Villa home drought over as last-gasp Weimann fells Fulham

Aston Villa 1 Fulham 0

villa park

Goal of the month it certainly wasn't. It wouldn't be in the top 10 for any Premier League goal of the day competition on more prolific afternoons but Andreas Weimann's bizarre winner – scrambled in from a position on all fours two minutes into stoppage-time – will do nicely for Aston Villa.

Just as the club's winless home run was about to become their longest since 1921, up popped the Austrian to mark his latest outing from the substitutes' bench with his first appearance on the Premier League scoresheet.

In keeping with Villa's long and patient wait for a breakthrough, the ball took an age to go in as Mark Schwarzer beat out first Gary Gardner's right-foot 20-yarder and then a header from the in-rushing Weimann. But the 20-year-old, whose only previous senior goals in England had come on loan at Watford last season, bundled home the second rebound from two yards.

Not only was Villa's first home victory since Bonfire Night a cause of huge relief. There was also considerable irony.

The big moment was fashioned and executed by their three substitutes but the mood of almost season-long Villa Park dissatisfaction threatened to become truly fractious when Weimann was sent on for Charles N'Zogbia in the 71st minute. "You don't know what you're doing," chanted the Holte End at Alex McLeish. The anger was directed at the departure of the Frenchman rather than the arrival of his replacement but the manager was proved correct.

"The fans see a forward coming off [and complain] but Andreas is a goalscorer," said McLeish. "He was a certainty to go on. I discussed that with my coaches. We played some great football but we needed to be clinical and took too long to score."

Fulham, for all their recent enterprise, remain unconvincing on the road. They didn't play like a team who had won three games in a row – Villa didn't let them in the first half – and took over half an hour to produce their first goal attempt, a token effort from Andrew Johnson easily gathered by Shay Given.

However, they improved substantially after half-time with Damien Duff hitting the outside of the post with a left-foot shot from 15 yards and John Arne Riise volleying narrowly wide of the angle from distance.

With little sighting of Pavel Pogrebnyak, thanks largely to a lack of quality service before or after Danny Murphy's departure with a swollen black eye, Villa were dominant. Gabby Agbonlahor was denied by Schwarzer from the best of their early chances and a sprightly, upbeat performance also saw N'Zogbia slice wide.

As the tempo grew, Marc Albrighton struck the top of the bar from Alan Hutton's pull-back and, late on, Carlos Cuellar badly missed the target.

There was still time, though, for a player who has scored two hat-tricks in the reserves in recent weeks. He was the crucial difference and left Fulham's manager, Martin Jol, saying: "I thought we were the better side in the second half and should have had a 0-0."

Aston Villa (4-4-1-1): Given; Hutton, Cuellar, Collins, Warnock; Albrighton, Petrov, Herd, N'Zogbia; Ireland; Agbonlahor. Substitutes Weimann for N'Zogbia (71), Bannan for Herd (82), Gardner for Petrov (89).

Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Kelly, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Murphy, Dembele, Dempsey; Johnson, Pogrebnyak. Substitutes Diarra for Murphy (HT), Ruiz for Johnson (67).

Referee Jonathan Moss.

Man of the match Ireland (Aston Villa).

Match rating 6/10.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory