Tomas Kalas came off the bench shortly after Fulham were reduced to 10 men in today’s Championship play-off final and helped the Cottagers close out a 1-0 victory to secure promotion back to the Premier League.
The Czech Republic defender, who has spent the past two seasons on loan with our west London neighbours, was introduced in the 77th minute and shored up a defence that had lost Dennis Odoi to a second bookable offence.
By that point Fulham were somewhat holding on to a lead deservedly established in the first half through captain Tom Cairney.
After the red card, however, Villa’s threat subsided and Fulham closed out the game in relative comfort, with Kalas making a couple of important clearances. Our other player on loan at the Cottage, Lucas Piazon, was an unused substitute.
So congratulations to those two and our former midfielder Slavisa Jokanovic, who has guided Fulham back to the Premier League for the first time since their relegation in 2014. Commiserations to John Terry, Villa’s captain on the day, who suffered a rare Wembley defeat.