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26th May 2018

Tom Cairney goal takes Fulham back to the Premier League

A return to the big time for the Cottagers

Wayne Farry

The Cottagers have returned to the big league

Fulham are back in the Premier League after defeating Aston Villa in today’s Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The win, which sees the Cottagers return to the Premier League for the first time since the 2014/15 season, capped off what was an unbelievable turnaround for Slaviša Jokanović’s side.

Sitting on just 20 points after 17 games of the season and languishing in the bottom half of the table, a 5-4 win against Sheffield United was the catalyst for a resurgence which saw them narrowly miss out on automatic promotion on the final day of the season.

Going on the Championship’s longest unbeaten run of the season, Fulham brought that same level of poise and quality into their showcase game with Villa.

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.

Steve Bruce’s Villa side were active throughout but failed to truly threaten a side which finished one place and five points above them in the final Championship table.

Fulham suffered a nervy final period of the game after their defender Denis Odoi was sent off for receiving two yellow cards, but they held their nerve to return to the Premier League at the expense of Aston Villa.