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1 February 2014
• Goodison Park, Liverpool
Referee: R. Madley
• Attendance: 39469
S. Naismith 74'
K. Mirallas 85'
L. Bacuna 34'
Thank you all for joining me today for a LIVE look inside Goodison Park. I'm Alex Moretto, and I hope you all have an excellent rest of the day. Good bye!
Everton get what they had coming, however, as their dominance in possession eventually pays off. Kevin Mirallas is the hero for the Toffees, who leapfrog Tottenham after their draw with Hull City today. Villa remain locked in 10th, although are now just five points up from safety.
FULL-TIME: Everton 2-1 Aston Villa. A late surge from the hosts gives them a valuable three points and their first league win over Villa at Goodison Park in seven years. Paul Lambert will be disappointed in his team's inability to close the game out, but a questionable substitution with 10 minutes to play will garner plenty of attention from his critics.
90' + 4'
Full time indeed at Goodison Park, as a late comeback gives Everton the double against Aston Villa this season, for the first time in 27 years!
90' + 3'
Albrighton makes a good run in from the left, cutting in with his right foot, and letting fly. It takes a slight deflection off a defender and flies just over for a corner. It was dipping over Howard, but just not enough to find the back of the net. The corner is poor, however, and Everton move forward with Mirallas looking to run the final seconds off the clock.
90' + 1'
Credit to Paul Lambert for going for the win, but taking off his captain and leader in defence will welcome a lot of questions in his post-game press conference. It's a chance that didn't pay off as planned for Lambert, and it may have cost his team a valuable point.
Four minutes of added time. Do Villa have an equalizer in them, or can Everton hold?
NAISMITH! Everton flowing with confidence! Baines crosses in for a wide open Naismith, but he puts his header straight at Guzan - either side of the American and it's 3-1.
Weimann is taken off now. He's been ineffective today, really hasn't been a factor at all in the match. Tonev is on now as Villa search for an equalizer.
Yellow Card Leighton Baines
Goal Kevin Mirallas
GOAAAAAAL! It's spectacular from Kevin Mirallas! A sensational finish from the free kick, nearly 30 yards out, as his right footed shot curls over the wall, past a helpless Brad Guzan and into the net! The curve on that strike was so special, it actually hit the side netting before anything else. Everton have their lead.
Free kick now for Everton ten yards outside the area. Baines and Mirallas stand over it. Promising position here for Everton.
Both teams moving forward in possession. Benteke takes a long pass and picks out Weimann, who has space to run at the Everton defenders, but he opts for a rather ambitious shot that sails miles high of Tim Howard's goal.
Very positive move from Paul Lambert, who won't settle for just a point, as he brings off centre-back Ron Vlaar in place of winger Mark Albrighton, switching from a 5-3-2 to a 4-5-1 it would appear for the final 10 minutes.
Naismith can't catch up to a ball played over the top, and it's collected by Guzan who hits a ball far for Benteke to chase. He forces Stones into a rushed clearance, winning a throw, but the linesman awards a free kick against the Belgian.
As play gets re-started, there is new life at Goodison Park and into the home side, who have a bit more jump in their step at the moment.
Assist Steven Pienaar
Goal Steven Naismith
GOAAAAAAL! It's the substitute Steven Naismith who pulls Everton level! Barry from about 30 yards out is able to pick out Pienaar, who does great to subtly flick it on for Naismith behind the defence, and he calmly slots home less than five minutes after coming into the game!
Baines and Pienaar work a nice give and go now on the left, but the South African's hard cross surprises Mirallas, and comes off of him, out of danger.
Everton break again down the left, their flank of choice today, and the ball in eventually played in, headed just inches wide of the near post by Benteke! Would have been a disastrous own goal, but it ended up on the right side of the post.
Two Everton attacks result in offsides, less than a minute apart, and the crowd lets out a big roar of disapproval. Mirallas, also upset with the decision, kicks the ball out of play in frustration, and is perhaps lucky not to be shown yellow.
STAT ATTACK: Only Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton have lost fewer games on their travels this season (2) than Aston Villa (3), while their 13 goals conceded on the road are bettered only by Chelsea (11).
Another corner for Everton as Delph's strong tackle stops another attack. The corner is cleared only as far as Pienaar, who smacks the ball well through the crowd, but again it's straight at Guzan as frustration continues to grow for Everton.
Osman is picked out at the top of the box. He boxes off a defender, and turns into a good shooting position, but can't get enough of it as he's falling back and it rolls into the waiting arms of Guzan.
Karim El Ahmadi
First substitution here for Villa, as Grant Holt comes off in place of Karim El Ahmadi. Quiet first start for Holt, who didn't see much of the ball aside from a few fouls earlier in the first half. El Ahmadi should help the Villans as they will have plenty of opportunities on the counter in the second half.
