Aston Villa were a very tough opponent for the Cottagers today. It looked like Fulham would not get any points in this match going into stoppage time. However, in the last chance for Fulham, Danny Murphy took a free kick, and Brede Hangeland headed the ball into the net to secure a 1-1 draw for Fulham.
The first half of this match was very entertaining. Fulham had an early chance to take the lead in the 3rd minute. Simon Davies sent a great pass to Zoltan Gera. His header was saved by Brad Friedel.
Fulham would have a few other quality chances in the first half. In the 17th minute, Gera would have another shot that just goes wide of the net. The best chance for Fulham would come one minute later. Clint Dempsey has a shot inside the box that is saved by Friedel. The ball though ends up to Gera, and his shot goes over the net.
This was a pretty even first half, but it was Aston Villa who got the first goal of the match. In the 41st minute, Barry Bannan sent a great pass to Mark Albrighton who slammed a shot past Mark Schwarzer. Aston Villa went ahead late in the half 1-0. The half would end shortly afterwards with same score.
The second half to be completely honest was controlled by Aston Villa. Their young players stepped up, and gave Fulham fits until the later stages of the match.
Fulham would not have a decent chance to score in the second half until Andy Johnson entered the game. Johnson would make a huge impact. In the 74th minute, Johnson gets a nice shot on net that is saved by Friedel. His best chance came in the 81st minute. Johnson made a great run and is one on one with Friedel. The Villa goalkeeper made a tremendous save to keep them ahead.
Late in the game it looked like Aston Villa would go up by 2 goals as their counter-attacks were dangerous. Their best chance came in the 89th minute when Ashley Young's header just goes wide of the post.Unfortunately for Villa their lost opportunities late in this game would come back to haunt them.
In the last remaining seconds of this match, Murphy took a free kick which led to Hangeland's header that went into the net. The game ended 1-1.
Fulham honestly were very fortunate to grab a point. Aston Villa certainly out-played them in the second half. It took a little magic from Fulham to get the draw. The Cottagers will have to play better if they want to get any result on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.