English Premier League: Aston Villa beat Crystal Palace 3-0

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

Villa’s transformation from just staying up on the final day of last season to contending for Europe continued as they held on a man down for the full second half to beat Palace 3-0.

The Eagles were thrashed 7-0 by Liverpool last weekend and got off to another dreadful start as Bertrand Traore turned in the rebound after Vicente Guaita saved Ollie Watkins’s first effort.

A tussle between Tyrone Mings and Wilfried Zaha resulted in a yellow card for both and moments later when Mings blocked off Zaha, the England international was dismissed in first-half stoppage time.

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

Watkins also played a part in the third as he teed up Anwar El Ghazi to fire in off the far post for his fourth goal in four games.

Fulham edged to within a point of safety with a 0-0 draw at home with Southampton.

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

However, Fulham did their absent boss proud as they matched a Southampton side flying high at the other end of the table.

Fulham needed a sensational save from Alphonse Areola to claw away James Ward-Prowse’s first-half free-kick, while Shane Long and Theo Walcott had late goals ruled out for offside for the visitors, who missed the killer instinct of the injured Danny Ings.

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

Manchester City are also in action at home to Newcastle, badly needing to win to keep their title hopes alive as they trail Liverpool by eight points with a game in hand.

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