Finally it's away from danger as Baines is ruled offside after a short corner eventually works its way to him on the left. Pressure increasing from the hosts, but Villa refuse to be broken down.
Corner now for Everton, that's headed clear to Baines. He finds Osman, but his shot is deflected wide for another corner. The second corner is played in similarly, and it falls again for Baines who tries to cross it back into the box, but it's deflected behind again for a corner!
Osman nearly with an equalizer! Westwood can't control the ball for Villa, and Leon Osman pounces on the loose ball, charges into the box, but drags his shot just wide of the far right post from the left of the six yard box. Glorious opportunity there for Everton, that really should have been finished off!
Everton back with it again now, and Osman drives down the left, and sends a beautiful ball into the box, but it's just a few inches too tall for Mirallas who got between the center backs there. Much more encouraging play here from the Toffees.
Better from Everton, as Barry picks out Mirallas on the right. The Belgian lacks help on the flank, so opts for a low driven cross into Steven Pienaar, but Vlaar beats him to it and manages to clear the danger.
Much of the same as we start the second half, as Everton pass it around in the midfield, looking for a way through. Baines gets it on the left and passes it out of play, conceding possession.
One change at the half, and it is indeed Steven Pienaar coming on, replacing Ross Barkley who may have picked up a knock towards the end of the first half.
Villa kick-off and the second half is underway at Goodison Park!
Everton need to look to Steven Pienaar, perhaps, to come off the bench and provide them with some more width in attack. Villa are doing well in defence, but need to be wary of the space they allow Everton on the flanks, if they start to take advantage of it.
HALF-TIME: Everton 0-1 Aston Villa. Paul Lambert will be thrilled with thrilled with his team's performance in the first half. Leandro Bacuna has Villa in front at the break, despite allowing Everton to keep 70% possession. They have kept their shape very well at the back, frustrating the hosts on attack and limiting them to just five shots (one on target) after 45 minutes.
45' + 1'
That's all for the first half as Everton seem content to play this one into the break and regroup for the second half.
One minute of added time as indicated by the assistant referee.
Villa have consistently got five men in their back line, keeping their shape very well, making life extremely difficult for Everton in attack.
Everton are visibly missing the services of Romelu Lukaku. Mirallas isn't able to hold up the ball or fight off a defender quite as well as his fellow countryman. All of the Toffee's possession is being contested. Barkley gets it at the top of the box and is immediately surrounded by six Villa players, who disposes the midfielder and clear the danger.
STAT ATTACK: After starting the season with just one defeat and nine wins from their first 17 league matches, Martinez’s men have lost twice from six matches since Christmas Day.
Another corner now for Everton and this time it's played short for McGeady, and crossed in for Jagielka whose looping header is collected easily by Guzan. The home side are growing in frustration at their inability to break down the back line of Villa who have done an excellent job in defence so far.
Everton, perhaps livened by conceding, push forward looking for an immediate response, winning another corner. The delivery from Baines is very uncharacteristic, however, and it's cleared easily by Clark.
Assist Christian Benteke
Goal Leandro Bacuna
GOAAAL! Bacuna gives the visitors a shock lead on their first attempt on goal! A giveaway in midfield allows Villa to break, and Benteke picks out Bacuna running down the right. The Dutchman calmly slots home through the legs of Tim Howard.
Baines, who's playing a very attacking role here, is picked out by Barry, but is again ruled offside. Villa keeping a very high line, but it's working for them so far.
Everton passing it well around the outside of the box, but can't seem to find a way through and are growing increasingly frustrated as a result, as are the home fans, who let out a groan as possession is conceded yet again in the attacking third.
STAT ATTACK: Everton haven't won any of Villa's last seven league trips to Goodison Park (5 draws, 2 losses).
Villa can't keep any sort of possession in the Everton half, whose defenders are having a picnic at the back. Another turnover allows the Toffees to break, and McGeady charges from the right and cuts in to have a shot, but it's hit directly at Guzan who makes a comfortable stop.
Back up with it now come the Blues, as they switch the play to the left with Baines in plenty of space. He works a nice give and go with Osman, who lays it off for Barkley. The midfielder pushes forward, but runs out of space and scuffs his crossing attempt, resulting in a goal kick. Much more encouraging play from Everton, however.
Barkley charges up the middle of the pitch, and does well to pick out Baines on a fantastic run down the left, but he's judged as being offside by the linesman. The replay shows he may have been onside. Missed opportunity there for Everton.
