Date: 26th May 2018 at 7:02pm
Written by:
Aston Villa
0 – 1

Wembley Stadium

Championship Play-Off Final

26/05/2018 5:00 pm

Attendance: 85243

Referee: Taylor

Aston Villa Fulham
Cairney (23)
Johnstone Bettinelli
Elmohamady 77 Fredericks 83
Terry Ream
77 Cairney
Snodgrass McDonald
Hourihane 82 Johansen 72
Adomah Mitrovic
Grabban Sessegnon


Whelan Fonte
Hogan 82 Ayite
Bree Norwood 72
Onomah 77 Piazon
Bjarnason Christie 83
Kodjia 77 Kalas 77
Bunn Button

Game Statistics

12 Goal attempts 15
2 On Target 3
0 Corners 3
14 Fouls 15
4 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 1
49 % 51

With hope in the air for the Championship Play-Off Final against Fulham today, it’s fair to say we didn’t quite get out of the blocks in the first half and found ourselves 1-0 down at the break.

Fulham had far more of the ball but didn’t really do much with it and our occasional forays forward fell down on the final ball. The best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to Jack Grealish in a clever freekick routine but sadly he couldn’t restore parity or test the goalkeeper as he fired over high.

The only other notable comment for the first half was Anthony Taylor’s desire to not book a Fulham player given the challenges they were putting in, oh and give a penalty for a blatant push in the box.

So, to the second half and what was to be, became so.

A much brighter second 45 restored some hope and pride as Villa certainly made a much better game of it. The referee continued his incompetence and refused to give a penalty for a handball and then another push (albeit that one was soft), but at least we finally started showing what we were capable of instead of sitting off them and letting them play.

With chances falling to Jack in particular, we should’ve been level but hopes were boosted with the sending off of Denis Odoi for yet another foul on Grealish.

Down to ten men, they stayed organised and apart from a couple of moments we struggled to create much of note with the advantage we should’ve had but we did more dominate.

Unfortunately, and not for the first time, an amateurish and shoddy first half period cost us the greatest of prizes.

One of these days we might play for 90 minutes, and on that note, I’m off to drown my sorrows.


26 Replies to “Match Stats: Aston Villa v Fulham – We Blow It At Wembley”

  • The worse thing was we didn’t deserve it, that’s the worst we’ve played in months. Didn’t show up. We need new direction. The old school Bruce style doesn’t cut it anymore. Beyond gutted, worse than relegation.

  • In many ways we were not ready for premier league. Get a new manager clear all the dead wood. Start fresh. Ultimate goal to play football. Dream scenario would be Wenger. But no chance. Ffp going to kill us, we need a youthful team with a few oldies. Money is No longer the answer. Strategy with a future mission. Getting out of the abyss now needs serious brains. Hope wyness is up to it.

  • Before the match, I wasn’t confident at all, and so it proved. I feel sad for Brucey, but I really do think he’s taken us as far as he can. We really need a new brush with new ideas. There’s going to be quite a clear out I’m sure. Bottom line, we didn’t turn up until the second half, and even then we didn’t look like scoring. Fulham know how to play slick passing football and could of been more than one up at half time.

    The Future begins tomorrow!……

    • Nonsense! Today was on the players! Look at the difference between the halves once he got in their ear, we were much better second half. We spent a fortune on players who’ve not done the business. Cannot change managers again!! It’s that approach that has us paying Micah Richards £35k a year! Consistency we need. He’s proven. If he can’t do it we really are rotten to the core! We’ve tried young managers, old managers, foreign managers…all hopeless, all expensive, all leaving unwanted players on big contracts. We’ve an experienced manager, proven at this level. Last thing we need is to start again. Again! Geez

  • Pride, I just hope Xia has to guts to make the big call asap and get a young hungry taction in. I like Bruce as a person but he was totally outclassed today. We really haven’t played good football all season.

