Paul Lambert’s side had been unlucky not to have led at the break but Charles N’Zogbia finally made the breakthrough before the hour mark at Villa Park. However Delph’s own goal, combined with a glaring miss in the 73rd minute, allowed Fulham to go home with a point and denied Villa the chance to go five points clear of the bottom three. Villa headed into the match seemingly timing their pull from relegation perfectly, winning three of their past four to leave them two points clear of the drop zone heading into the game, with rivals Sunderland and Wigan not in action. Fulham suffered a blow in the 10th minute when Damien Duff was forced off with a leg injury and replaced by Stanislav Manolev in an otherwise quiet opening period. Ashley Westwood’s 24th-minute corner caused Fulham a moment of anxiety before Christian Benteke side-footed over from towards just outside the six-yard box when he should have added to his overall tally of 19 goals from Andreas Weimann’s ball in. In the 31st minute Benteke and N’Zogbia played a series of one-two passes with each other before the former found his colleague with a delicate cross on the left, which N’Zogbia tried to clip home only for Mark Schwarzer to save impressively. Villa kept up the pressure from the restart and it finally told in the 55th minute. Matthew Lowton found Weimann in the box and though Brede Hangeland blocked the Austrian’s attempt, N’Zogbia had time to shift the ball onto his left foot and bend it into the left-hand corner. The equaliser came in the 66th minute. Bryan Ruiz’s corner from the right should have been dealt with comfortably at the near post but Villa midfielder Delph contrived the flick the ball backwards with his head, leaving Brad Guzan rooted and Westwood unable to scramble it away before it crossed the line. Villa had a sublime chance in the 73rd minute when Delph wasted the opportunity to atone for the own goal, blasting a loose ball at the back post high and wide with his left foot from Weimann’s teasing cross. Press Association Aston Villa missed the chance to pull well clear of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone as Fabian Delph’s bad day at the office proved costly as they recorded a 1-1 draw against Fulham.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 26, 2018 at 4:55 pm Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Syracuse (14-6, 3-4 Atlantic Coast) plays its first road game in two weeks on Saturday against Pittsburgh (8-13, 0-8) in the Petersen Events Center. The Orange most recently beat Boston College on Wednesday night, while the Panthers just dropped a game to N.C. State.Here’s what to know about the matchup.All-time series: Syracuse leads 67-45Last time they played: Syracuse played Pittsburgh very recently, winning 59-45 in the Carrier Dome on Jan 16th.The Pittsburgh report: The Panthers were a bad team when they came to Syracuse two weeks ago, and things haven’t gotten better. They were ranked 202nd in the country per Kenpom.com in the last match-up, and have since dropped to 209th. Pitt scores the fewest amount of points per game (64.4) in the ACC and are the only team in the conference with a negative scoring margin on the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPittsburgh is one of the worst teams in the country at keeping control of the ball, as they have a turnover percentage of 22.3 (ranking 331st out of 351 teams), meaning that nearly a quarter of its possessions ends up in a turnover.The Panthers also don’t record a strong impact in the hustle stats, either, ranking in the last in block percentage and 338th in steal percentage, per Kenpom.How Syracuse beats Pittsburgh: Defend the 3-pointer. Syracuse ended up winning by 14 points last time against the Panthers, but the game was way closer than it should have been, considering the talent difference between the two squads. The Orange offense struggled to score in that one — as it has in basically every conference game other than the most recent one against Boston College — but Pitt hung around by drilling 3s. SU can’t let that happen again.Stat to know: 35.7Nearly 36 percent of Pittsburgh’s scoring comes from the 3-pointer, the 74th highest mark in the country per Kenpom. Conversely, the Panthers rank just 313th in point distribution via the 2-pointer.Kenpom odds: Kenpom gives Syracuse a 77 percent chance to win and predicts a 62-54 game.Player to watch: Parker Stewart, guard, No. 1Stewart torched the Orange two weeks ago, knocking down seven 3-pointers and finishing with 23 points, both career highs. Stewart said that he noticed a soft spot at the top of the key against the Orange’s zone and he took full advantage, scoring more than half of his team’s points. The freshman is coming off a game in which he didn’t make a basket, but he also scored five points the game before exploding at Syracuse. The Orange needs to tag him on Saturday. Comments