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    Everton 4-0 Aston Villa - Match Report

    by Conall Green
    Roberto Martinez’s Everton produced a devastating display, with two goals apiece from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, to plunge Remi Garde’s Aston Villa deeper into the relegation mire.
    Remi Garde made three changes to the side that earned a creditable draw at home to Manchester City, Ashley Westwood and Jack Grealish preferred in place of Carlos Sanchez and Scott Sinclair, while Kieran Richardson replaced Jordan Amavi at left back after the Frenchman was ruled out for the season after injuring his cruciate ligaments on international duty last week.
    Roberto Martinez kept faith with the same eleven that drew 1-1 at Upton Park in the last league game, and it proved a good decision, as the hosts controlled from start to finish, dominating possession and testing visiting goalkeeper Brad Guzan with regularity.
    The opening goal arrived after 17 minutes after a fine flowing move from Everton. After some nice first touch football, the ball found its way to Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu on the right hand side, who shot across the face of goal. Guzan could only parry the ball out to the feet of England international midfielder Ross Barkley, who made no mistake with a simple tap in from close range to break the deadlock.
    The home side doubled their advantage 11 minutes later, and again Villa were left exposed down their left hand side. Deulofeu again drove forward before attempting to slip in Romelu Lukaku. It broke to right back Seamus Coleman, who clipped the ball to the near post where Lukaku reacted quickest to glance a header across Guzan and into the far corner to make it 2-0. It was the burly Belgian’s 50th Premier League goal, which meant he joined an elite group of four other players who have reached this milestone before age 23, the others being Premier League legends Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Lukaku is now a member of a prestigious goal scoring club

    The game was dead as a contest before referee Michael Oliver had blown the half time whistle, Everton adding a third goal three minutes before the interval. Lukaku was again involved, playing a neat one two with Barkley before flicking the ball over the top for Arouna Kone. Kone’s shot was half smothered by Guzan but the ball bobbled to the feet of Barkley, the 21 year old England international drilling the ball home for his second goal of the game and his sixth in all competitions this season.
    Everton were not finished however, and added a fourth after 59 minutes. Again it came from a quick counter attack, with Ross Barkley playing a first time through ball to Lukaku who first time, left foot finish gave Guzan no chance. It was Lukaku’s seventh goal in his last seven league games after enduring a slow start to the season.

    That was the end of the scoring, and the victory - which manager Martinez described as “a complete performance”, moves Everton up to seventh place on twenty points.

    Villa’s latest defeat means they still occupy twentieth place, but are still only five points adrift of safety, as Newcastle United lost 3-0 at home to Leicester. On the basis of this performance, Aston Villa could finally lose their Premier League after years of flirting with relegation, as no team has ever survived having a tally of five points or less after thirteen games. If they do manage to stay in the division, Garde will have performed a minor miracle.

    Man of the match: Gerard Deulofeu. The ex-Barcelona player produced a wonderful display of attacking wing play. Terrorised Richardson all day with his driving runs.
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    Item Reviewed: Everton 4-0 Aston Villa - Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Conall Green
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