Stunning goals from Anthony Knockaert and Harry Arter were enough for Fulham to claim the scalp of Aston Villa at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup.
Knockaert brought a poor game to life with a spectacular curling effort on 54 minutes, only for Villa to strike back through Anwar El Ghazi.
With the outcome of the tie in the balance, Arter produced an exceptional 30-yard effort to settle the match in favour of the Championship side as they punched their ticket for the fourth round.
The result heaps more pressure on Villans boss Dean Smith who made nine changes for the game, leaving talisman Jack Grealish at home, and those who did start did little to suggest the current direction of the Midlanders’ season is likely to change anytime soon.
A tame first half finally came to life just after the half-hour mark when El Ghazi cut in from the left and shot narrowly wide.
While Fulham had the lion’s share of possession, Villa continued to create the better of the few chances in the tie, Jota bringing the ball down and shooting just wide.
The best opportunity of a forgettable half arrived in stoppage time, with Jonathan Kodjia doing well to play through El Ghazi, only for the Netherlands forward to be denied by a brilliant save from Cottagers goalkeeper Marek Rodak at close range.
With Fulham finding it tough to create chances, Knockaert took it upon himself to open the scoring, cutting in from the left and bending a fine shot beyond the reach of Orjan Nyland.
Joe Bryan then went close for a second for Fulham before Villa levelled, with El Ghazi tapping in on the line after Kodjia had lofted the ball over Rodak.
Jota nearly put the Villians ahead with a curling effort, only for Rodak to push his effort away.
With the game heading towards a replay, Arter stepped off the bench to settle matters with his first goal since November 2017. His powerful effort flew past Nyland, much to the delight of the majority of those inside Craven Cottage.
Knockaert had two chances to seal the win late on as Villa failed to find a way back into the tie, leaving them free to concentrate on their upcoming EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Leicester City.