Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Jol savours late Baird winner

Martin Jol was delighted to see Chris Baird score a 'rare' goal
Martin Jol was delighted to see Chris Baird score a 'rare' goal

Martin Jol enjoyed a sight he had never seen before as Fulham left it late to beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Craven Cottage - a goal from his versatile midfielder Chris Baird.

The Northern Ireland international emerged as the unlikely hero, beating Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan with a deft touch from John Arne Riise's near-post corner.

"Baird is very good at attacking the near post, he is always close but he hasn't scored for as long as I have known him," Jol said. "It was most probably the worst corner kick ever. I don't think it was a good delivery but because he attacked the ball he could score."

He added: "It is about players being at the end of the delivery and it was nice to see Chris there. We should have scored a goal earlier. I thought we played really well for the first 15 minutes.

"After that they had too much possession for my liking. It was a result ground out by us but I don't care. We need the points. We have to be strong at home. I am very pleased."

For Villa boss Paul Lambert, it was another dose of the away-day blues but he attempted to put a positive spin on the defeat.

"I thought some of the football we played was great. I thought we gave as good as we got," Lambert said.

"We came here, where their form has been really good, and gave a good account of ourselves.

"I thought we played well at Newcastle and Tottenham. The only game I have been disappointed at was Everton.

"There are a lot of good things. We have to turn the good things into wins."

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