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# 2018-05-26 17:00 Aston Villa vs Fulham

On May 26, 2018, Aston Villa faced Fulham in the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium. Fulham secured a 1-0 victory, earning promotion to the Premier League.

### Key Statistics and Analysis

1. Scoreline and Goal Timings:
• Aston Villa: 0
• Fulham: 1 (Tom Cairney 23′)
2. Possession:
• Fulham dominated possession with 65%, while Aston Villa had 35%. Fulham’s ability to retain the ball allowed them to control the tempo and dictate the flow of the game.
3. Shots:
• Aston Villa registered 12 shots, with 2 on target, reflecting their struggles to break down Fulham’s defense and create clear scoring opportunities. Fulham had 15 shots, with 4 on target, demonstrating their attacking intent and efficiency.
4. Passing Accuracy:
• Fulham displayed a high passing accuracy of 83%, completing 479 passes out of 578 attempts. Aston Villa had a lower passing accuracy of 67%, completing 221 passes out of 330 attempts. Fulham’s superior ball retention and distribution were key to their dominance.
5. Defensive Statistics:
• Aston Villa made 23 tackles compared to Fulham’s 14, indicating Villa’s efforts to disrupt Fulham’s play. Both teams committed 13 fouls, reflecting the physical and competitive nature of the match.
6. Set Pieces:
• The only goal of the match came from open play, with Tom Cairney scoring after a well-executed through ball from Ryan Sessegnon. Set pieces did not play a significant role in the outcome of this match.
7. Individual Performances:
• Tom Cairney was the standout player for Fulham, scoring the decisive goal and providing a calm presence in midfield. Ryan Sessegnon was also crucial, delivering the assist for Cairney’s goal. For Aston Villa, Jack Grealish was the most active player, trying to drive the team forward and create opportunities, but he was unable to break through Fulham’s solid defense.
8. Tactical Overview:
• Fulham employed a 4-3-3 formation, focusing on maintaining possession, controlling the midfield, and utilizing the pace and creativity of their wide players. Aston Villa used a 4-1-4-1 formation, aiming to be solid defensively and counter-attack quickly. Fulham’s tactical discipline and ability to control the game were decisive in their victory.
9. Disciplinary:
• The match saw one red card for Fulham’s Denis Odoi (70′) for a second yellow card. Despite being reduced to ten men, Fulham managed to hold on to their lead. Additionally, the match had six yellow cards, three for each team: Aston Villa’s Ahmed Elmohamady (10′), Alan Hutton (41′), and Jack Grealish (73′); Fulham’s Stefan Johansen (32′), Matt Targett (35′), and Denis Odoi (70′).
10. Corners and Offsides:
• Aston Villa won 7 corners compared to Fulham’s 2, reflecting their attempts to apply pressure, especially in the second half. Aston Villa were caught offside twice, while Fulham had no offside calls, indicating disciplined defensive lines and calculated attacking movements.

### Summary

Fulham’s 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final was marked by a dominant performance in possession and tactical discipline. Tom Cairney’s first-half goal, set up by Ryan Sessegnon, was the decisive moment. Despite Denis Odoi’s red card reducing Fulham to ten men for the final 20 minutes, they managed to maintain their lead and secure promotion to the Premier League. Aston Villa, despite their efforts and several attacking attempts, were unable to penetrate Fulham’s organized defense. Fulham’s control of possession, passing accuracy, and disciplined defensive performance were key factors in their success, earning them a well-deserved place in the Premier League.

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