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Game #5706

Aston Villa

15-4-6, 49 PTS

Won

4th (+1)

Last 5: 🟥 🟩 🟥 🟥 🟩

Saturday, 17 February 2024

Premier League

Fulham

Craven Cottage

8-5-12, 29 PTS

Attendance: 24,401

Fulham

1-2

Aston Villa

Assist(s): Youri Tielemans | 56’ |

MATCH SUMMARY

Villa in total control and cruising at 2-0, against the run of play Fulham score a surprise consolation as Villa push for a third, by the end of the 90’ Fulham had done enough to put Villa out of sight. Funny old game. In other news, Adama Traoré is still a total and utter bell end.

KEY MAN

Ollie Watkins, 18 goals, 10 assists and so much more.

2020-21 (h) Aston Villa Kit.gif
2020-21 (h) Aston Villa Kit.gif
2021-22 Matchweek 38.jpg

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission.

MATCH TIMELINE

Saturday, 17 February 2024

⚽ | 2’ Goal, 1-0, Ollie Watkins, Assist by Youri Tielemans
🎥 | 2’ Goal disallowed for offside
⚽ | 22’ Goal, 0-1, (Fulham), Tim Ream
🎥 | 22’ Goal disallowed for offside
⚽ | 23’ Goal, 1-0, Ollie Watkins
🟨 | 33’ Booking, John McGinn for a bad foul
🕒 | 45’+8 HT Fulham 0-1 Aston Villa
⚽ | 56’ Goal, 2-0, Ollie Watkins, Assist by Youri Tielemans
🥅 | 63’ Goal, 2-1, (Fulham), Rodrigo Muniz
🟨 | 74’ Booking, Álex Moreno for a bad foul
🔁 | 81’ Sub off, Leon Bailey, Sub on, Moussa Diaby
🔁 | 81’ Sub off, Álex Moreno, Sub on, Lucas Digne
🔁 | 90’+4 Sub off, Youri Tielemans, Sub on, Tim Iroegbunam
🕒 | 90’+6 HT Fulham 1-2 Aston Villa

ON THIS DAY

Villa move back into the Premier League top four and Champions League qualification on a day of milestones.

Goalkeeper Joe Gauci makes his first squad appearance for Villa after joining in the January transfer window.

Meanwhile Ollie Watkins celebrates his 130th Villa start with a brace to win the game, whilst John McGinn chalks up 220 appearances, Jacob Ramsey - still just 22 - 120, Matty Cash 130 and Lucas Digne 75.

Aston Villa

European Cup / Champions League: 🏆
League Champions: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
FA Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 🏆🏆
League Cup Winners: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Last Trophy: 1995-96

Fulham

European Cup / Champions League: ❌
League Champions: ❌
FA Cup Winners: ❌
League Cup Winners: ❌
Last Trophy: ❌

FIXTURE HISTORY

Fulham

Previous 5 vs. Fulham: 🟩 🟩 🟥 🟩 🟩

PREVIOUS MATCH

NEXT MATCH

None

FIXTURE DETAILS

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Season | 2023-24 |
Matchday | #37 |
League Game | #25 |
Manager Game | #64 |
Saturday, 17 February 2024
Attendance | 24,401 |

MATCH SUMMARY

Manager: Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 | Hondarribia, 2022-
Referee: Lewis Smith | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Lancashire, 2024-
Kick off: 3.00pm
HT Score: 🟩 1-0
FT Result: 🟩 Won
FT Score: 🟩 2-1
Last 5: 🟥 🟩 🟥 🟥 🟩

MANAGERIAL RECORD

Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

GAMES | WINS | DRAWS | LOSSES | POINTS PER GAME

🕒 64 | 🟩 | 37 🟨 | 10 🟥 17 | 1.89

Villa Career Form:

Top 4

MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Lewis Smith | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Lancashire, 2024-
Matches Officiated: 1
🟩 : 1
🟨 : 0
🟥 : 0
🆘 : 0
Previous 5: None
Last Match: None
Cards: 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨
Assistants: Eddie Smart, Nick Greenhalgh.
Fourth official: Darren England.
VAR: John Brooks.
Assistant VAR: Natalie Aspinall.

