Ryan Sessengon helped Fulham to a vital 2-0 win over Championship promotion rivals Aston Villa at Craven Cottage.
Sessengon and Floyd Ayité netted second half goals to make it ten games unbeaten for the Lilywhites and end Villa’s seven-game unbeaten streak in the Championship.
Aston Villa drop to third, while Fulham sit fifth and are now just six points off second place, having been as low as 12th in December.
With Villa missing top scorer Albert Adomah and talisman Jack Grealish, they offered little threat going forward in an uneventful first half showing.
Conor Hourihane and Scott Hogan came closest, but neither player could steer their efforts on target.
It was teenager Sessengon who made the decisive impact early in the second half, firing his side into an invaluable lead.
Villa keeper Sam Johnstone made a rare mistake to gift Ayite the clinching goal.
A poor free-kick landed at Ayité’s feet and the striker controlled the ball well before firing into an empty net from the centre circle.
Fulham were able to control the game in midfield and offered a genuine threat on the counter attack as the visitors struggled to show any real menace in the final third.
While not fatal at this stage of the season, Villa will be looking to reignite their promotion charge in their next game against Preston north End on Tuesday.