Feb 1, 2014, 12:04 PM EST
Everton went into the break having learned, once again, that having the lion’s share of possession doesn’t automatically mean you’re destined to have the lead. Despite having 70% possession at the break, it was the visitors that were up, 1-0.
The hosts’ best chance came early on, when new boy Aiden McGeady tried his luck from distance. Aston Villa were saved by the post, however, with the winger smacking his shot against the upright.
In the 34th minute, Villa launched one of their counter-attacks, a tactic Paul Lambert has slowly been refining in this season’s squad. Fabian Delph‘s tackle stole the ball from Ross Barkley, who turned his attention toward calling a foul rather than winning back possession. Instead Christian Benteke took control, holding off the Everton defense. The Belgian played in Leandro Bacuna, who nutmegged Tim Howard to score his second goal in as many matches.
After the restart, it looked as though nothing much had changed for Roberto Martinez‘s men – save for switching out Barkley for Steven Pienaar, that is. The hosts continued to maintain possession, but failed to provide much to bother Brad Guzan.
But, with 15 minutes left to play, Everton managed to turn it around. Steven Naismith, on for John Stones in the 70th minute, got on the end of a little flick from Pienaar. His shot flew past Guzan and into the bottom corner of the net.
Lambert made a bold move a few minutes later, pulling center back Ron Vlaar in favor of Marc Albrighton, hoping that the winger’s pace could inject further life into the Villa attack. Instead, it just made their defense more vulnerable.
In the 85th minute, Ciaran Clark fouled Kevin Mirallas in a dangerous position – exactly the sort of thing you don’t want to do against Everton. Mirallas took the kick himself, waving away Leighton Baines, and sent a lovely curler into the top corner of the net. It was enough to secure all three points for the Toffees.
Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, McGeady (Hibbert 87), Mirallas, Distin, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley (Pienaar 45), Osman, Stones (Naismith 74)
Goals: Naismith 74′; Mirallas 85′
Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar (Albrighton 80), Clark, Baker, Bertrand, Westwood, Delph, Weimann (Tonev 87), Benteke, Holt (El Ahmadi 61)
Goals: Bacuna 34′
Dec 21, 2014, 4:05 PM EST
Sunderland winger Adam Johnson on game-winner and Tyne-Wear derby triumphs: “Three years in a row, they must hate me here!”
Dec 21, 2014, 3:39 PM EST
Brendan Rodgers gives his thoughts after a 2-2 draw despite what he called “dominance” on the ball.
Dec 21, 2014, 3:12 PM EST
With polarizing halves separating the teams, Arsene Wenger said a draw was the correct result based on performance.
Dec 21, 2014, 2:29 PM EST
Cristiano Ronaldo appeared to bring a grudge with him to Morocco.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:44 PM EST
With Newcastle yielding late, Alan Pardew thinks he may have left his team a little too exposed as the clock ticked towards the final minute.
Dec 21, 2014, 1:08 PM EST
Martin Skrtel returned from a nasty injury and took full advantage of the resulting stopptage time.
Dec 21, 2014, 11:58 AM EST
A day to forget for the American central defender in Germany’s top flight.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:26 AM EST
The boyhood Newcastle fan scored at St. James Park for the third year in a row as Sunderland stole the Tyne-Wear derby late.
Dec 21, 2014, 10:16 AM EST
Raheem Sterling looks to be the lone attacking option for Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers has left both his available strikers on the bench.
Dec 21, 2014, 8:52 AM EST
A magnetizing first touch leads to a meaningless but nonetheless beautiful goal by the man who gives us magic weekly.
Dec 21, 2014, 7:53 AM EST
The heated Tyne-Wear derby has brought us goals and fireworks of many kinds, and will be no different today as Sunderland looks to win four in a row over Newcastle for the first time ever.
Dec 20, 2014, 10:54 PM EST
Howard doesn’t think Lampard will start the MLS season with NYCFC, although he says he should.
Dec 20, 2014, 9:51 PM EST
Doneil Henry is reportedly close to joining West Ham, which is a surprise, to say the least.
Dec 20, 2014, 8:46 PM EST
After logging lots of miles the last 16 months, Raheem Sterling is going to get a short rest very soon.
Dec 20, 2014, 8:04 PM EST
NYCFC won’t be calling the Bronx home, but they’re still hopeful a deal can be done elsewhere in the city.
Dec 20, 2014, 7:13 PM EST
Arsene Wenger says he’s not cheap, and that you should join him for a night out if you don’t believe him.
Dec 20, 2014, 5:56 PM EST
Barcelona are keeping things tight in Spain, while Roma are losing sight of Juventus once again.
Dec 20, 2014, 4:33 PM EST
Four trophies in one calendar year — it’s a good time to be Real Madrid.
Dec 20, 2014, 3:42 PM EST
After collapsing on the field in a game back in July 2013, Engelbrecht had undergone four heart surgeries to get back on the pitch.
Dec 20, 2014, 3:16 PM EST
Things are going to be extra intense all Sunday morning, so put on a pot of coffee and enjoy the rush.
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