Lewis Smith takes charge of a Villa game and a Premier League match for the first time.
Smith was refereeing in the National League 12 months ago.

ALL THE MATCHES REFEREED BY:

CARDS

Villa

🟨 🟨

Fulham

🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨 🟨

TEAM NEWS

Villa’s horrendous injury luck continues - not just in numbers but also in severity with THREE first team players now ruled out with ACL injuries. Mings, Buendía and now Kamara are the victims with none of the three likely to reappear before late 2024 and even then requiring significant rehabilitation for match readiness.

Pau Torres is called back up after his own injury issues, something that Unai Emery would prefer not to have had to do, whilst Villa are down to youth players and a Premier League novice as midfield back up (no disrespected intended). Up front there isn’t even that luxury with Ollie Watkins the only fit, recognised centre forward at the club. The full back positions provide relative luxury with Lucas Digne and the exciting potential of Kaine Kesler Hayden to call on but Defensive cover now consists of Calum Chambers, a player expected to have left in January.

TEAM STATS

Squad Average Age: 26.61
Starting XI Average Age: 27.56
Subs Average Age: 25.59
Bench Average Age: 25.56

Oldest Starter: GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 | 31.48 |
Youngest Starter: M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 22.74 |

Oldest Squad Player: GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 | 33.57 |
Youngest Squad Player: RB Kaine Kesler Hayden | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 20.75 |

Oldest Substitute: LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | 30.60 |
Youngest Substitute: M Tim Iroegbunam | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | 21.53 |

MANAGER

Unai Emery | 🇪🇸 |

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Aston Villa

GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 |
RB Matty Cash | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🇵🇱 |
CB Pau Torres | 🇪🇸 |
CB Clément Lenglet | 🇫🇷 |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
M Youri Tielemans | 🇧🇪 | 🔥 | 🔁 |
M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | 🟨 |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | 🔁 |
CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | ⚽ | ⚽ |

MANAGER

Marco Silva | 🇵🇹 |

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Fulham

GK Bernd Leno | 🇩🇪 |
RB Timothy Castagne | 🇧🇪 | 🟨 |
CB Issa Diop | 🇫🇷 |
CB Tim Ream | 🇺🇸 | 🔁 |
LB Antonee Robinson | 🇺🇸 |
M João Palhinha | 🇵🇹 | 🟨 | 🔁 |
M Tom Cairney | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 |
M Bobby De Cordova-Reid | 🇯🇲 | 🔁 |
M Andreas Pereira | 🇧🇷 | 🔁 |
W Willian | 🇧🇷 | 🔁 |
CF Rodrigo Muniz | 🇧🇷 | ⚽ |

SUBSTITUTES

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🔁 | W Moussa Diaby | 🇫🇷 | for W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | 81’ |
🔁 | LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | for LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | 81’ |
🔁 | M Tim Iroegbunam | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | for M Youri Tielemans | 🇧🇪 | 90’+4 |

SUBSTITUTES

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🔁 | W Alex Iwobi | 🇳🇬 | for W Willian | 🇧🇷 | 46’ |
🔁 | W Harry Wilson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 | 🟨 | for M Bobby De Cordova-Reid | 🇯🇲 | 64’ |
🔁 | CB Calvin Bassey | 🇳🇬 | for CB Tim Ream | 🇺🇸 | 75’ |
🔁 | W Adama Traoré (ex) | 🇪🇸 | 🟨 | for M Andreas Pereira | 🇧🇷 | 75’ |
🔁 | M Sasa Lukic | 🇷🇸 | 🟨 | for M João Palhinha | 🇵🇹 | 89’ |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

