Aston Villa beat Crystal Palace 3-0, soar into top six

Anwar El Ghazi celebrates putting Aston Villa 3-0 up with Ollie Watkins (left) and Jack Grealish (right).  Paul Currie-BPI-Rex-Shutterstock

Aston Villa made it into the top six with a victory over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

Villa’s transformation from being left alone on the final day of last season to competing for Europe continued as they held one man down during the second half to beat Palace 3-0.

The Eagles were beaten 7-0 by Liverpool last weekend and got off to another terrible start when Bertrand Traore rebounded after Vicente Guaita saved the first effort by Ollie Watkins.

A fight between Tyrone Mings and Wilfried Zaha resulted in a yellow card for both of them and moments later, when Mings blocked Zaha, the English international was sent off in injury time in the first half.

However, Villa absorbed the pressure and the 10 men extended their lead when Kortney Hause forced the ball home from close range after a Watkins header came off the bar.

Watkins also played a role in the third when he prepared Anwar El Ghazi to shoot from the far post for his fourth goal in four games.

Fulham approached a safety point with a 0-0 draw at home with Southampton.

Londoners were left without manager Scott Parker as he was isolated due to a family member testing positive for coronavirus.

However, Fulham made their absent boss proud by matching a Southampton team flying high at the other end of the table.

Fulham needed a sensational save from Alphonse Areola to deflect James Ward-Prowse’s free kick in the first half, while Shane Long and Theo Walcott canceled late offside goals for the visitors, who failed the injured Danny’s killer instinct. Ings.

Everton also have a chance to move to second place behind Merseyside rivals Liverpool later on Boxing Day when they visit Sheffield United winless.

Manchester City are also in action at home to Newcastle, in dire need of winning to keep their title hopes alive as they are eight points behind Liverpool with a game in hand.

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