Ollie Watkins makes history as Villa beat Everton

Ollie Watkins became the first Aston Villa player to score five goals in five games in the Premier League. The feat was achieved last by Paul Rideout in 1985 but was the first time an Aston Villa player in the Premier League era achieved it.

Unai Emery blasted his side last week following the 2-4 defeat to Arsenal after they conceded four goals for the second game in a row at Villa Park.

Before the Spaniard arrived, the home form was Villa’s only saving grace but that seems to have turned 360 as the Villans have now won four of their last five games on the road.

Emery will now turn his attention to improving the home form with Crystal Palace next up at Villa Park.

The boss said: “It’s great for our supporters. They are travelling with us and away from home we are giving them more opportunities to be happy than at home.

“I want to share with them at home against Crystal Palace the same performances [as away from home], and find out what the difference is between us playing away and at home.

“In this process, we are going to find the solution and share with them our good moments at home.

Report: Everton 0 – 2 Aston Villa

The win will reassure any fans who started to wonder if Villa would be dragged into a relegation battle as they moved level on points with 10th-placed Chelsea in the Premier League.

Villa were without the injured Phillipe Coutinho while Emi Buendia was dropped to the bench. Leon Bailey and Jacob Ramsey came in as their replacements.

The game was never going to be easy. Everton has won back-to-back games at home under new manager Sean Dyche, keeping clean sheets in both and it wasn’t plain sailing for the visitors in the opening 45 minutes.

Villa struggled with the press as they tried to build their attacks from the back and when they did find a way to get the ball forward, the forward players seemed quick to be disposed to put the defensive players back under pressure.

Everton came close when Alex Iwobi’s effort was blocked behind as Abdoulaye Doucoure found the Nigerian after beating both Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara.

World Cup winner Emi Martinez was then called into action when Amadou Onana rose above Ezri Konsa to meet a Vitalii Mykolenko cross, with the keeper pushing the headed effort over the bar.

The Toffees were on top as the half-time whistle brought a break to the proceedings as Villa would have been happy to go in level.

It was a game of two halves and the visitors were the side who took their chances.

Villa should have taken the lead early on with the best move of the match. Ramsey released former Evertonian Lucas Digne down the left and his cross was met by Watkins but Jordan Pickford was equal to the effort pushing the header onto the post before James Tarkowski was able to clear.

Moments later though, Pickford was unable to prevent Watkins as the visitors took the lead. Former Villan Idrissa Gueye was judged to have brought down John McGinn in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Watkins stepped up and blasted the ball straight down the middle of the goal.

Villa were now on top as Watkins and Luiz both had long-range efforts go wide of the goal.

Emery’s side did double their lead nine minutes from time to secure all three points through substitute Buendia. Tyrone Mings picked out Watkins with a ball forward and the striker linked up with McGinn who then played the ball into the path of Buendia. The Argentinian turned Conor Coady inside out before unleashing past Pickford’s near post.

Analysis

Much was made of how unhappy Emery was by recent performances and it was clear from the off that Villa wanted a clean sheet as much as they wanted all three points.

Emery stated: “We were planning to win with a clean sheet. We were compact defensively.

“We were trying to keep our balance. I think the only real strange, the real bad performance was against Leicester. Manchester City were better than us, Arsenal were good as well. Maybe we could have taken more points against Arsenal but they were better than us.”

It was a typical, solid-away performance. Despite Everton’s pressure in the first half, they never really looked like scoring apart from maybe the one effort. Villa grew with confidence, especially after the first goal.

Its nice to return to winning ways but Villa return to Villa Park next week and all the focus will turn to Villa’s recent home form.

Related

2 comments

  1. Great piece! I am American that lived in Birmingham in 1989-90, been a Villa fan every since siting in the Holte end in 1990 against Norwich City on last day of season, UTV! I organize Villa fans to watch the club at DC area bars. I will be in London on April 22 and hoping to sit with the Villa faithful at the GTech Community Stadium against Brentford. Please message me if you have an extra ticket and sit with fellow Villa fan from across the pond! Thank you.

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest posts

Google search engine

Categories