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GK Joe Gauci | 🇦🇺 | £1.28m |
GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 | £3.00m |
CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |
RB Kaine Kesler Hayden | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
M Nicolò Zaniolo | 🇮🇹 | Loan |
M Morgan Rogers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £8.00m |

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES

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GK Marek Rodak | 🇸🇰 |
CB Tosin Adarabioyo | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |
LB Fodé Ballo-Touré | 🇸🇳 |
M Harrison Reed | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 |

SQUAD STATS

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1st XI Cost: £147.34m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 4/11
Homegrown: 1/11

Subs Cost: £74.66m
Team Cost: £222.00
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 5/14
Homegrown: 1/14

Matchday Squad Cost: £234.28m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 8/20
Homegrown: 3/20

Total Squad Cost: £377.46m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 18/37
Homegrown: 11/37

SQUAD STATS

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1st XI Cost: £79.20m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 1/11
Homegrown: ⭕/11

Subs Cost: £62.97m
Team Cost: £121.17m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 2/16
Homegrown: ⭕/16

Matchday Squad Cost: £148.51m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 4/20
Homegrown: 1/20

Total Squad Cost: £170.93m
Home Nation 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 🇬🇧 : 4/29
Homegrown: 3/29

MATCHDAY SQUAD

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GK Emiliano Martínez | 🇦🇷 | £15.66m |
GK Robin Olsen | 🇸🇪 | £3.00m |
GK Joe Gauci | 🇦🇺 | £1.28m |

CB Pau Torres | 🇪🇸 | £28.60m |
CB Calum Chambers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Free |
CB Clément Lenglet | 🇫🇷 | Loan |

LB Lucas Digne | 🇫🇷 | £27.00m |
RB Matty Cash | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🇵🇱 | £14.18m |
LB Álex Moreno | 🇪🇸 | £11.59m |
RB Kaine Kesler Hayden | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |

M Douglas Luiz | 🇧🇷 | £15.12m |
M Morgan Rogers | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £8.00m |
M John McGinn | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £2.79m |
M Tim Iroegbunam | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
M Jacob Ramsey | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Youth |
M Youri Tielemans | 🇧🇪 | Free |
M Nicolò Zaniolo | 🇮🇹 | Loan |

W Moussa Diaby | 🇫🇷 | £47.66m |
W Leon Bailey | 🇯🇲 | £28.80m |

CF Ollie Watkins | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £30.60m |

MATCHDAY SQUAD

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GK Bernd Leno | 🇩🇪 | £3.24m |
GK Marek Rodak | 🇸🇰 | Youth |

CB Calvin Bassey | 🇳🇬 | £19.31m |
CB Issa Diop | 🇫🇷 | £16.02m |
CB Tim Ream | 🇺🇸 | £1.53m |
CB Tosin Adarabioyo | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £1.49m |

RB Timothy Castagne | 🇧🇪 | £11.18m |
LB Antonee Robinson | 🇺🇸 | £1.89m |
LB Fodé Ballo-Touré | 🇸🇳 | Loan |

M João Palhinha | 🇵🇹 | £18.00m |
M Andreas Pereira | 🇧🇷 | £8.55m |
M Bobby De Cordova-Reid | 🇯🇲 | £8.01m |
M Sasa Lukic | 🇷🇸 | £8.00m |
M Harrison Reed | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | £5.85m |
M Tom Cairney | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 | £3.78m |

W Alex Iwobi | 🇳🇬 | £22.06m |
W Harry Wilson | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 | £12.60m |
W Adama Traoré (ex) | 🇪🇸 | Free |
W Willian | 🇧🇷 | Free |

CF Rodrigo Muniz | 🇧🇷 | £7.00m |

UNAVAILABLE

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Injury | 6 |
W Emiliano Buendía | 🇦🇷 | ACL
CB Tyrone Mings | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | ACL
CF Jhon Durán | 🇨🇴 | Hamstring
CB Ezri Konsa | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Knee
M Boubacar Kamara | 🇫🇷 | ACL
CB Diego Carlos | 🇧🇷 | Thigh

