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

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Cairney struck midway through the first half in a fierce-tempered occasion on Saturday, with the Cottagers having to see through the final 20 minutes with 10 men following Denis Odoi's dismissal.

Fulham matchwinner Tom Cairney described winning promotion with Fulham as "an out-of-body experience" after beating Aston Villa.

Other than that, Villa asked few questions, by which point Fulham had answered all those thrown at them.

"He has sort of brought that Premier League class into Fulham and they have not looked back since they signed him".

With Cardiff City and Wolves already sure of their place in next year's competition, Steve Bruce and Slaviša Jokanović will be hoping to join them.

The Villans were a much better side in the early stages of the second stanza, showing a sense of urgency as they pushed for an equaliser.

Cairney slipped home the only goal of the Championship play-off final in the 23rd minute, following superb work by Ryan Sessegnon.

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Aston Villa: Johnstone, Elmohamady (Kodjia, 77), Chester, Terry (c), Hutton, Snodgrass, Jedinak (Onomah, 77), Hourihane (Hogan, 82), Adomah, Grealish, Grabban.

The West Midlands outfit will take on Fulham on Saturday in the play-off final, with a spot in next season's top flight up for grabs.

There was no doubting who Villa's dangerman was and Grealish showed his class again with a brilliant mazy run on the hour mark that ended with a fine save from Bettinelli. But then, the Fulham defender stamped on his opponent's knee which went unseen by the referee, who would have given a red card had he seen it. "It's a bigger stake, but that makes it even more exciting". Everyone is going to have to leave everything on that field for us to get the desired outcome.

"After we missed out on promotion last season, a lot of people wrote us off".

"I've been playing the whole season not fully fit".

'I just knew what he would give. "I'll need the summer to rest and get fit".

For the Serbian Jokanović, after guiding Watford to promotion in 2014/15, this will be his first taste of the Championship playoff final.

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