  • We bottled it. They had momentum winning 13 of last 16 or similar and they were better than us. Tactically I thought Bruce was fine but key players weren’t good enough. We’ve been unlucky that Kodja hasn’t come back as good as he was. Adomah has gone off the boil…we’ve relied too heavily on Grealish- he’s good but a true, true talent would have scored today from a couple of chances he had. I believe he lost his head a bit – I don’t blame him mind. Parachute payments have gone, big restructuring to happen now but we cannot, cannot lose Bruce. He’s a proven track record. We’ve tried every other type of manager and got nowhere. We won’t do better than being consistent with a tried and tested manager. It was on that players today. We had a very slow start to this season and had 2 key, key players out for months and came fourth. Binning off the manager is naive. Have to suck it up. Have to regroup and have to do wonders in the transfer market. Might need to open up the top tier to generate some more cash though even if we don’t ever fill it – every £ will count or we really will become the new Notts Forest. Fans need to stop kidding ourselves we’re a big club, stop booing about the average signings we’ll have to make and encourage or we’ll languish down here forever. Tough day. UTV

    • Bruce has got teams promoted, but I wonder how many come back down. We need a miracle, and he ain’t it.

      • Irrelevant really! Especially as he’s often been fired in his first season after promotion. Let’s just concentrate on getting promoted in the first place!! Which he’s statistically better than literally everyone at doing!

  • So over this proven track record talk….. We have been tripe all season. We played 1 good game against Wolves. Agreed big players didn’t turn up (Snodgrass the most disappointing for me) and that’s not Brucey’s fault but his tactics are outdated. Anyone that’s says his tactics were fine is deluded… and throwing every striker on the pitch isn’t a tactic. See Fulham’s manager react to sending off, changed tactics and shut it down. Kodjia should have been on way earlier, someone that can make something out of nothing. Agreed the players need to take blame (half of them should go too) but we obviously need something else. We were crap against Middlesbrough too.

    • Everything Bruce has done suggests he’d have done the same in Fulham manager’s shoes – just didn’t have that luxury. Taking off a fullback and putting on a striker at 70 minutes is more than reasonable! Fact is Hogan has been a huge diasappointment as has the moron with th gate who I’ve erased from my mind. May not have played liquid football but despite a slow start and major injuries, we got 4th. Who on earth do you want instead of Bruce – crucially, that you think we could attract? Especially now we’re broke! The more we spend paying off Bruce, paying compensation for a manager, the less we have for players. It’s madness!

      • Luxury? Think you’ll find Bruce has spent a lot more than Fulham’s manager. Did you see the football for the whole season including today? The passing, movement and vision was first class and they look a prem team already. We have played very ordinary all season and lack an real tactics. We’ve relied on individual brilliance to get us wins. Off the top of my head someone like Lee Johnson would be a good shout, what he’s done is brilliant and he already beat prem teams this season with a nothing squad. Even Pep praised him very highly.

  • We could have won it in second half. Poor ref decisions and poor finishing. Bruce got us there. A load of moaners. Support your team. Ex Handsworth now lancs.

    • Can’t blame the ref for that mate, no way. Don’t you want a style of football at our club? A clear direction? An ethos? We’ve got nothing. I bet Bruce says we dust off and go again, that’s all he has.

  • Moaning about imaginary penalties and bad ref decisions is a waste of time. Grealish should have been off for a terrible tackle. Don’t hear anybody mentioning that. Best team (on the day and all season) won. End of story.

  • old players where found wanting we needed a descent left back all season really we did alrite this season where never good enough to go up as i said players aren’t good enough too many old players hopefully next season start blooding the youngsters get rid of this ageing squad too many over 30’s in team yer right that Hogan is useless when he come on i gave up .

