Tom Cairney goal takes Fulham back to the Premier League

Adjust Comment Print

Fulham earned its way back into England's first division on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the final of the Championship promotion playoff.

They started the game the better side and took a deserved lead through captain Tom Cairney, who got onto the end of a stunning Ryan Sessegnon ball to slot the ball home.

The United States worldwide helped Fulham keep a clean sheet despite his center-back partner Denis Odoi's sending off in the 70th minute. Of Villa's starters, seven were over the age of 30, Fulham had just one.

Sources have told ESPN FC that the Premier League would resist any such contractual arrangement, but Villa have been angered by what they view as a misrepresentation of what manager Steve Bruce had to say on the matter in a news conference on Thursday. But let's not forget we are Aston Villa, a proud club, a big club.

The midfielder Tom Cairney's left-footed whip into the bottom corner at 23 minutes was enough to secure victory in what was billed as "the richest game in football". In fact, it has come to be expected.

Deloitte's Sports Business Group estimated Tuesday that Fulham would reap a revenue increase of more than $225 million upon promotion, a figure that would increase even more if the team avoids relegation next season.

Ten-man Fulham had a great chance second the decisive second goal when Aleksandar Mitrovic blasted over the bar with the goal at his mercy after 74 minutes, with the tension in this game reaching boiling point as the game entered its final quarter.

He may have only just turned 18 but Sessegnon is already Fulham's talisman, making a direct contribution to all three of their play-off goals (one goal, two assists).

It is amusing what pressure can do to one's temperament.

The Villans came out with more ferocity after halftime, and Jack Grealish was at the center of Villa's attack.

"For me, Ryan Fredericks should have been sent off". As Grealish went to ground, Fredericks looked to hurdle him before stamping on his knee. I believe what we are doing here is special and I've said for a while that we've been playing Premier League football in the Championship.