Live Commentary: Everton 2-1 Aston Villa - as it happened

Everton's Spanish manager Roberto Martinez arrives for the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on January 28, 2014
© Getty Images
Live text coverage as Everton welcome Aston Villa to Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Everton continued their bid for a spot in the Champions League on Saturday afternoon when they hosted Aston Villa at Goodison Park.

Despite dominating for much of the first half, Everton were behind at the break due to Leandro Bacuna's opening goal in the 34th minute.

However, Villa failed to hold on for a positive result as Everton hit back with late goals from Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas to secure a 2-1 victory.

Read below to find out how events unfolded on Merseyside.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
2.00pmGood afternoon everyone. Everton welcome Aston Vila to Goodison Park today on the back of very different results for the two teams in midweek. Make sure you stick with me as I bring you all of the action from this Premier League clash.

2.03pmConfidence around Goodsion Park may be at its lowest for a long time following the 4-0 thrashing at the hands of rivals Liverpool. It will be a great test today to see how Roberto Martinez and his side respond as they look to keep pace with the other teams chasing a spot in the Champions League.

2.05pmVilla were involved in one of the games of the season so far as they edged a seven-goal thriller in the West Midlands derby against West Bromwich Albion. That result will certainly hand Paul Lambert's side some momentum. Can they claim another big win today?

2.08pmEVERTON: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, McGeady, Mirallas, Distin, McCarthy, Barry, Barkley, Osman, Stones

SUBSTITUTES: Joel, Hibbert, Naismith, Pienaar, Coleman, Vellios, Garbutt


2.10pmVILLA: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Bertrand, Westwood, Delph, Weimann, Benteke, Holt

SUBSTITUTES: Steer, El Ahmadi, Sylla, Helenius, Albrighton, Tonev, Lowton


2.12pmRomelu Lukaku's absence due to an ankle injury is, of course, a big blow to Everton and Martinez has been forced to change his team slightly today. Kevin Mirallas is likely to play in a central role for the hosts, with Aiden McGeady given a starting role on the wing.

2.15pmTwo changes for Villa as Lambert brings in Nathan Baker and Grant Holt for the trip to Merseyside. Karim El Ahmadi and Matthew Lowton miss out for the visitors, who go with two big strikers up top this afternoon. Positive move from the Villa boss.

2.19pmMartinez spoke very highly of Villa in his press conference yesterday, suggesting that the visitors would only be interested in collecting three points from their visit to Goodison Park. The Spaniard told reporters: "They're a team full of bravery, energy and attacking threat. We'll be aware of that but it's about ourselves. You need to praise the way they play and open games which leads to chances for both sides. What you always get with Villa is they will always be in the game."

2.22pmThe Everton manager is clearly aware of the threat posed by Villa and he'll know just how big this match is for his side today. They've been superb all season, with many people tipping the Toffees to finish in the top four, but the way they respond to a 4-0 thrashing is a real test of their character.

2.24pmHow will Villa approach this game? They'll certainly cause the hosts problems with their quick counter attacking, but Grant Holt's inclusion seems to suggest that there could be a dual threat from the visitors. Christian Benteke seemed to be somewhere close to his best against West Brom in midweek and he may well relish partnering the former Norwich City striker in attack.

2.28pmIf you offered 10th spot to Lambert right now, I'm sure he'd bite your hand off. It's a great position to be in right but as we've seen, things can quickly change in this strange season. Villa may well be the top half, but they're only five points above the relegation zone.

2.31pmJust under half an hour left until kick off at Goodison Park. Remember, you can follow live text coverage of any game in the Premier League today by clicking on the fixture in the box to the right of the page.

2.35pmEverton will be hoping Hull City can do them a favour today when Steve Bruce's men take on Tottenham Hotspur. The Toffees could possibly climb back up to fifth and pile the pressure of Liverpool, who host West Brom tomorrow afternoon.

2.37pmPREDICTION: As kick off approaches it's time for me to have a guess at what the score will be today. Villa are likely to be full of confidence this afternoon and I fancy them to nick a draw from an Everton side missing a couple of key players. 2-2.

2.41pmEverton aren't necessarily a team that needs a physical presence in attack but they will certainly miss Lukaku. Mirallas was one of the few players who performed well at Anfield in midweek and he'll be desperate to make an impact in the middle. How the Belgian links up with Ross Barkley could be key.

2.44pmIt's a game when the midfield battle could ultimately decide the result. Gareth Barry and James McCarthy were unusually quiet against Liverpool, so they'll be desperate to get back to their best. Fabian Delph could be they key player for Villa. At his best, he can carry his teammates. He needs to step up today.

2.48pmJust over 10 minutes away from the action. Both sets of players have gone back inside for one final pep talk before the game gets underway. Everton are certainly favourites this afternoon, but I think we could be in for a very exciting 90 minutes.

2.52pmEverton will be happy to have Sylvain Distin back in defence. A calm head is exactly what they need back there following such a demoralising defeat at Anfield. I think the less said about Antolin Alacaraz's performance in the derby, the better.

