Aston Villa claimed their first win of the new season by beating Everton 2-1 in the Premier League’s lunchtime kick-off.
In sweltering conditions, Anthony Gordon had a goal disallowed for the visitors, before a smart turn and finish from Danny Ings put Villa ahead.
In a game of few chances, a deflected volley from Emi Buendia that was cleared off the line by Vitaliy Mykolenko looked like being the closest effort to another goal in the second half.
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In the last five minutes the game looked over when Buendia added a second, only for an own goal by Lucas Digne a minute later to ensure a frantic finish.
The victory was Aston Villa’s first of the season, while Everton have now lost both of their first two games.
The problems pile up for Frank Lampard. Last Saturday, Everton turned in a good performance in defeat to Chelsea, with the promising but raw Anthony Gordon putting in an admirable shift at the front of the line even though it’s not his natural position.
That defeat saw Everton lose Ben Godfrey to long term injury; today recent loanee Connor Coady was forced off too. Abdoulaye Doucoure also hobbled off and with threadbare options up front and key players going down elsewhere, it’s been a taxing start to 2022-23 for Everton.
Lampard will be buoyed by a superb cameo from club record signing Amadou Onana, which almost forced an unlikely point for his team in the last ten minutes. As things stand, they’re on zero after two games; no need to panic yet, but they’ll have to start getting results from somewhere while their core players are brought back to full fitness.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – JOHN MCGINN (ASTON VILLA)
You can see why Steven Gerrard made him the captain. In tough conditions McGinn was an energetic presence in midfield, driving his team forwards and releasing Villa’s game-breaking talents to win the game.
Aston Villa: Martinez 7; Cash 7, Carlos 6, Mings 6, Digne 5; Ramsey 7, Kamara 6, McGinn 8; Watkins 7, Ings 7, Coutinho 7
Subs: Konsa 6, Buendia 7, Chambers 6, Young 6, Bailey 7
Everton: Pickford 6; Patterson 7, Holgate 7, Coady 6, Tarkowski 6, Mykolenko 6; McNeil 5, Doucoure 6, Iwobi 6, Gray 6; Gordon 7
Subs: Onana 7, Alli 6, Davies 7, Rondon 6
Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary (hyperlink)
24’ DISALLOWED GOAL! Everton win a second corner. Tarkowski nods it down to to Gordon in the six-yard box, and at the second attempt he scrambles it past Martinez. Gordon is immediately flagged offside though, and after a VAR check that's proved to be correct.
31’ GOAL! ASTON VILLA 1 (INGS 31) EVERTON 0 Villa have upped it since the break and take the lead. Watkins latches on to a long ball down the right, and cuts infield. He squares it to Ings on the penalty spot, who miscontrols the ball initially but spins out of that and rifles a left-footed drive past Pickford.
74’ SCRAMBLE! Two good opportunities for Villa here. McGinn almost works Ings through initially, and when Villa get the ball back into the box Buendia tries a bicycle kick. It deflects and loops over Pickford, buy Mykolenko is there to clear it off the line.
86’ GOAL! ASTON VILLA1 (BUENDIA 86) EVERTON 0 Oh what a beauty! Buendia drives forwards on the break, and lays it to Watkins in the right of the area. Watkins squares it back across goal to the unmarked Buendia, who strokes it in.
87’ GOAL! ASTON VILLA 2 EVERTON 1 (DIGNE O.G. 87) What larks here! Onana does brilliantly to get to the byline on the left, and fires a superb cross low through the six-yard box. Digne, struggling at the back post, can only divert the ball into his own net!
90+6’ SO CLOSE! Rondon flicks a long ball into the area and Onana is on to it. He must score, but a superb challenge from Chambers blocks the ball out for a corner from six yards out!
- Today was the 20th time since 2019 that Danny Ings has opened the scoring in a Premier League match, more than any other player.
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