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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Everton start the season off with back-to-back defeats for the first time in 13 years

After losing 1-0 to Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season at Goodison Park Everton were looking to bounce back away to Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.

Frank Lampard made one change with Conor Coady replacing the injured Ben Godfrey for his debut whilst Everton’s other new signing Amadou Onana started on the bench.

Due to it being one of the hottest weekends the country has seen this summer the game started off in a slow manner with the heat beaming onto the pitch with neither goalkeeper being tested in the opening 20 minutes.

Everton and Anthony Gordon thought they had stolen the lead after the young winger poked the ball in from a corner.

He ran off celebrating then the flag went up for offside, VAR checked and agreed with the linesman.

No goal.

After that Everton did not make Emiliano Martinez work at all in the first half and on the half-an-hour mark found themselves one nil down with the goal coming from a very familiar face in Danny Ings.

Villa were quick in the transition with Ollie Watkins running at James Tarkowski and he drilled in a low cross finding Ings.

It looked like he had initially taken the ball off Philippe Coutinho but he created half-a-yard for himself getting past Abdoulaye Doucoure before rattling the ball with his left foot past Jordan Pickford scoring his seventh career goal against Everton.

Whatever Lampard said at half-time seemed to rile up his squad as they started the second-half on the front foot finally forcing a save out of Martinez as Demarai Gray cut in and let fire.

Steven Gerrard’s Villa side dealt with the onslaught well limiting Everton to only half chances whilst making sure Martinez did not have to be involved too much.

With ten minutes to go Onana came on for his debut and he changed the game initially for the worse.

He lost the ball in the middle of the pitch allowing Villa substitute Emiliano Buendia to drive with pace and find Watkins who bent his run wide to find space.

Buendia continued his run and Watkins found him in the six-yard box for a simple tap-in to double the home sides lead.

It looked like that goal would secure the three points for the home side but one minute later Onana showed what he can bring to the Everton midfield.

He made a powerful run down the left hand-side before crossing the ball in trying to find Alex Iwobi but before the ball came to him former Everton man Luca Digne got there before him inadvertently putting the ball into his own net.

So it was game on with a few minutes left and then came a proper onslaught from The Toffees but that didn’t happen until after Pickford denied Watkins with a brilliant save after rushing out to close the angle.

With five additional minutes the away crowd roared their side on and Everton came so close to getting a late equaliser on a couple of occasions but challenges from Tyrone Mings and Callum Chambers denied Salomon Rondon and Onana.

So in the end Villa just about hung on for the three points getting a 2-1 victory whilst Everton still look like they desperately need a striker with 19 days of the transfer window left.

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