Villa boss Bruce hails Johnstone save

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Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce praised his goalkeeper Sam Johnstone for pulling off one of the best saves he has ever seen to ensure his side beat Fulham.

Johnstone denied Floyd Ayite from point-blank range in the second half at Villa Park to prevent the Whites from equalising for a second time.

The 24-year-old is on loan from Manchester United and Bruce drew parallels with Johnstone’s Old Trafford team-mate David De Gea’s wonder to deny Liverpool’s Joel Matip.

“His save is as good a save as I’ve seen in a long, long time,” said Bruce. “It’s right up there with the De Gea save, typical reflexes.

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“I know he was disappointed with their goal, because it’s gone in his side.

“But he looks a very good goalkeeper. I appreciate [United boss] Jose [Mourinho] letting us have him again for another 12 months. He’s getting better all the time.”

Bruce added he was pleased with the 2-1 victory over Fulham, predicting they would be rivals for a top six place.

“I think they will be there or thereabouts. They were in the play-offs last year and they’ve invested again this summer.

“They’ve got some really good players for this division – Sessegnon is going to be some player – so it was a good win for us.”