Fulham vs. Aston Villa: Final score 1-0, Baird gets a late winner for the Cottagers

Clive Rose

Chris Baird's third career Fulham goal in his 150th appearance gave the Cottagers a 1-0 home victory over Aston Villa

Fulham weren't at their best but found a goal when it mattered thanks to Chris Baird to defeat Aston Villa 1-0.

Despite the lack of goals, it wasn't the worst of first halves at Craven Cottage. Fulham had the better of play, generating 11 shots and forcing three saves from Brad Guzan. Villa were fairly pedestrian, failing to get a shot on goal. Fuham's best chances came late in the half. Mladen Petrić's shot from outside the box looked on target but was blocked by Nathan Baker. Steve Sidwell had a good chance as well, sending his header off a Hugo Rodallega free kick to the right of the goal.

It was more of the same in the second half, with Fulham controlling play but failing to break down the Villa defense, at least until the 84th minute. John Arne Riise's corner kick went low towards the near post and connected with Chris Baird who'd made a fantastic delayed run right in front of all the Villa defenders. Baird redirected the ball on net, beating Brad Guzan and putting the Cottagers ahead 1-0.

It was only Baird's third goal for Fulham but it came in his 150th appearance for the club and it was the match winner. Not a bad way to celebrate an anniversary.

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