Out On Loan | 7 |
CF Louie Barry | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Stockport
GK Viljami Sinisalo | 🇫🇮 | Exeter
M Morgan Sanson | 🇫🇷 | Nice
M Philippe Coutinho | 🇧🇷 | Al-Duhail
M Leander Dendoncker | 🇧🇪 | Napoli
CB Josh Feeney | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Real Unión
M Tommi O'Reilly | 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 | Real Unión

UNAVAILABLE

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Injury | 2 |
CF Raúl Jiménez | 🇲🇽 |
RB Kenny Tete | 🇳🇱 |

Out on Loan | 4 |
CB Terence Kongolo | 🇳🇱 |
RB Kevin Mbabu |🇨🇭|
CF Carlos Vinícius | 🇧🇷 |
M Tyrese Francois | 🇦🇺 |

Player Positions:

​

GK : Goalkeeper
CB, D, B : Centre Back, Defender, Back
FB, LB, RB, WH : Full Back, Left Back, Right Back, Wing Back, Wing Half


M, CH, LH, RH : Midfielder, Centre Half, Left Half, Right Half
W, OL, OR : Winger, Outside Left, Outside Right
F, IF, IL, IR : Forward, Inside Forward, Inside Left, Inside Right, Second Striker, False 9
CF : Centre Forward

​

Match Symbols:

