Written by Grant Miles
Twitter handle: @GrantMilesFF
Fulham secured a crucial three points at Craven Cottage on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 win against Aston Villa, with Steve Sidwell and Dimitar Berbatov providing the finishes, for what could be a really important victory for the West Londoners.
Rene Meulensteen claimed his first victory since becoming Fulham boss and will see this result as a welcome bonus. In their previous outing, at home against Tottenham, they provided an admirable performance with no end product to show for their efforts but they were ruthless her, in their search for only their second home victory in the Premier League this campaign.
In the first half there was a renewed vigour and application, compared to their performances under Martin Jol, from Fulham and when Steve Sidwell managed to strike home from a difficult angle on 21 minutes he set the Cottagers well on their way.
Berbatov knocked the ball down to Dejagah and he slipped a first-time ball through to Sidwell, who made no mistake with the finish, despite being hauled down by Bacuna for his troubles.
The visitors tried to respond through Christian Benteke, who was back in the side, following his demotion to the bench, midweek against Southampton, but to no avail.
Fulham provided a sucker punch only nine minutes later as the superb Dimitar Berbatov slotted home a penalty on 30 minutes.
Kacaniklic went down contentiously from a challenge from Bacuna as he looked to be heading away from goal, but the Bulgarian maestro made no mistake from the resulting spot kick.
Berbatov had a real steadying influence on his side for the rest of the game. Riise hit the outside of the post and could have put the game beyond doubt, whilst Agbonlahor had a penalty claim denied by Mike Dean, which could have provided a nervy finish.
Fulham are within touching distance of safety as only goal difference separates them from West Ham above them outside the relegation zone.