Gerrard on the brink as Fulham thump Aston Villa: I’ll continue to fight unless I’m told differently

Fulham increased the pressure on beleaguered Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard with a deserved victory at Craven Cottage.

Harrison Reed gave the home side the lead, drilling home after Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez had punched a corner into the midfielder’s path.

Andreas Pereira went close on two occasions, while Aleksandar Mitrovic had a far-post header cleared off the line by Tyrone Mings as the home side dominated the first half.

Villa’s evening went from bad to worse just after the hour mark, when Douglas Luiz was shown a straight red card after being adjudged by the video assistant referee to have head-butted Mitrovic in an off-the-ball altercation.

The home side wasted little time in capitalising on their numerical advantage, Mitrovic doubling their lead from the penalty spot after the striker’s shot had struck Matty Cash on the arm. Martinez managed to get both hands on Mitrovic’s effort but was unable to keep it out.

The visitors’ misery was complete when Mings diverted Neeskens Kebano’s low cross into his own net – a goal which was greeted by chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” by sections of the away end.

Gerrard later said: “It was nowhere near what I wanted or expected. I picked a very similar team [to the Chelsea game] to try and build on that performance. I was excited to see if we could take it from there.

“If it wasn’t for the goalkeeper it could have been over by half-time. I got in amongst the players at half-time and expected a reaction.

“I expected a reaction in the second half but against a team like Fulham, who are well coached, it’s difficult. Inconsistency has cost us, that’s the position we find ourselves in. I took over the team in a very similar situation. We’ve tried to recruit to get us out of that situation.

“I’m a fighter – it’s in my DNA. I’ll continue to fight unless I’m told differently.”

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