Cairney the hero as Fulham strike it rich with Premier League promotion

Cairney the hero as Fulham strike it rich with Premier League promotion

Cairney the hero as Fulham strike it rich with Premier League promotion

The riches of the Premier League, which will be at least £160m, are theirs to savour, and their concerns over keeping this side together next season will have been washed away, at least temporarily, by the champagne that flowed last night.

The average age of Fulham's side was just over 25 while man-for-man, Villa were five years older than their counterparts.

The Villans failed to turn up for much of the first half and found themselves behind when the midfield ace netted from Ryan Sessegnon's cross inside the first 25 minutes.

It would have been doubly special for the Villa manager, who lost both his parents in the space of 88 days earlier this year, but the play-off final remains the most brutal of fixtures.

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. Ryan Fredericks certainly seemed to let the occasion better of him when he stamped on Jack Grealish on the half-hour mark.

However, the report also suggests that Wolves are in the hunting for the forward and, considering their track-record of attracting Porto stars in the past, the Villains must act quickly if they are to grab themselves an assured European goalscorer.

Aston Villa piled pressure on Fulham midway through the game as they aimed to draw level but Londoners dealt well with their threats.

While Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United did so by strengthening their squads in the transfer market, they still preserved a core group of players who had served them so well the previous season.

No wonder the Serbian forward says: 'I'm so exhausted right now, like never in my life, I swear.

"He's shown many times that he is a great lad, great footballer and great worker".

They took their chance in the first half.

Ryan Sessegnon found himself in space just outside the box before threading a ideal ball through to Tom Cairney who made no mistake with the finish. "What I prefer to say is I know he wants to stay with us". We've had to balance the books, something which, over the past two windows in particular, I've come to get used to.

"It is very disappointing", said Aston Villa full-back and former Hull City player Ahmed Elmohamady.

Related news