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Big Dunc vs Stevie G: The Scouser wins the battle between the old foes

A game that brought renewed hope for every Evertonian pre-match as a hero, someone who they all admire, Duncan Ferguson was taking over the reigns just like a few years ago.

In 2019 Ferguson or Big Dunc as he is otherwise known by the Goodison faithful had the ground in ruptures beating Frank Lampard’s Chelsea 3-1 in his first game.

Everton were all over one of the biggest sides in the country and Duncan Ferguson was running up and down the touchline loving every single second of it.

There was hope that this would happen again.

However, Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa stole that hope and threw it away.

Of course it would be Steven Gerrard to steal that hope, how many times has he done it before on the pitch against Everton but now this time he has done it as a manager on the sideline as his side won with just the one goal.

It was a tale of two halves and those two halves had little quality from both sides.

Aston Villa were the side putting on all the pressure in the first 45 minutes with a ball over the top in the first couple of minutes for Ollie Watkins to chase making a heart in mouth situation for every fan in Goodison as Jordan Pickford came racing out of his goal.

It set the tone for Everton, they were shaky and nervous.

They looked like a side who are only two places above the dreaded relegation zone as Gerrard’s Villa piled the pressure on.

Their first chance came in the first ten minutes as Douglas Luiz had a free-kick from a long distance out come very close to dropping under the bar.

A few moments later Pickford was forced into his first save as Emiliano Buendia had an effort on the edge of the box parried away.

Everton couldn’t get out and struggled to create anything as the game turned into a scruffy battle in the middle of the park for a big chunk of the half.

With seven minutes left of the half Ollie Watkins was found in-behind by Tyrone Mings but he couldn’t convert as the effort was stabbed wide.

So, with half-time coming it looked like Ferguson’s Everton had survived.

That was until there was a corner in the last seconds of added time.

Former Everton man Lucas Digne whipped in a corner to the near post and Buendia, one of the smallest players on the pitch, flicked the ball beyond Pickford with an exquisite header.

Villa’s celebrations brought controversy though and not because of them, fans threw objects at the players and a bottle struck Digne and right-back Matty Cash.

Absurd behaviour from a small minority.

It was a superb set-piece and a killer blow for Everton just before half-time which Gerrard very much knew as he walked off with an ice-cold stare and smirk towards the fans in Goodison Park.

The difference in the second half was what everyone anticipated, Ferguson threw the kitchen sink at it.

But the kitchen sink kept on missing as Everton had 15 attempts on goal with remarkably only one on target.

Most of the opportunities came from headers after corners with the shot on target coming from Ben Godfrey’s header which was blocked by Mings on the line.

The best chance though came with 25 minutes to go as substitute Anthony Gordon whipped in a lovely cross onto Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s stretching foot but he could not direct the ball on target.

In the final third Everton desperately lacked quality and ended up resorting to long ball after long ball which got them nowhere and meant that Villa keeper Emi Martinez was comfortable.

So Steven Gerrard got the win at Goodison Park and we have all heard that a good few times throughout the years.

It leaves Everton without a win in five games.

Now the board, who fans were protesting against after the game, have two weeks to find a manager for the next game.

Wayne Rooney? Frank Lampard? Fabio Cannavaro?

Whoever it is will be getting thrown right into a relegation battle.

Everton XI: Pickford, Kenny, Mina, Holgate, Godfrey, Townsend (Gordon 56), Doucoure (Onyango 65), Gomes (Allan 51), Gray, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey, Buendia (Hause 90), Coutinho (Chukwuemeka 74) Watkins (Ings 79)

READ MORE: Everton lose again as Norwich end their six-match losing streak

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