vulnerable against the pace of Agbonlahor and Bent. Used the ball well and was largely untroubled throughout the match.

  • Chris Baird
    1
    0
    3.00

    Chris Baird

    Playing in central midfield, Baird cleaned up well but often looked ponderous in possession. Stole a yard in the dying embers of the game to dart across Guzan's near post and put the home side ahead.

  • Aaron Hughes
    1
    0
    3.00

    Aaron Hughes

    Played a risky header back to Schwarzer that Bent almost intercepted, but was otherwise assured and composed. He and Hangeland afforded Villa few goalscoring opportunities, containing the Claret and Blue attack with relative ease.

  • Sascha Riether
    2
    0
    3.00

    Sascha Riether

    Very rarely troubled defensively, Riether let Rodallega play freely in the first half. Overlapped more when Dejagah came over to the right. Played several brilliant cross-field passes to find Riise in space on the opposite flank.

  • Steve Sidwell
    0
    0
    3.00

    Steve Sidwell

    Struggled to penetrate through Villa's center, but spread the play to good effect. Kept hold of the ball well, but created few chances for the offense ahead of him. Replaced by Karagounis with just under 10 minutes remaining.

  • Kieran Richardson
    1
    0
    3.00

    Kieran Richardson

    A real goal threat drifting inside from the flank, Richardson could have put his side ahead in the opening minutes but for the feet of Guzan. Linked well with Riise before being replaced by Dejagah with 20 minutes remaining.

  • Dimitar Berbatov
    26
    1
    3.00

    Dimitar Berbatov

    Cantered around the pitch with the arrogance of a player who knows he's better than those around him. The Bulgarian oozed class with a number of cultured touches and passes. Forced Guzan into a smart save before crossing for Petric six yards out. Moved into the lone forward role when Petric was withdraw in the second half.

  • Mladen Petric
    1
    1
    2.00

    Mladen Petric

    Could have opened the scoring early on when he headed high and wide from six yards. Could have done better with the few half-chances that came his way. Never hugely involved in the match and replaced by Mahamadou Diarra with half an hour remaining.

  • Hugo Rodallega
    1
    1
    3.00

    Hugo Rodallega

    Rodallega lined up on the right of midfield and didn't always look entirely comfortable. Most threatening when cutting infield, especially when he moved to the left hand side in the second half. His set-pieces were dangerous all night, and provided Baird with an assist for Fulham's goal.

Substitutions

  • Giorgos Karagounis
    2
    1

    Giorgos Karagounis

    Replaced Sidwell with less than 10 minutes remaining as Fulham pushed for a goal. Didn't have enough time on the pitch to affect the match.

  • Mahamadou Diarra
    2
    0
    3.00

    Mahamadou Diarra

    Replaced Petric with half an hour of the game left, allowing Sidwell to push further forward. Combative and robust in the middle, he competed well with Delph and El Ahmadi.

  • Ashkan Dejagah
    11
    0
    3.00

    Ashkan Dejagah

    Came on for Richardson with just over 20 minutes remaining and looked lively. Had a rasping drive that Guzan tipped over, and Fulham took the lead from the resulting corner.

  • Bradley Guzan
    1
    0
    3.50

    Bradley Guzan

    Kept Villa in the game early on, parrying Berbatov's fizzing shot before blocking Richardson's goal-bound close-range drive with his feet. His kicking gifted possession back to Fulham, but he was solid and commanding between the sticks.

  • Ron Vlaar
    1
    0
    3.00

    Ron Vlaar

    Robust, physical and commanding, Vlaar largely kept Petric under wraps. Stepped up to challenge the deeper Berbatov to good effect, making his presence felt early on with a crunching challenge.

  • Joseph Bennett
    0
    1
    3.00

    Joseph Bennett

    Shepherded Rodallega down the wing well, but was more troubled when the Colombian cut inside. Tidy and uncomplicated in possession, but very reserved. Rarely got forward from deep.

  • Nathan Baker
    0
    0
    3.00

    Nathan Baker

    Intervened with a number of timely headed clearances, though he was often too eager to boot the ball upfield rather than retain possession. Contained Petric with relative ease, but was slow to close down Rodallega when the forward came infield. Twisted his ankle after an hour and was replaced by Lichaj.

  • Matthew Lowton
    1
    1
    2.00

    Matthew Lowton

    Had the impossible task of trying to contain Fulham's lively left flank. Was tempted infield too often, leaving plenty of space for Riise to break into. Out of position and usually outnumbered, Lowton struggled to stop Riise's surges from deep.

  • Stephen Ireland
    0
    1
    1.50

    Stephen Ireland

    Never really took ownership of the match despite being granted a free role behind Bent. When he did get on the ball in time and space, he was wasteful and overcomplicated the pass. Pressed Baird well though, forcing him into errors. Was replaced by N'Zogbia halfway through the second half.

  • Karim El Ahmadi
    1
    0
    3.00

    Karim El Ahmadi

    Tenacious in central midfield, El Ahmadi's partnership with Delph forced Fulham out wide. His physicality saw him pick up a yellow card for cynically fouling Berbatov. Like his midfield partner, he was often too conservative with his passing and wasted good opportunities to counter with poor distribution.

  • Brett Holman
    0
    0
    2.50

    Brett Holman

    Spent much of the match trying to keep up with and contain a marauding Riise. Was occasionally lively in the final third, but his threat was sporadic.

  • Fabian Delph
    0
    1
    3.00

    Fabian Delph

    Covered a lot of ground, harrying Fulham's holding duo and retaining possession well. Didn't create enough for his team, opting to pass sideways and backwards mainly.

  • Darren Bent
    0
    1
    1.50

    Darren Bent Flop of the Match

    A peripheral figure in the match, Bent never provided an outlet for his side and had few chances fall his way. Closed down Fulham's center backs well, but perhaps didn't work hard enough to find space for himself. Laborious, often isolated and extremely ineffective, Bent was replaced by Benteke with 15 minutes remaining.

  • Gabriel Agbonlahor
    0
    0
    3.00

    Gabriel Agbonlahor

    Aston Villa's main threat in the first half, breaking forward with speed and directness. Looked more dangerous in the second half as he lined up more centrally. Could have put the visitors ahead with a rasping drive across the face of goal.

Substitutions

  • Eric Lichaj
    2
    0
    3.00

    Eric Lichaj

    Came on for the injured Baker with half an hour remaining and worked well with Vlaar to limit Fulham's chances and keep Berbatov quiet.

  • Charles N'Zogbia
    0
    0
    2.50

    Charles N'Zogbia

    Replaced the ineffective Ireland and was very quiet. Rarely got on the ball to create chances for his teammates.

  • C. Benteke
    0
    0
    2.50

    C. Benteke

    The Belgian replaced the quiet Bent with 15 minutes of normal time remaining. Could have got a point for his team but curled his finish wide in similar fashion to his miss against Spurs in Villa's last visit to the capital.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
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20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0