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Fulham vs. Aston Villa, International Friendly: Final Score 2-0 as Aston Villa Wins Friendly at Exploria Stadium

Aston Villa scored a goal in each half to defeat a wasteful Fulham side in friendly action at Exploria Stadium.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Aston Villa scored a goal in each half to dispatch Fulham 2-0 in a friendly match, as the Summer Series came to Orlando’s Exploria Stadium. Jaden Philogene put Aston Villa ahead in the first half and Moussa Diaby doubled the lead in the second half to lead the Villans past a Fulham side that wasted several good opportunities to get on the scoreboard.

“A strange match tonight,” Aston Villa Manager Unai Emery said. “We started late, and we didn’t get the rhythm like we wanted. We didn’t build up like we were doing on Sunday against Newcastle. We didn’t connect or progress with good passes trying to get in the boxes, but we competed, we won, and we played the game with different players, trying to get our fitness. I am happy but overall it was strange, tonight’s match.”

Marco Silva’s starting lineup for Fulham looked like this:

Emery countered with this lineup for Aston Villa:

A delay for inclement weather pushed kickoff back an hour and 20 minutes. Once the match began, the two English sides played a physical and sometimes downright feisty game for a friendly.

The opening 25 minutes was mostly bereft of clear-cut chances. The best opportunity for either side up to that point was a header just wide off a corner kick by Aston Villa’s Kansa in the eighth minute.

As the first half wore on, Aston Villa started creating more opportunities. Cameron Archer was sent into the box with a good through ball and he was taken down. It was an obvious penalty. Archer took the spot kick himself, but Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno got a hand to it, diving to his right and deflecting it off the woodwork.

Villa worked the ball back into the box to Archer again but this time he sent his shot wide to the left.

Kansa was booked for Aston Villa in the 36th minute for a rough foul as the physical play continued. Shortly after that, however, his side took the lead.

A ball in from the left side from Lucas Digne found Philogene in front and he swept it home to make it 1-0 in the 40th minute.

Just before the break, Fulham put the ball in the net through Carlos Vinicius, but the flag had gone up for offside in the buildup. Villa carried its 1-0 lead into halftime.

Fulham opened the second half looking to get level and creating chances. Substitute Willian won an early free kick but Fulham could do nothing with it. Vinicius was left unmarked moments later but headed over the bar. Sasa Lukic tried an ambitious shot from distance in the 54th minute, but it was always going wide to the right. A minute later, Vinicius had another header attempt but hit this one just outside the upper left corner of the goal frame.

Aston Villa then calmed things down with a good spell of possession, although the Lions couldn’t create any chances from it. Both managers substituted liberally at the hour mark to bring on fresh legs.

Fulham’s best look came in the 71st minute. Willian sent a good diagonal ball that went through traffic and found Harry Wilson in the box. However, the Welsh winger scuffed his shot badly wide to the left.

Two minutes later, Villa scored an insurance goal. A well-weighted ball over the top found a streaking Diaby, who got in behind the Fulham defense and beat goalkeeper Mark Rodak to make it 2-0.

Luke Harris got some late chances for Fulham but he sent his first one straight at substitute goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and the second one Martinez saved, knocking it just wide for a corner in the 80th and 81st minutes.

Jay Stansfield went for goal from outside the area but sent his shot wide on one of Fulham’s last decent looks in the 87th minute.

Villa nearly made it 3-0 in the 89th minute when Ollie Watkins was sent in behind but his touch was just a tad heavy and that allowed Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak to come off his line and intercede.

That was the last good chance and Aston Villa closed out a victory in what was a fairly even match in which Fulham simply couldn’t find the net.

“It was really good,” Silva said of the Exploria Stadium atmosphere. “One of the very good things on this tour and this Summer Series is that we are playing preseason matches, but at the same time, we are playing these types of matches with a good environment, with a good atmosphere in the stadiums. It’s much easier for the players to be motivated when they play with this type of environment in the stadium. One of the good things this Summer Series gives us as a coach, is we don’t need to push them because the environment will give them the boost in terms of the motivation that they need.”

Starting Lineups:

Fulham — Bernd Leno, Kenny Tete, Harrison Reed, Harry Wilson, Tom Cairney (C), Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Kevin Mbabu, Sasa Lukic, Carlos Vinicius, Issa Diop, Luc De Fougerolles.

Aston Villa — Robin Olsen, Konsa, John McGinn (C), Youri Tielemans, Emiliano Buendia, Lucas Digne, Torres, Jaden Philogene, Cameron Archer, Boubacar Kamara.


Aston Villa — Jaden Philogene (40′)

Aston Villa — Moussa Diaby (73′)




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