Everton and Aston Villa played out an entertaining goalless draw at Goodison Park in the Premier League. The draw sees Villa pull level on points with Manchester City on 43 points but they remain in third spot. However, the Villans have played one more game than third title rivals. Everton remain in 17th after snapping a three-game losing streak but open up a one-point gap to Luton in 18th.
John McGinn of Aston Villa controls the ball during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Aston Villa at Goodison Park on January 14, 2024 in Liverpool, England.
Image credit: Getty Images
Aston Villa were held to a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park as Everton snapped a three-game losing streak in the Premier League.
Villa needed a win to move back into second place after Manchester City’s win over Newcastle United on Saturday, but failed to breakthrough Sean Dyche’s team as Unai Emery oversaw a 0-0 draw for the first time in his Premier League career.
Alex Moreno had a sublime strike disallowed by VAR – with Leon Bailey having strayed offside in the build-up – though for Villa’s possessional dominance, the best chance of the game fell Everton’s way when Dominic Calvert-Lewin raced through late in the first half, only to be denied by Emiliano Martinez, who subsequently kept out James Garner on the rebound.
Villa huffed and puffed in a scrappy second half, with substitutes Jhon Duran and Matty Cash going close, while Abdoulaye Doucoure had a goal disallowed for offside at the other end.
The draw leaves Villa in third place, level on points with City but behind the champions on goal difference, while Everton move a point clear of the relegation zone.
A bright Everton start made way for a period of Villa dominance, and Moreno thought he had put Villa ahead in the 18th minute when he arrowed into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the D.
After a long VAR check, however, Bailey was adjudged to have been offside earlier in the move.
Jordan Pickford made a smart stop to deny Bailey soon after, yet Everton should have gone into the interval ahead when Arnaut Danjuma slipped in Calvert-Lewin – but with the goal gaping, he drilled straight at Martinez, with Garner also unable to get the better of Villa’s goalkeeper.
Cash’s introduction sparked Villa back into life midway through the second half, and after teeing up fellow substitute Duran for a half-chance, the full-back looked set to win it from close range with four minutes remaining, until Vitaliy Mykolenko intervened with a superb block.
Doucoure displayed the composure that Calvert-Lewin had lacked when he hammered home late on, but the offside flag cut short Everton’s celebrations as the spoils were shared.
Talking Point – VAR takes an age… again
Everton were on the right end of a VAR call this time around, though quite why it took almost four minutes for the two officials in the booth at Stockley Park to disallow Moreno’s goal is another matter altogether.
While Bailey’s offside was perhaps not the clearest, he was only in with a chance of being onside in the first place because of an evident foul from Lenglet on Danjuma. The officials came to the right decision, but the time it took to do so perhaps invited more criticism for how the technology is used.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – EMILIANO MARTINEZ (ASTON VILLA)
It was not the busiest days for Martinez, but when he was needed, he came up big for Villa. Yes, Calvert-Lewin should have put the chance away, but Martinez made life hard by spreading himself and closing the angle, before then being sharp to keep out Garner’s follow-up.
Everton: Pickford 7, Coleman 7, Tarkowski 6, Branthwaite 7, Mykolenko 8, Harrison 6, Onana 6, Garner 5, Danjuma 6, Doucoure 6, Calvert-Lewin 4. Subs: Beto 5, McNeil 5.
Aston Villa: Martinez 9*, Konsa 6, Carlos 7, Lenglet 7, Moreno 8, Bailey 6, Kamara 7, Luiz 6, McGinn 7, Diaby 6, Watkins 7. Subs: Duran 6, Tielemans 6, Zaniolo 6, Cash 7.
22’ – No goal! (Moreno): Well, for whatever reason – it’s not quite clear – the goal has been disallowed! Everton have perhaps got away with one, though whether it has been given for that foul on Danjuma or an apparent offside from Lenglet is not yet clear.
45’ – Double save! (Martinez): That should be 1-0 to Everton! Danjuma plays a superb pass through to Calvert-Lewin, who had the goal at his mercy. Yet with plenty of time to pick his spot, the striker is unable to direct his shot away from Martinez, who stuck out a strong leg to make the save. Everton keep the attack alive, with Garner managing to get a shot off from the edge of the box, but Martinez is again on hand to save Villa.
86’ – Desperate defending: What. A. Block. Brilliant from Mykolenko, who somehow manages to deny Villa with a fantastic block from point-blank range, after Cash had got on the end of Moreno’s cutback. Onana and Pickford then get in each other’s way, allowing another shot to come in, but Coleman is on hand to keep it out and clear Everton’s lines.
89’ – No goal! (Doucoure): Everton think they’ve won it as Doucoure bursts through and hammers home beyond Martinez, but the flag is up! There’ll be no need for VAR – Doucoure had indeed strayed a good yard offside before getting onto the ball. There’s still plenty of life in this game!