Aston Villa was taking on Everton at their home in Villa Park. It was a superb display of tactics from the host as they marked their biggest win over Everton in all competition since December 2005.
Everton had been the better team in recent fixtures with three wins in their last six games against Aston Villa.
Starting the match chance for Everton straight away. It was a good run down the right from Townsend before he knocks it on to Godfrey, who made an overlapping run. He drills it into Rondon at the near post who pokes a shot on goal, but Tuanzebe’s touch helps it wide.
In the 34th minute, Mina and Keane both try to clear Targett’s cross when Villa were on the attack. They ended up, however, gifting it to McGinn, whose first-time shot was blocked by Keane. His clearance only reached cash, who cuts inside before drilling his low effort just wide of the near post. What a chance for Villa to go ahead!
It was goalless at the break between Villa and Everton. Neither side created too many clear-cut chances, but Villa had the opportunity to open the scoring when Mings’s glancing header from a corner was reflexively pushed away by Begovic. Cash and McGinn have both sent shots just wide, while Keane nodded an effort past Martinez’s far post.
Chance for Everton after halftime. Villa were caught in possession again and Iwobi played it to Gray before continuing his run into the box. He gets it back on the right of the area before hitting a shot across the goal, but Martinez gets down to hold onto it.
In the 66th minute, Cash cashes in to score the first goal of the match for his team. It was a good move from Villa as they worked it upfield and when Luiz plays it forward down the right, Cash outmuscles Digne to get on the end of it. He cuts inside before smashing a shot on goal and it’s over Begovic’s head and into the top corner. Villa up 1-0.
It was a disaster for Everton when Lucas Digne headed an own goal. It all happened from the corner. Bailey whips a lovely ball into the six-yard box. No Villa players were near it, but the slightest glance off the top of Digne’s head helps it into the back of the net.
Everton’s frustration grew into anger in the 75th minute. Villa completely changed the match with 3 goals in around 10 minutes’ time. This time it was Bailey who punched on the opportunity. Digne had so much time to set himself after reading away from Godfrey and he lets it bounce into the box before firing his shot over the outrushing Begovic and into the back of the net. Villa smells victory if they can hold it.
Villa certainly held it well. Everton loses their first game under the new manager, Benitez. It took until the second half for the hosts to break the deadlock, with two quickfire goals shocking Everton.
Villa are now unbeaten in their last five Premier League home games. Their longest run without defeat at Villa Park in the top-flight since January 2015.
Watch the highlights of Villa vs Everton, HERE.