May 1st and Aston Villa finally make our long awaited trip up to Goodison Park to face Everton, before then welcoming them back to Villa Park 13 days later.
This was a fantastic chance for head coach Dean Smith and the boys to right our inconsistent 2021 form and start a late surge towards the end of the season and three points today would set us back up nicely for a good and solid top half finish.
It was a bright start by the hosts, but two minutes in we’d settled and slowly got ourselves on top and we looked up for it. 13 minutes in, Ollie Watkins chased down Mason Holgate, who promptly fouled up, and Ollie had his 15th for the season as he slotted past Jordan Pickford with ease.
This is the Villa though, Everton went down the other end and we gave them the equaliser in typically soft fashion from a corner. Pathetic marking and Emi seemed to shrink as the ball came towards him.
Ollie had a great chance after to make it two, but took his time on the shot and Calvert-Lewin was also almost in again – the game had opened up with their leveller. We were just about still on top though, certainly creating the better chances and Bertie Traore should’ve been on the scoresheet, as should El Ghazi but it hit the bar after a couple of wonder saves from Pickford.
Ross Barkley was the next to hit the woodwork and for as good as we were playing, you couldn’t help but get the impression it was going to be another of those games.
Ollie again had a great chance but it deflected wide – we really could’ve, well should’ve, been three or four clear by the halftime break. But at least the idiot in charge had managed to book Douglas Luiz with Richarlison acting up to his normal tricks.
1-1 at the break, please God don’t make that our good half.
It looked like it wasn’t. The second half was bright as well and although the hosts continued to have their own threat, we were on top and the chances kept coming but we just couldn’t take them.
It wasn’t however as dominant as the first half, and more errors started creeping into our game but the performance overall was still marginally better than we’d seen for much of this year.
With the game looking to peter out, Anwar El Ghazi produced an absolute curling bit of magic to make it 2-1 and having finally retaken the lead, I can’t have been the only one who was now even more nervous!
We saw it out, we thoroughly deserved it and Everton deserve praise for their own performance as well – that was a great game.
More of the same moving forward Villa!
1/05/2021 8:00 pm
Referee: Simon Hooper
|Calvert-Lewin (19)||Watkins (13), El Ghazi (80)|