Harrison Reed put the home side ahead in the first half, which then led to a very eventful but ultimately demoralising second period for the Villans. After seeing Douglas Luiz get sent off due to a skirmish with Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Fulham striker later put his side 2-0 up from the penalty spot.
The night was then compounded after Tyrone Mings diverted the ball into his own net, leaving Villa with a long trip back to Birmingham and Gerrard without a job.
In the midst of that sorry chain of events, one player who arguably summed up the entire night for Villa in terms of his performance was Leon Bailey.
In his 58 minutes on the pitch, the winger has just 28 touches of the ball, 16 fewer than goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, and completed only seven of the 10 passes that he attempted. Along with giving possession of the ball away 11 times in total, the attacker also lost six of his 10 duels and got caught offside on two occasions.
This display ultimately earned the £75k-per-week Jamaican a rather underwhelming match rating of 6.5/10 from SofaScore, leaving only the red-carded Luiz (5.8/10) with a lower rating out of any Villa player who started the game.
Ashley Preece also took notice of the winger’s poor showing at Craven Cottage, as he wrote in his player ratings for the Birmingham Mail. “Never backed his full-back up as Fulham kept coming with Bailey not having an impact whatsoever, with his performance summed up as he almost cleared the stand behind the goal with a shocking strike. Bailey’s number was up before the hour which tells you everything.”
While it certainly wouldn’t be fair to put the blame for all of Villa’s misgivings this season on Bailey, he didn’t do enough on this occasion to get a positive result for the team, the same as several of his team-mates, and it has ultimately cost the manager his job.