George Rossiter returns to rate the Fulham performances after the Whites returned to winning ways under the lights at the Cottage.
Marco Silva’s side were in fine form on Thursday evening, scoring three with no reply, and quite frankly it could have been more. It was a fully deserved result, and one that by the end of the night saw Steven Gerrard lose his job.
A first clean sheet for our new arrival in net will be a huge confidence boost after a run of games conceding too often, not that that’s been Leno’s fault on too many occasions. The German made a couple of important stops, especially from Watkins, but also dropped one into his path too. Here’s hoping it’s the first clean sheet of many. 8/10
Bobby De-Cordova Reid
It’s easy to suggest anyone’s best game defensively could come in a display resulting in a clean sheet, but this was the case for Bobby. It was especially noticeable how strong he was in the air against Villa’s attack. The one thing that cropped up again was a slight lack of defensive awareness in his positioning at times, but overall, very solid. 7.5/10
Issa Diop slowly seems to be making himself a regular starter in this Fulham side with the benefit of his Premier League experience and physical attributes at the back. Villa didn’t cause him many problems and most of the game was played in the opposition third, but Diop was relatively faultless when called into action. 7/10
While everyone continues to ask the question of who should play in Fulham’s backline, Ream continues to hold his own. Superb defensively with the addition of being a brilliant ball-progressing centre-back that starts attacks at will. What a season he is having. 8/10
Robinson continues to be consistently impressive, made even more incredible after an interview with the Athletic pointed out how much more serious his ankle injury from earlier in the season could have been. 7.5/10
Harrison ReedEmbed from Getty Images
Our prolific goal scorer simply cannot stop bagging – and no, you haven’t skipped forward to Mitro’s rating. Harrison’s bullet from the edge of the area put Fulham in the lead and we didn’t look back. A typical lung-busting Reed performance in wake of the news of a provisional 55-man World Cup squad being announced… get him on the plane Gareth! 8/10
The moment Palhinha turned up with his shirt tucked in, it was game over for Aston Villa. Joao didn’t give an inch of space to the extremely talented Jacob Ramsey who was completely anonymous in the game and pushed Fulham forward in attack so often. Players of this quality are rare at Fulham, what a signing Palhinha continues to be. 8/10
Watching Kebano thrive under a manager with confidence in him and a consistent run in the side in the Premier League is wonderful to see. Another quality performance culminated in the third Fulham goal, with Neeskens’ effort cannoning off Tyrone Mings past Emiliano Martinez. 7.5/10
Talking of Brazilians proving their quality, Pereira continued to make his mark on this side. Just like his international counterpart, Andreas was finding space everywhere and especially in the first half took players on with a pace and confidence that continues to be built since his move away from Old Trafford. 8/10.
I believe the phrase is ‘rolling back the years’. It was like watching the Brazilian in his pomp down the road for the majority of this game, showing that he could find space wherever he wanted in between the Villa defensive lines. This was the world class Brazilian international we all wanted to see the best out of. 9/10 – Man of the Match.
Mitro showed off both sides of his game against Villa across the two halves. In the first 45 he was at his creative best, holding the ball up well and creating numerous chances, especially for Willian. In the second, Mitro won and scored the penalty for Fulham’s second, that’s now eight for the season for the man who can’t do it in the Premier League. 8/10
Tom Cairney (73’ for Harrison Reed)
Having someone of TC’s quality off the bench when the game is put to bed against ten men is an absolute joy. 7/10
Dan James (73’ for Willian)
Not quite sure why James keeps getting minutes on his weaker left side of the pitch, but himself and Robinson might be the quickest left flank in football history. 6/10
Carlos Vinicius (85’ for Aleksandar Mitrovic)
The Brazilian continues to look for his first Fulham goal after another small cameo. 6/10
Harry Wilson (85’ for Neeskens Kebano)
Our Welsh magician continues to build match fitness, hopefully a starting spot isn’t far off. 6/10
Luke Harris (87’ for Andreas Pereira)
A brilliant moment to see the teenager make his Premier League debut, a debut that included a phenomenal crunching tackle on Tyrone Mings; never ever a booking. 6/10.