  • Absolutely gutted, but the majority of us I’m sure would agree that this team would have struggled in the premiership even with the size of the experienced squad. The management must stay for continuity, that’s hoping that they want to! chopping and changing is normally only a temporary solution. Yes the loan players will go back, all good players, but not one has been a success in the premiership as yet. FFP will prove a problem, but after the natural clear out, let’s see what we’ve got. I’m sure Grealish and Chester will stay, Kodjia, Adomah, Hourihan, Elmo, Barney, Lansbury, Whelan, Taylor, Gardiner, Green, Bree, Jedinak, Hogan, Davis, Thsibola, Gill, and let’s not write Terry, Hutton or Macormack off just yet, nor Ricahrds, who’s still only 28, Add to that the obvious names from the youngsters, RHM, OHare etc. And we have the nucleus of a very good squad still. A few possible additions and loans, and who better that Bruce and Co to get them with his contacts, and then bring it on!!! This is not the end of the world. To miss out on promotion over a season by a goal isn’t that bad. I know other clubs have suffered with injuries, but that was probably our strongest available team yesterday, with Terry, Grealish, Jedinak, Kodija, Hogan all suffering bad injuries and missing large parts of the season. The future is still bright my friends and the future is and always will be claret and blue!!!!! VTID

  • What a pity … Bruce got the tactics 100% wrong in the 1st half , we were more frightened of Fulham and played the defensive counter attacking game, look at the 2nd half when we played more on the front foot , well we had to, 90 minutes of that and I’m sure we would of scored. I ask the question why has the team gone missing on far too many occasions this season ? Know its easy to say in hindsight but take away the bad start, December and the Feb blip and a haul of points in those spells and we would of been promoted with ease ? Its time our youngsters started to stand up and be counted , get in the 1st team and excel . We need some change otherwise it will be the same next season under Mr Bruce.

  • Looks like our youngsters are finally going to get a look in, whether Bruce likes it or not, which i’m quite pleased about.

  • We didn’t really deserve it on the day, too many players went missing. Yes, we did sit a bit too deep for my liking 1st half but we were missing tackles and letting players run off us giving Fulham easy passes all over the pitch. Cairney just strolled away from Jack to get into space for the goal – not having a go at Jack as he was probably our best player yesterday. So close to a wonder goal if it hadnt got a deflection off their defender. I’m not sure getting rid of Bruce now would be a good move, no one has won promotion from this league more times than him – if he did leave it wouldn’t surprise me if he walked into another championship job and got them promoted. Sometimes its better to stick with the plan even it is taking a little longer than expected. Having said that he may want to take some time off himself after the last 6 months he’s had

  • We are rock bottom. Let’s take advantage. Start afresh. Bruce should be gone first thing. This is No longer about a return to premiership it is about returning to the premiership with vision ,style and grace. Too many people rush back for the greed. 3 year plan. Top quality manager needed on Tuesday.

  • As an aside, our scouts in the past have I feel come in for some unnecessary critism. Yes they have and no doubt will make other mistakes, but the quality of Amavi and Veretout is now obvious on the continent. It is sad to see numerous ex villa players still plying their trade in the premiership, some of whom were deemed unsuitable or not good enough for us. E.G. Westwood and Lowton and now Bennett at Cardiff. But there is also Delph, Young, Cahill, Milner, Crouch, Allbrighton, Ayew, Barry, Benteke, Gueye, Ireland and possibly others. Some of them moved through their own choice, others I feel were not. We must keep our better players, whatever it takes. Perhaps we need to wipe the slate clean with Macormack and Richards. Perhaps the wrong section to post a comment, but I just had to do it and get it off my chest. Now I feel a little better!

  • I was there,Fulham was the best side on average,and by far the best over the season.At Craven Cottage 2 mouths ago were totally outplayed Villa,I was at the match and we could have got 5 goals,At Wembley,on the day there should have been two penalties extra ,one each,plus one each team extra sending off,over the whole match the result was about correct.good luck to Villa in the future,as two of my gran children support Villa.

  • Bruce tactics either suspect or has to play that way with the players he has got. 3of his signings not used on the bench, a left back not in the team, 3 he did sign played not counting loan players. I mention the above to highlight that some of his signings he has no confidence in, so his transfer dealings are questionable! The game should be swift the ball played to feet with a mixture of young and experienced players, with no money we need a new aproach, so with his contacts and general management skills, move Bruce to a general manager position and bring in Dean Smith to select, coach and train the players in a passing to feet game not hoof it up field as we saw in parts of Saturdays game. Continuity with a fresh approach.

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