Fulham 3 Aston Villa 1: Neeskens Kebano, Sone Aluko and Ryan Sessegnon goals keep play-off hopes alive

tom dutton

Fulham kept the heat on their Championship play-off rivals with an impressive 3-1 victory over 10-man Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.

Ryan Sessegnon, Sone Aluko and Neeskens Kebano were on target for the hosts as they brushed aside Steve Bruce's depleted team following Jonathan Kodjia's early red card.

Restored the the first XI in place of the suspended Chris Martin, Sessegnon showed great composure to break the deadlock after seeing his initial volley crash off the bar.

The 16-year-old combined with Scott Malone to wreak havoc down the left flank in the early exchanges, but it was a move initiated on the right which led to Fulham's opener.


Tom Cairney lifted a ball up to the back post and Sessegnon needed two bites to squeeze an effort in at the near post and leave the Craven Cottage crowd dreaming of a Premier League return.

And the hosts' cause was boosted further when Jonathan Kodjia was dismissed moments later. After losing a battle for the high ball, Kodjia appeared to kick out at Ryan Fredericks before being ordered from the pitch to cries of "cheerio, cheerio" from the home fans.

But after Tim Ream and Sessegnon passed up presentable chances to double the advantage, it seemed Fulham would be made to pay for their wastefulness.

Jordan Amavi drifted in from the left unchallenged and found Scott Hogan, who in turn picked out Grealish on the left flank; the Villa man jinked onto his right boot and sent a dipping strike beyond Marcus Bettinelli to pull the 10 men level.

The joy was short-lived, however, for the visiting Villa fans as parity too lasted scarcely five minutes.

Floyd Ayite ventured in from the left and found Aluko, who smashed an effort at Villa goalkeeper Johnstone before watching the ball spin over the line. Substitute Neeskens Kebano, on for Scott Malone, proved a menace down the right thereafter and got a deserved goal after the Villa defence were pulled out of shape with just over 10 minutes to go.

The 25-year-old charged in from the wing and fired low across Johnstone to seal the points.

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