​

⚽ | Goal
🔥 | Assist
🔁 | Substitution

🟨 | Booking

🟥 | Sending off

🆘 | Poor refereeing performance
🟢 : Debut 🔴 : Final Game

DEBUT APPEARANCES

🟢 GK Joe Gauci | 🇦🇺 | First Squad Appearance

FINAL APPEARANCES

MATCH STATS

Possession F | 48%

Possession A | 52%


Shots F | 12
Shots A | 15

Shots on Target F | 3
Shots on Target A | 4

Corners F | 4
Corners A | 4

Fouls F | 6
Fouls A | 11

MATCH QUOTES

"The most difficult for the players and the person is when they are injured. “When they are being injured for a long time it is the worst in football. We had two injuries for a long time for all the season, Mings and Buendia. Now it is the same for Kamara, he has injured his ACL. He is going to be out for the rest of the season, and more or less in September or October he is coming back. Diego Carlos has a hamstring injury and will be out for three to four weeks. “[Mings and Buendia] Always they are in our mind. They have spirit and they support us in the training ground. I think all the season they are going to be out, but hopefully they can train at the end of the group starting next season being fine to come back like before. "We are very happy with him and his process here when I arrived was getting better. Sometimes we were working with him to improve and increase his performance. His performances were better at home than away and he is working hard to be consistent, not only when we are with the ball when we can get him in the attacking third to use his speed and get him one-on-one. "Also we need him when we are being compact and defensively strong. We are trying to get of him the balance playing being consistent and as well, being very demanding with him. When we decided to extend the contract, he deserved it and he wanted to stay here. "His commitment with Aston Villa is perfect and the supporters love him. We have to do one step ahead and to increase our level and with him it is the same. He must continue working and being demanding each match. We are going to play away tomorrow in Fulham and hopefully we can get of him his best performances on the pitch, the field and we are happy. "Leon Bailey arrived here three years ago. Diaby is only this year and they were playing together for Bayer Leverkusen, both being successful. The adaptation of Moussa Diaby, there is still work to do. The most important for me is how he is progressing, how he is working and how he is feeling. "Of course, sometimes he’s more successful than less. Sometimes as well maybe his expectation to get quickly the performance we want we are not getting, but I am speaking a lot with him and always speaking with him in calm, trying to be consistent and even when we are not playing like we want, keep going. His mentality is this way. I am not in a hurry with him to get it. "John McGinn is being versatile and performing in each position he is playing because he is a very intelligent player. His commitment to play helping the team when we need it is fantastic. "We have used him playing as a centre-midfielder and he was getting comfortable. He is one option for me to play him as a midfielder. We have Douglas Luiz and Tielemans as well. Tielemans is versatile. McGinn is versatile and has the characteristics to play with Luiz, Tielemans and can play even with Kamara, he did that but not a lot. "Other players like Luiz, McGinn and Tielemans were playing comfortable because they knew with him when we try to stop the opponent, Kamara was fantastic doing it. The same characteristic like him is Tim [Iroegbunam]. "But Tim is young. He was here two years ago as well before I arrived here. He was on loan at QPR. When he is out on loan it is to try and take minutes and confidence, trying to play trying to increase his qualities and his experiences. But I want him now here because I decided to stick with him and let Dendoncker leave because in case the moment comes like now. He has to be ready and he has to be ready being demanding and say ‘it is my time and I am here!’ I don’t know if he is going to, but I am positive with him and I believe in him. "Maybe he will need minutes and matches more than one or two to get confidence, but he has to do it quick. It is his moment. When I was speaking about my responsibility to give him chances, but then it is their responsibility. They have to be ready. Football is nice and a privilege to play football and to work in football. But it is very difficult and very demanding. We have to support the players and help them, trying always to give them chances and to set them on the pitch in our structure tactically. They have to play and in the end, football is for them. "I believe in the players we have in the squad. I believe as they have shown us already at the start of the season. We played without Buendia, one match with Mings. We were four months without Moreno and Ramsey. "We got the performances collectively and individually to be in the position we are. With some or other injuries but we are recovering players and have added players like Kaine Kesler. I want to work with them and support them, to help them get confidence playing in our structure. "We are adding players like Tim and it is his moment. Firstly, every day in the training session he has to train to play in the matches and to get the performance we want of him and then enjoy. "The message is to focus on each match and be demanding in our preparation. Work hard and work on the details deeply. Try to support and to help the players to be comfortable to show their best qualities and performances tactically and with their skills. "Then, be motivated each match. We lost two competitions and of course we have to accept it. Our focus is now the Premier League and when the European games come again, we are going to try and get strong in this way. "We started being committed to get the best in each competition. But Premier League is always the most important because in 38 matches you have to show the best work at the end of the season, to be in Europe or not, to be excited in 38 matches because you are in a good position to get Europe. "Then, trying to increase our demands as well in this competition. If we can get Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League. But we weren’t contenders and we are not contenders. There are another seven teams better than us and we have to be consistent. “Tomorrow is a challenge but the preparation, each match in the Premier League is being very difficult. The quality of the coaches and of the players is high. "I respect the