2.54pmThe players are lined up in the tunnel now. As always, there's a good atmosphere at Goodison Park and the locals will be desperate to see their side get back to winning ways. Can Villa cause a shock?

2.58pmRecent signing Lacina Traore is introduced to the supporters before the start of the game and he gets a great reception. You certainly wouldn't stick your hand up to mark the striker, put it that way.

3.00pmIt's a wet and windy day. Perfect for football on a Saturday afternoon, in my opinion. Here we go then. Everton will get the game underway.

2 minSHOT! Everton quickly settle down and move the ball around nicely before Barkely miscues a long-range effort. Confident start from the hosts.

3 minWOODWORK! Villa are hanging on early on here. The visitors breathe a big sigh of relief when McGeady strikes the post with a curled shot after cutting in off the wing. Brilliant effort from the Irish international.

5 minThat would have been a special way to mark a home debut for McGeady. Villa are yet to find their feet in the early stages. It looks like the visitors are starting the game with three central defenders.

7 minMcCarthy has seen plenty of the ball early on and he almost creates a chance with a clever pass over the Villa defence but Barkley fails to keep the ball in play. Goal kick to the visitors.

8 minLambert will be very concerned with what he is seeing at the moment. Villa are barely getting a kick of the ball as Everton continue to control proceedings with some great passing. The visitors need to assert themselves in midfield.

10 minEverton win a free kick in a very promising position and it's no surprise to see Leighton Baines jog over to deliver a cross. Plenty of men forward for the hosts but it's Ciaran Clark who rises highest to clear the danger for Villa.

11 minVilla are finally starting to see some of the ball but they've struggled to include Benteke and Holt so far. The visitors are attempting to press Everton in possession but the gap between midfield and attack is a real problem for Lambert's side.

13 minWeimann is doing most of his work running backwards in the early stages as the lively Baines causes problem after problem with his positive running on the left wing. It's all Everton at the moment.

15 minVilla win a throw deep in Everton's half of the pitch and the visitors commit a few players forward but Delph's poor touch at a crucial time allows the hosts to survive the threat. Too easy for Everton.

17 minDespite enjoying the majority of possession, Everton haven't really threatened since McGeady rattled the post with that fine early strike. Martinez's side will remain patient as they look to unlock a stubborn Villa defence.

18 minDelph earns himself some space and curls an inviting cross into the box but Jagielka makes a vital clearance before the ball can reach the waiting Holt. Much better from Villa.

20 minLambert's are starting to come into the game a bit more now. Everton are still seeing most of the ball but their space is being limited in midfield as Villa's pressing begins to make a difference on the game.

21 minStones comes out of defence in an attempt to spark an attack for the hosts and he nearly makes a difference with a good run but Delph reacts impressively to retrieve possession before the youngster can break into the box.

22 minThe noise level increases when Barkley plays a lovely pass which splits the Villa defence but hopes of an opening goal are quickly dashed when Baines is pulled back for being offside.

24 minHull are doing their best to help out Everton this afternoon. Steve Bruce's side are currently leading Spurs thanks to a Shane Long goal. The Toffees will be desperate for the score to stay the same at the KC Stadium.

26 minLovely play from Everton. Baines and Osman are both involved as Villa are forced to chase shadows for a few moments but Barkely is denied an opportunity to get a shot away.

28 minSHOT! McGeady causes problems with a tricky run on the wing but he'll be disappointed with his tame shot, which Guzan easily collects.

29 minSHOT! Villa enjoy a rare spell of pressure and a promising move ends with Vlaar trying his luck with a volley, but his effort sails over the crossbar.

31 minEverton are on the front foot again but Martinez is once again left frustrated as Vlaar makes another interception to keep the hosts out. This game desperately needs a goal.

34 minGOAL! EVERTON 0-1 VILLA (BACUNA)

35 minBig goal for the visitors! Villa break the deadlock through Bacuna, who collects a clever pass from Benteke before slotting in the opening goal. Great work from the goalscorer after starting the move by stealing the ball from Barkely in midfield. How will Everton respond?

36 minEverton step it up a gear after falling behind, with both Mirallas and Osman seeing shots blocked from the edge of the box. The home supporters respond positively. It's suddenly a different game at Goodison Park.

38 minThe real concern for Everton is that they have struggled to break down a Villa defence which has stuck to its task superbly in the first half. Lambert's game plan seems to be working so far, but there's a lot of football still to be played.

39 minVlaar is leading the way for Villa. The centre back slides in to make a crucial block in the middle before beating a number of players to the ball to clear a Baines corner just a few seconds later. Brilliant work from the Villa skipper.

40 minYou've got to be really impressed with the tactics from Villa. They're refusing to drop deeper after taking the lead as Delph and Westwood continue to press the hosts in midfield.

42 minBacuna and Bertrand, who are operating as wing backs today, are showing great discipline in tracking back with Everton's wide men as Villa change to five in defence when put under pressure. Great organisation on show.

