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October 26, 2013
• Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 35154
R. Lukaku 68'
L. Osman 81'
I have been Hayden Gribble and thank you for keeping me company this afternoon. Have a good one!
FULLTIME - ASTON VILLA 0-2 EVERTON. Roberto Martinez's men march on after an impressive display for the Toffees, but it is more home woes for Paul Lambert. The Villa fans are not happy as they boo their team off the pitch. Christian Benteke had an 8th minute penalty saved by Tim Howard and two second half goals from Romelu Lukaku and substitute Leon Osman killed the game and made sure that all three points go back to Merseyside.
90' + 3'
STAT ATTACK: 6 - Leon Osman has scored six Premier League goals against Aston Villa; more than any other opponent. Villain. (Opta Joe)
90' + 2'
CHANCE! Baines looks to inflict more pain on the Villans by shooting from distance, but his effort sails high and wide.
There will be FOUR minutes of added on time.
And as the Holte End is now well and truly empty Everton are just happy to play keep ball. Paul Lambert needs to turn his side's home form around...and fast!
Yellow Card Tim Howard
It issurely too late but Villa are probing for an opening in an increasingly empty Villa Park while the Toffees are sticking firm...see what I did there?
CHANCE! So, so close to a third for Everton, and this time it is the substitute Naismith who fancies a crack. The former Celtic midflielder aims for the same corner that has provided both goals for us today but he skims it just wide. Guzanwas in no man's land there. Five minutes to go.
The travelling fans are loving it! The Evertonians are chanting, 'Are you watching, David Moyes?' I think it is safe to say that they are happy with the new man in the hotseat!
Assist Gareth Barry
Goal Leon Osman
GOAL! ...And Osman scores! Baines played a short one with Barry, who cut the ball back to Osman who smashes the ball past Brad Guzan. Game, set and match Everton!
We have ten minutes to go here and Everton have a corner on the left-hand side. Baines delivers it...
Paul Lambert decides to throw another striker on as Helenius makes his bow. Will he be the Villans' hero today and nick a point for the home side?
CHANCE! Oh, Agbonglahor, you should have put that one away. The tempo has increased yet again and Weimann sets up the Villa winger from 15-yards. He has the chance to take a touch in the box, but his first-time shot does not trouble Howard.
CHANCE! Villa are sending bodies forward as they look to avoid a second consecutive defeat at home. Some nifty play in the middle leads to Weimann taking a shot form 30-yards, but it curls wide by some distance.
PENALTY SHOUT! Oh, could it be more for the Toffees? It should be! Once again it is Lukaku who strikes and it hits Vlaar, but did the Villa man use his left hand to stop the Belgian's goalbound shot? From here it looked like it, but the referee waves play on.
Assist Leon Osman
Goal Romelu Lukaku
GOAL! And just as I blabber on about holes opening in the Everton defence, it's the visitors who open the deadlock! Osman exploits a gap between the Villa centre-backs to find Lukaku, who strikes side-footed from the edge of the box. It's first blood, Everton!
The fluid passing and creativity has been nothing on the action in the first 45 minutes, I'm afraid to say dear reader. But there are gaps beginning to open up in the visitor's defence. Who can exploit them?
STAT ATTACK: The Toffees have earned an unrivalled four points from losing positions away from home this season. (BBC Sport)
Yellow Card James McCarthy
It is fair to say that McCarthy has not had the best of games for the Toffees today and now he receives a yellow card for a strong challenge on Westood. No controversy there, the caution was the right decision.
With half an hour to go, Westwood plays a delightful ball through the middle for Benteke but Jagielka does his defensive duties by beating the striker to the ball. If the Villa favourite were fully fit, you'd have to say he'd have been first to that ball and made Howard quake in his gloves!
It looks like Roberto Martinez will introduce Leon Osman to proceedings very shortly as Distin slides in to cut out a cross from Baker and concede yet another corner to Villa. Ulitmately, it comes to nothing and Howard collects easily.
CHANCE! Delph side foots an effort form the edge of the box but Toffees' skipper Jagielka deflects the ball away with his shoulder for a corner. Villa are well on top now!
Villa are enjoying a spell of possession against a Blues defence that needs to wake up a little. The ball is played to the feet of Benteke, who is tackled quickly, but Coleman had drifted too far up the pitch to allow the Belgian some time on the ball. A decent delivery from Agbonglahor is all is takes for the Everton defences to be opened.
CHANCE! Barkley charges forward again but his ambitious shot from 25-yards is wild and causes no problems for Guzan. Goal kick to Villa.
The Toffees are breaking forward again but Coleman's delivery into the box is too close to Guzan. The support sounds a little subdued compared to their efforts in the first half. Maybe they are exhausted from all the action in the first 45 minutes?
Everton are on the front foot as Clark is forced to turn the ball over his own bar after Mirallas was left acres of space to play with on the right. The corner is attacked by Lukaku but his effort is wide.
And we're off again with Villa kicking from right to left.
Both sets of players are making their way back out of the tunnel. More of the same please, Villa and Everton!
If I could give a title to the story of the first half I would call it 'A Tale of Two Keepers.' Those final two statistics I gave you in the first half highlights just how impressive both Brad Guzan and Tim Howard have been in the first half - and puts the deadlock in perspective considering those recent results for both sides. Will their heroics continue after the break? The second half is coming up!
HALFTIME - ASTON VILLA 0-0 EVERTON. Phew! I'm relieved for the break! No goals as of yet but the scoreline betrays what has been an entertaining encounter. Christian Benteke could have opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a penalty that was magnificently saved by Tim Howard. The American stopper has been phenomenal as has his equal number Brad Guzan, who made an incredible stop to keep Lukaku's header out. Ross Barkley has also hit the bar for the Toffees with a deflected effort from distance. More to come in the second half!