coach a lot, Marco Silva. He has experience but his experience is usually very competitive. He is an intelligent coach and tactically he is very good. "They are a very organised team and were successful at home against Arsenal and Bournemouth in the last match. They lost to Newcastle but it could happen. "Analysing them and when we played at home against them, they showed their potential and their structure being organised and very competitive. They can be aggressive offensively and they get one-to-one with Wilson and Reid. "They are using inside different players, Iwobi is coming back after AFCON, Paulinha is a very good player. They use different centre-backs but they have four very experienced players. Robinson and Castagne are full-backs who are very offensive as well, demanding a lot from the opponent. “It is a difficult match. Always we are preparing to face them with our best performance and best qualities. We need to play being organised as well and being individually confident and trying to get our game plan and imposing it.” Unai Emery, pre-match. “We dedicated the victory to Kamara. But we have to keep going and carry on. It is the moment for other players. "We have to try to support every player to be ready when they are available to play. Sometimes some players are injured like the last injury we had with Carlos, but the most important with Kamara. "We prepared the game plan with the players focusing and thinking after we lost at home in the last match, the reaction was important. As well, thinking it is difficult to win here. "We prepared the game trying to stop their ideas and qualities. They demanded us to defend with Cash, Moreno and our wingers. But we did it and we controlled the game, we were calm. "They are a very organised team and tactically it is hard to stop them, but we did a fantastic job. We reacted very well, we were very focused and we struggled a little bit in some moments, but we controlled the game. We created chances and we were clinical. "When it was 2-0 we made a mistake but we reacted very well because our mentality was good. We kept the game plan in our mind. We played more or less being strong in our structure. I think we deserved to win the match like we did. “Even when they had chances to draw, we deserved it. "In our structure we are building, sometimes we are playing in the build-up with four or sometimes three with different players. But it is the same tactical game plan, trying to create and build our structure stronger. "Today, Cash was sharing both. Sometimes as well he tried to use his potential going forward. But more or less trying to keep our good balance with Leon Bailey going wide. "Ollie was fantastic but the best action he did was in the first half when he recovered the ball and created a chance for (Youri) Tielemans. When he is scoring it is very important for him. I am very happy with him. I think he has improved a lot. "We are very happy for him and his goal but even when he is not scoring I am very proud of him. "It’s the moment for other players being versatile. Today was John McGinn playing as a central midfielder. He is one of the leaders of the team. We needed his commitment and he played a fantastic match.” Unai Emery, post match. "I thought we were going to score three or four. That wasn't the case. Fulham responded really well and put us under pressure. It could have been a 2-2 game at the end there. "It's a massive three points, especially after a home defeat to Manchester United. "It was nice to get on the score sheet early doors. You always have your wits about you and I just aimed hard and low and saw what happens. "It's nice to get back on the scoresheet after a defeat to Manchester United with a few missed opportunities. Personally I'm not dwelling on that and as a team we're not. Massive reaction to come here and win today. "We've had such an unbelievable home run, 17 games unbeaten. So when you do lose it comes as a shock and people are going to talk about that. "We've had a lot of injuries. Three ACL injuries in one season is unheard of. So I think we're doing really well with the squad we've got." Ollie Watkins. "Of course it's a very important win. The players they are focused. They are demanding as well, we are trying to push and be successful. "Today was a match to show it, and they showed it. They showed it with the game plan we prepared. We were defensively strong and tried to avoid their qualities. "We had chances to score and were clinical. I even think we deserved more goals. It was a tough match when they reacted with their goal. They had chances to draw, but I think overall we were very competitive and our game plan was imposing. "We know sometimes we can make a mistake. When it comes with a victory we can accept it. It's important to remain confident with the way that we are. "We continued with our mind clear and clever, playing with our game plan." “[Ollie Watkins] worked for it. It was a very tough match for him as well and he was fighting with Issa Diop. Sometimes he was successful, sometimes he was not. The important thing is to try and create chances and be in their box. "He was clinical today and really amazing." Unai Emery. “Massive win. “We thought Manchester United at home would be a big win, to have 11 points gap to them. “We lost at the end, it was a game we didn’t deserve to lose. Coming here there were question marks because we have a few injuries, three ACL injuries in one season, that’s not normal to have that. We’ve been a little bit unlucky. “And the one thing we said before the game, we need to play for them, because we have the chance to put things right every weekend and they don’t. “They’re at home supporting us, coming to training every day. Seeing three of my good mates with ACL injuries, it’s a shock for everyone. We tried to play for them. “I think it’s a miscommunication between me and Clem. “I should have come out, Clem had it clear but when he saw me coming he stopped a little bit. The goal is on me, I put the team under pressure. “But when the team is under pressure, I said I’m not going to concede again. I tried to help with a couple of saves, a few crosses, but I put the team under pressure. "The way we defend, I know and I practice with Javi a lot of one-on-ones. Sometimes we bring under-23 players to do one-on-ones from halfway, try and beat me. I have never defended with such a high line and now I am trying to improve every game.” Emiliano Martínez

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