Everton 2-1 Aston Villa
Anwar El Ghazi’s 80th minute curler encapsulated an amazing performance by Villa. Everton’s poor home form continued as they have only managed to win one of their last 10 fixtures at Goodison Park, resulting in their hopes for European football diminishing. Both teams featuring in 4-2-3-1 made one change from their previous games; James, after picking up a calf problem in the warm up, had to be replaced by Iwobi, Matty Cash returned to the starting lineup after serving his one game suspension.
After a cagey 10 minutes, the game turned to its head, as Watkins opened the scoring in the 12th minute. The Villa striker stole the ball from Holgate and then was strong to resist the challenge and tuck it in. It was all end to end from there on. Everton equalized six minutes later, Digne’s corner was sneaked in by Calvert-Lewin at the back post, who got away from Barkley too easily.
It was Villa who created better chances and if not for Pickford they could have sealed a win before half time. The English keeper denied Watkins three time from close range and was breathtaking when he made back to back saves for which he had to run back to his goal to keep out Traore’s effort. However, Pickford still needed luck as Traore and Barkley hit the woodwork.
On the other end, Calvert-Lewin’s diving header, again created by Digne was kept out by Martinez and Konsa made an important block at the brink of half time to stop Sigurdsson from scoring.
𝟭𝟮 Premier League starts. 𝟴 goals. 🙌
Anwar El Ghazi on 🔥 this season! 😍 pic.twitter.com/dXkKKwK6Kh
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) May 4, 2021
Unfortunate for the neutrals, the game didn’t continue in the same vain. Everton came out more conservative and Villa dominated the possession in the second half. However, Richarlison had two chances early on, the first coming off from a misguided Mings header was put wide and the other one fell straight to Martinez.
Everton made the first two substitutions- Delph replaced Gomes in the 69th minute and Bernard came in for Iwobi in the 75th.
Villa dominated the midfield and deservedly took the lead in the 80th minute. El Ghazi from the edge of the box, found by Traore, curled it brilliantly beyond the reach of Pickford.
Joshua king replaced Sigurdsson after the goal and Dean Smith brought on Ramsey and Keinan Davies for Traore and El Ghazi respectively to see out the clock.
It was an unusual post-match reaction from Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian, who mostly stays calm, showed his frustration about the result, saying his team lacked balance, concentration, desire and made too many mistakes. Ancelotti boasts an unbelievable record of never finishing out of European positions in the league as a manager. The record could very well end this year as Everton is sitting 8th in the table, with 5 games left to play.
Ollie Watkins- The English striker was full of energy, making runs in behind and constantly pressing the opponents. He created the first goal for himself by relentlessly pressing high up and could have had more goals but Pickford was exceptional between the posts. His link up play was good and helped his team to progress up the pitch during attacks.
Jordan Pickford- Unusual for a losing keeper to be called a top performer but if not for him the Everton would have lost it way before the 80th minute. He made all kind of saves, showing great reflexes and judgement of when to close down the attacker.
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