Jack Grealish was hired for Aston Villa for the first time since February 13
Everton’s hopes of finishing in the European Premier League spots suffered a blow when they played a goalless draw at Aston Villa.
In an uninspiring competition with no quality, Tyrone Mings headed Villa’s best chance far from Douglas Luiz’s flank.
Everton was subdued for a long time in the first half and improved after the break. Ben Godfrey saved Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick from home goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Andre Gomes lavishly shot his left foot over the bar as the guests chased a winner, but Martinez was rarely asked and Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s belated header was his only other exception.
The result puts Carlo Ancelotti’s side eight points behind Chelsea in fourth place. West Ham, Liverpool and Tottenham are all better placed to qualify for Europe.
Villa, who welcomed captain Jack Grealish as a substitute in the second half after an injury, remains in 11th place in the table.
Everton’s missed opportunity
Everton arrived at Villa Park hoping to maintain their good away record, which represented 65% of their Premier League points this season.
And while there was the added incentive to take revenge on a Villa team that won at Goodison Park 12 days ago, they only showed sporadic attacks.
Abdoulaye Doucoure, Richarlison, Michael Keane and Calvert-Lewin could not convert if the chances were good. Martinez made an outstanding save to prevent the English striker’s header.
Four draws and defeats in the last seven games indicate a team that always seemed to chase others over themselves without ever being able to exert serious pressure.
While they looked solid again on the defensive and the hosts limited them to just two attempts, Ancelotti’s side have had to show more attacking ambitions in their last three games against Sheffield United, Wolves and Manchester City.
Martinez and Grealish Buoy Villa
In a game where Villa showed only a few moments of real quality, the return of Grealish Villa boss Dean Smith and English manager Gareth Southgate, who will soon name his squad for the European Championship, provided a timely boost.
Villa hit a 50% win rate in the Premier League when Grealish unveiled that tenure, compared to 25% in his absence.
And although he couldn’t influence the outcome in his 26-minute cameo, he showed some good touch and made an excellent dart run from right to left to dodge several Everton defenders.
At the other end of the field, Martinez showed exemplary reactions and competence across the board.
The Argentine looked like a smart takeover by Smith, and at his 15th end of the season he hit Brad Friedel’s club record for zero goals in the Premier League era (2009/10).
More will follow.
Player of the game
- 2cash registerReplaced byEl Mohamadyat the 45 + 2 ‘protocol
- 7thMcGinnBooked at 90 minutes
- 6thDouglas Luiz
- fifteenTraoreBooked at 43 minutesReplaced byRealisticat the 72 ‘protocol
- 20thBarkleyReplaced byRamseyat the 65 ‘protocol
- 21stThe Ghazi
- 27El Mohamady
- 23ColemanReplaced byIwobiat the 75 ‘protocol
- 10G SigurdssonBooked at 55 minutesReplaced byAndré Gomesat the 67 ‘protocol
- 21stAndré Gomes
- 31Neves Virginia
End of game, Aston Villa 0, Everton 0.
The second half ends, Aston Villa 0, Everton 0.
Foul by Keinan Davis (Aston Villa).
Jordan Pickford (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Keinan Davis (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Missed attempt. Allan (Everton) right footed shot from the center of the box is high and wide.
Missed attempt. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s header from the center of the box missed the goal on the right. Prepared by André Gomes.
John McGinn (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by John McGinn (Aston Villa).
André Gomes (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Missed attempt. Michael Keane (Everton) header from the right side of the penalty area misses after a set piece to the right.
VAR decision: Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) will not change cards.
Foul by Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa).
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Missed attempt. Richarlison’s (Everton) close-up header is up and far left. Assisted by Abdoulaye Doucouré.
Missed attempt. Abdoulaye Doucouré (Everton) right footed shot from the center of the box misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s (Everton) header from the right side of the six-yard field is saved in the lower right corner. Assisted by Lucas Digne with a cross.
Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Abdoulaye Doucouré (Everton).