Albrighton has Fulham all at sea but then ensures their rescue

Fulham 1 Aston Villa 1

Just when Aston Villa remembered how to score they showed they have forgotten how to win. The visitors arrived at Craven Cottage without three first-team forwards but Marc Albrighton's goal ended a scoring drought of 385 minutes – more than four games' worth.

Unfortunately for Gérard Houllier, especially given that Villa created many more chances than their hosts, one bad break means their winless run stretches back five games to the end of September. With the match four minutes into stoppage time, Brede Hangeland got a header on Danny Murphy's free-kick that brushed off Stephen Warnock's chest and got past Brad Friedel.

Unfortunately for Houllier as well, he has also now got himself in an argument with John Carew. The Norway forward is injured but in an interview accused Houllier of "lacking respect" for him. Houllier hit back, calling the former Valencia player "stupid", accusing him of "living in the past", a reference to fans singing Carew's name for goals he scored in past seasons but not in the current campaign. After a pointed reference to Carew's dubious fitness record, Houllier did say the row would not stop him picking the player when he is fit.

Having reached 94 minutes with only Albrighton's goal to show for it, Villa need Carew, as well as Emile Heskey and Gabriel Agbonlahor fit again. One of that triumvirate would almost certainly have got the second that would have put paid to Fulham.

Yet any of them would have been impressed with the way Albrighton finished, trapping Barry Bannan's cross-field pass and curling his shot inside the far post. Sadly for Albrighton he also conceded the free-kick that led to Fulham's goal.

Villa had the game's outstanding players: Stewart Downing and the midfield pair of Bannan and Ciaran Clark. Not far behind was Mark Schwarzer. The Fulham goalkeeper denied Downing after only three minutes but his most important intervention came in the 89th. A move started by Stephen Ireland, who has also felt Houllier's wrath, led to Downing crossing for Ashley Young. His header was not powerful but Schwarzer still had to scramble across to push it away. At the time it seemed inconsequential but that was before Albrighton's late mistake that left Houllier so rueful. "I'm disappointed with the result," he said, "but have told the players their performance was outstanding."

Attendance: 25,676

Referee: Peter Watson

Man of the match: Bannan

Match rating: 6/10

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all