Gerrard's Aston Villa clinch second win

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BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Jacob Ramsey of Aston Villa celebrates with team mates after scoring their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Southampton FC at Villa Park on September 16, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Jacob Ramsey of Aston Villa celebrates with team mates after scoring their sides first goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Southampton FC at Villa Park on September 16, 2022 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Aston Villa secured only their second win of the season after a narrow 1-0 win over Southampton at Villa Park.

Villa manager Steven Gerrard recalled Phillipe Coutinho and Ashley Young while the Saints brought back Moussa Djenepo.

The sides struggled with the quality of combinations in the final third in the early stages but Villa grew more into the game.

Gerrard's charges eventually broke the deadlock just before the break after Jacob Ramsey pounced on a rebound in the box after goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu had tipped Ollie Watkins' effort into the crossbar.

Villa continued to shade the contest, as they pressed Southampton high and Ramsey had a good chance on the hour-mark but had a shot in the six-yard box blocked by Armel Bella-Kotchap.

Gerrard's men held on in the closing stages to end a three-match winless run.

Villa will visit Leeds United in their next encounter while Southampton will be at home against Everton after the FIFA break.

Fulham climbed up to sixth spot on the standings after edging Nottingham Forest in a five-goal thriller at City Ground.

Nottingham handed Willy Boly his first start alongside recalls for Remo Freuler and Taiwo Awoniyi while the Cottagers gave Willian his first start alongside the return of Issa Diop.

Steve Cooper's troops had a perfect start after Awoniyi powered home a header from a flick on by Ryan Yates following a corner.

Fulham were fired up to get back into the game but they were kept at bay by goalkeeper Dean Henderson who thwarted efforts from Aleksandar Mitrovic and Kenny Tete.

Marco Silva's men eventually levelled matters early in the second stanza thanks to a header at the back post by Tosin Adarabioyo after a cross by Willian.

Joao Palhinha quickly gave Fulham the lead with a fine first-time strike from the edge of the box after he was setup by Tete.

Harrison Reed gave the Cottagers a two-goal cushion on the hour-mark with a first-time low drive after a square pass by Bobby De Cordova-Reid, from a counter-attack.

Nottingham were revived after some changes that included Jesse Lingard and Lewis O'Brien and the latter pulled a goal back 13 minutes before time from a rebound in the box. However, Fulham held on to secure their third win of the season. 

Forest will resume their schedule away to Leicester City while the Cottagers will host Newcastle United after the international break.

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