Super sub Trezeguet scored two quickfire goals to lead Aston Villa past Fulham 3-1 on Sunday at Villa Park, ending a four-match winless run and further damaging the visitors’ hopes of Premier League survival.
Fulham nearly moved out of the drop zone for the first time since early December when Aleksandar Mitrovic took advantage of a Tyrone Mings gaffe to put Fulham ahead in the 61st minute.
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But Mings set up Trezeguet for a low drive through traffic in the 77th minute and the Egyptian got his second within three minutes to give Villa the lead. Ollie Watkins scored late to move Dean Smith’s men ninth with 44 points.
Mitrovic, the ex-Newcastle striker, scored his first goal since a September brace against Leeds and gives Fulham 27 points, two fewer than his former mates who drew Tottenham a few hours earlier.
Newcastle has played one fewer match and has 29 points. Sixteenth-place Brighton has 32 points, while 15th-place Burnley has 33 and 14th-place Wolves have 34.
Three things we learned from Fulham – Aston Villa
1. Egyptian electricity makes difference in absence of Grealish: Trezeguet’s first two goals of the Premier League season are better late than never after the 26-year-old Egyptian scored six times in PL play last season. Villa was stung by Jack Grealish’s injury setback Saturday, thwarting his potential return as the captain had missed six matches and Villa won just one of them, drawing two and losing three. Villa scored just two goals in those six matches, one from Anwar El Ghazi and the other an own goal for Newcastle from former Villan defender Ciaran Clark.
2. Fulham rattled, lose twice: The Cottagers were better in the first half and went deservedly in front through Mitrovic, who might’ve had a couple on another day by the time he put Fulham ahead with a half-hour to play. But Fulham just fell apart, perhaps shocked a bit when Trezeguet scored his first and never really found their footing despite forcing a pair of saves from Emiliano Martinez. And the late third goal could makes the loss sting more, as Fulham’s goal differential advantage shrunk to three.
3. Mings makes amends: Villa center back Tyrone Mings saw his England teammate John Stones make up for a gaffe by assisting a big goal in World Cup qualifying, so he knew just what to do when he gave Mitrovic the chance to put Fulham up 1-0. Mings hit a left-footed cross that Trezeguet put home for 1-1, and the Villans kicked on from there. Fine stuff fro the physical back.
Man of the Match: Trezeguet
Fulham – Aston Villa recap
Fulham was bright early and seemed destined to at least match Newcastle’s point, but VAR had to take a long look at Andy Madley’s decision to award Ollie Watkins a penalty after two minutes of stoppage time.
Mario Lemina’s desperate bid to clear the ball was initially given as a penalty but Madley went to the screen and saw that the Fulham man’s foot got to the ball just before he cleaned out Watkins.
Mitrovic got his deserved goal with help from Villa, as Morgan Sanson saw a pass blocked and Tyrone Mings’ attempted back pass to Emiliano Martinez sent the Serbian through on goal.
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But that snapped Villa to life.
Mings cued up Trezeguet’s first goal and the Egyptian was at the back post again to give Villa a lead within minutes.
Bertrand Traore set up Ollie Watkins late to add to Fulham’s woes and salt away the win for Dean Smith’s men, still n the European picture.