Monday 22 January 2018

Baird shows class

Fulham 1
Aston Villa 0

Alex Lowe

Fulham midfielder Chris Baird upstaged his returning team-mate Dimitar Berbatov with the late winner at Craven Cottage. Baird got a deft touch to John Arne Riise's near-post corner to beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan and deny Villa what looked increasingly like a battling point.

Fulham had been the better side, with Berbatov in commanding form on his comeback from a hip injury, but they had failed to convert a hatful of chances. The home support were beginning to get edgy when the man they hail as 'Bairdinho' popped up with the kind of finish Berbatov would have been proud of.

Villa, who had not won away in 13 Premier League matches dating back to January, had a chance to rescue a point but Christian Benteke missed from close range. Benteke had replaced Darren Bent, who was restored to the Villa starting line-up after being dropped for the last two matches.

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