45' + 1'
There will be TWO minutes of added time as Paul Lambert is forced into a change as Antonio Luna has pulled up with what looks like a muscle strain. The left-back trudges off down the tunnel.
STAT ATTACK: The Villans have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 15 Premier League home games, losing 10 games in that run and conceding 27 goals. (BBC Sport)
STAT ATTACK: Everton have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 18 Premier League games against Aston Villa. (BBC Sport)
Not long until the break and to tell you the truth, I don't want this half to end! It has been thoroughly entertaining and there has been little pause for breath!
This has been an amazing first half so far but still no goals. When will the floodgates open to compliment what we are seeing here at Villa Park?
CHANCE! Villa are crying foul play as Benteke goes down under a challenge from Distin as the ball breaks forward. Mirallas gets a shot away but it is blocked and skews wide for a corner to the Toffees. I'm having to write to fast to keep up with this game, my keyboard is on fire!
CHANCE! Lukaku slices through the Villa defence like a knife through butter but his tame shot is blocked by the on-rushing Guzan. What do we have to do for a goal at Villa Park!?
CHANCE! It's the crossbar that has kept Brad Guzan's sheet clean as young England starlet Ross Barkley has a pop from 25-yards, but a deflection off Westood sends the ball looping towards ball, but it crashes against the bar and out for a corner.
STAT ATTACK: Everton have had 63% possession so far in this first half.
CHANCE! What have the keepers been eating? Ready Brek!? Lukaku gets his head to a cross and finds the strong hands of Guzan, who pushes the ball to safety. How on earth is this game still 0-0?
CHANCE! Incredible, it's Howard again who stops Villa in their tracks. Weimann is through on goal this time but the Everton stopper is quick off his line and gets a foot to the ball to stop the Villa youngster putting the home side ahead. Jagielka clears up the danger. Incredible performance from the former Man Utd man today!
CHANCE! It's Benteke nil, Howard two! The Belgian is put clean through but sees his placed shot saved by Howard, who stretches to his left to palm the ball away. Another Villa chance thwarted by Everton's super keeper!
Well, for all it's early excitement, it looks like this game is finally beginning to settle down. Since Howard's penalty save from Benteke, the keeper has had very little to do. Whilst all Guzan has had to do is come and collect the ball a few times. These keepers need testing some more.
The Villa fans give an ironic cheer as Pienaar overhits his pass out wide to Baines. The South Africa International has looked a little rusty so far but that's to be expected after nearly two months out.
CHANCE! Bacuna cuts inside for Villa and takes a shot from an awkward angle but it is deflected over for a corner, which Howard collects. Could have been on target until the deflection, I'd say!
Nathan Baker is keeping it tight at the back for Paul Lambert's men. The pace has slowed just a little but boy it's still exciting! Who will make the breakthrough first?
STAT ATTACK: Paul Lambert has won more away league games (seven) as manager of Aston Villa than he has at Villa Park (six). (BBCSport)
Baines wins a free-kick on the left flank after a rash challenge from Tonev but Guzan collects comfortably.
Penalty save Tim Howard
Missed Penalty Christian Benteke
Oh my goodness, great save from Tim Howard! The American gets down low to his right and tips Benteke's penalty over the bar with his elevated left hand. What a moment! Maybe Benteke was put off by the stopper's impressive beard?
PENALTY TO VILLA! Seamus Coleman bundles over Benteke in the box and the referee points to the spot! And the Belgian steps up to take it...
This has the feel of a cup game! The crowd are right up for this and soare the players. A ball over the top finds Mirallas but the winger is crowded out before he can cause the home side any danger.
Despite making over 400 appearances for the Villans, I think it is safe to say that the home fans will be dishing some stick out to Barry today. The play is getting bogged in the centre of the pitch at the moment - but I don't expect it to be for long!
CHANCE! Talk about getting out of the traps quickly! Everton break forward with Gareth Barry - making a return to his former club - playing the ball out wide right to Mirallas who sliced through to Lukaku but Villa's defensive rock Vlaar slides in to put it behind. Great start from the visitors and hopefully, that's the pace of the game we can expect!
We are off at Villa Park with Everton kicking from right to left!
Both sides are making their way onto the pitch. Kick-off is moments away!
STAT ATTACK: You might have heard this statistic quite alot today, but it is a very impressive one. This is the most-played fixture in the English top flight ever. Clocking up nearly 200 meeting in the league between these two sides (196), Aston Villa have 72 wins to Everton's 71. Ten minutes to kick-off and Villa Park is buzzing.
For the visitors there is also some good news on the injury front as midfielder Steven Pienaar makes his first start since picking up a hamstring injury in August. Roberto Martinez brings the South African back into his starting line-up at the expense of Leon Osman who takes his places on the bench.
The big news for the Villans is the return of Christian Benteke up front after a cameo role last week in the 2-0 loss to Spurs. The Belgian striker starts his first game since injury as Kozak makes way and drops to the bench for Paul Lambert's men.
Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Mirallas, Distin, McCarthy, Lukaku, Barry, Barkley, Pienaar, Coleman.Subs: Joel, Jelavic, Oviedo, Deulofeu, Naismith, Osman, Stones.
Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Westwood, Weimann, Luna, Delph, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Tonev.Subs: Steer, Clark, El Ahmadi, Helenius, Sylla, Kozak, Lowton.
Good afternoon and welcome to out live text commentary of this Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton. My name is Hayden Gribble and I shall be your guide through all the action as it happens. Who's up for some team news?
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