Everton's short passing game isn't doing them any favors today. Villa are crowding the middle of the pitch, and leaving plenty of space down the flanks, which the Toffees have yet to take advantage of. Holt catches Barkley late, his second foul, and Everton have a free kick just inside the attacking half.
STAT ATTACK: Everton are chasing their 300th Premier League victory, a mark Villa achieved with their 4-3 win over West Brom on Wednesday.
Bertrand lofts the ball forward for Benteke, but Jagielka beats him too it and takes it towards the corner flag. The players come together, with Jagielka looking for a free kick. Nothing doing says Robert Madley, and Villa win a throw right by the corner.
Villa are moving the ball well, and enjoy some nice possession of their own, with Delph eventually winning a throw in an attacking position down the left. Bertrand's throw is to Delph, who puts it right back out of play, eliminating the threat of an attack.
The delivery from Baines is superb, but it's not attacked by any of his teammates and is dealt with easily. McCarthy collects and nearly makes a mess of, forcing himself to commit a foul to prevent Villa from breaking on the counter.
Everton push forward with pace, as Baines makes a nice run down the left. He's taken down clumsily by Holt and wins a free kick in a crossing position from about 25 yards out.
Villa pressuring the Everton defence when they're in possession, causing them a few problems early on. This time Stones is chased down and forced smack the ball forward and out of play for a Villa throw.
Both teams settling into the match now, trying to get a feel for the ball and how it moves in this weather. It's a very windy and wet day in Merseyside.
McGeady with a brilliant effort! Guzan punches away the initial Baines free kick, but only as far as McGeady. The Irishman beats Bertrand far too easily, then beats Guzan with his curling effort, but can't beat the post! Inches away from the opener for Everton.
Bacuna commits a foul and Leighton Baines will have a chance at a free kick just to the left of the box, as Everton begin to crowd the area.
Lively start from the hosts as Mirallas chases a pass deep into Villa territory, forcing a rushed clearance and winning an attacking throw-in.
Everton get us kicked off, wearing their royal blue shirts, moving right from right to left. Aston Villa are in their classic red and blue kits.
Phil Jagielka and Ron Vlaar lead their respective teams onto a cold, rainy and windy pitch in Merseyside. The Goodison crowd gives their team a warm welcome and we're about set for kick off.
STAT ATTACK: This is the most-played fixture all-time in the English top flight. The two sides have met in England's top division 197 times, with each winning 72 of those matches.
Gabriel Agbonlahor has been left out of the squad after the foot injury he picked up in the their last visit to Merseyside, a 2-2 draw at Anfield. This is a blow for Paul Lambert's side, as Agbonlahor has scored more Premier League goals against Everton (seven) than any other opponent.
ASTON VILLA SUBS: Albrighton, El Ahmadi, Helenius, Lowton, Steer, Sylla, Tonev.
ASTON VILLA XI (5-3-2): Guzan; Bertrand, Bacuna, Baker, Vlaar, Clark; Delph, Westwood, Weimann; Benteke, Holt.
The sale of Nikica Jelavic to Hull City, and injuries to Romelu Lukaku and fellow on-loan striker Lacina Traore mean Kevin Mirallas will start up front today for the Toffees. Injuries have begun to pile up for Roberto Martinez, who will also be without Seamus Coleman, Gerard Deulofeu and Bryan Oviedo. Sylvain Distin is back to full health and makes his much anticipated return to the starting XI.
EVERTON SUBS: Coleman, Garbutt, Hibbert, Naismith, Pienaar, Robles, Vellios.
EVERTON XI (4-2-3-1): Howard; Stones, Distin, Jagielka, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Osman, Barkley, McGeady; Mirallas.
The teams have been announced, so let's have ourselves a look at today's starting line-ups:
Aston Villa on the other hand are enjoying one of their best spells of the season at the moment. They have just one loss (2-1 at home to Arsenal) in their previous five league fixtures, and Paul Lambert will certainly be thrilled with the improved play of striker Christian Benteke, who has bagged a goal in each of Villa's last three matches. They've enjoyed their fair share of success at Goodison Park in recent years, and should come into today's fixture with plenty of confidence flowing through the team.
Everton are looking to bounce back after being humiliated in the Merseyside Derby on Tuesday night. Their 4-0 defeat at the hands of rivals Liverpool was their largest in the Premier League since Arsenal's 6-1 triumph at Goodison Park in August of 2009. To make matters worse, leading scorer Romelu Lukaku suffered an ankle injury early in the first half, and has been ruled out for at least a couple of weeks. Their eight points from their previous six league fixtures is their worst run of the season. A win over Aston Villa would go a long way in their quest for the top four.
Good afternoon Premiership fans around the world, and welcome to today's thrilling clash between Everton and Aston Villa at Goodison Park. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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