43 minWorrying few seconds for Distin, who puts Howard under pressure with a weak pass to the goalkeeper. Benteke reacts quickly to pile the pressure on but the American just manages to clear the danger.

45 minThe home crowd rise to their feet when Mirallas breaks free of the Villa defenders but his progress is stopped when the assistant referee raises the flag. It looks like Everton will go in behind. Only one minute of added time to be played.

3.46pmHALF-TIME: EVERTON 0-1 ASTON VILLA

3.49pmBacuna's goal is the difference between the two sides at the break. Everton started impressively and saw plenty of the ball but they've been undone by a clever move from the visitors, who are sticking to their task superbly today.

3.53pmThe match statistics won't cheer up the Everton supporters at half time. They're behind, despite enjoying 70% possession in the first half. Martinez's side have lacked a cutting edge. Lukaku's absence seems to be having a big impact.

3.54pmWill Martinez be tempted to make a change? Steven Pienaar would be the obvious choice, but he may consider bringing on the returning Seamus Coleman, who could provide something different on the right for the hosts.

3.56pmLambert won't mind seeing more of the same from his team. I'm sure he'd like to see Villa on the ball more often but he'll be particularly pleased with their defending, which has been admirable to say the least.

3.59pmI'd expect a big response from the home side after the break. Villa will know that Everton can click into another gear but they may feel that problems can be caused on the counter attack as the hosts go in search of an equaliser.

4.01pmI mentioned Delph before the match and he's certainly produced some of his best work in the first half. He seems to be a constant problem for the Everton midfielders, who have seen their time on the ball reduced by his persistence and aggression.

4.02pmSUBSTITUTION: Martinez has decided to make a change before the second half, with Pienaar coming on to replace Barkley. Villa will get the game back underway.

46 minPienaar could prove to be the man with the magic touch in the final third of the pitch. Barkley didn't have his best 45 minutes in an Everton shirt in the first half and the Baines/Pienaar combination may trouble the Villa defence a bit more.

47 minEverton on the attack early in the second half as McGeady sprints into some space but his pass to Stones is too weak and Bertrand steps in to retrieve possession for his side.

48 minMirallas has struggled this afternoon and his inability to beat the offside trap is once againa source of frustration for the Everton supporters, who groan as another move breaks down.

50 minThe offside flag can't stop Mirallas on this occasion as the Belgian collects a Barry pass before beating a couple of defenders. His cross is dangerous but Villa recover well to clear the danger.

51 minAn Everton corner is cleared to the edge of the box, where McCarthy sees a shot blocked by a Villa defender. It looks like it could be a long second half for the visitors.

53 minPlenty of pressure being applied by Everton but they're being stopped time after time by a Villa defence applying themselves superbly. Lambert will be delighted with the way Vlaar, in particular, is performing this afternoon.

55 minSHOT! Osman steals the ball back for his side in the attacking third of the pitch but he fails to test Guzan with a powerful shot from a tight angle.

57 minExcellent from Baines, who beats a defender to get to the byline and fires in a good cross but a lack of numbers means that Baker finds it easy to clear the ball from deep in his own box. Everton are increasing the tempo, can they find the equaliser?

60 minSUBSTITUTION: First change of the day from Villa as Holt is replaced by Karim El Ahmadi. It's an extra body in midfield for the visitors, who need to keep up the pressing.

62 minSHOT! It's been too easy an afternoon for Guzan so far. Osman earns himself some space again but his low effort is far too weak to trouble the Villa goalkeeper.

64 minEverton are piling on the pressure but Villa are clearing each corner won by the hosts. The visitors are struggling to pose any kind of attacking threat as Benteke is left isolated up front.

65 minSHOT! Another shot, another save. Pienaar gets some power behind his effort but Guzan is well placed to make a simple stop. Can Everton break down this stubborn Villa defence?

67 minIt's so difficult for Everton at the moment. Everywhere they turn, a Villa player is in their way to make a block, tackle, or clearance. Delph and Vlaar will be the heroes if the visitors can pick up three points.

69 minSUBSTITUTION: Martinez makes his second change of the game as Steven Naismith comes on to replace Stones. Positive move from the hosts.

71 minCLOSE! Everton are inches away from being gifted an equaliser. Baines curls a free kick into the box and Clark rises highest to flick the ball against Benteke, who almost heads the ball into his own net.

74 minGOAL! EVERTON 1-1 VILLA (NAISMITH)

74 minEverton finally make the breakthrough! It's the two substitutes who combine as Pienaar slides through an inch-perfect flick for Naismith, who calmly slots the ball past Guzan to level the scores. Will there be a winner?

75 minThe Villa supporters have been making most of the noise but all you can hear are the Everton fans now as they roar on their side. Martinez knows how important a victory will be today.

76 minBig waste from Everton. They win a corner following a spell of sustained pressure but Mirallas frustrates his teammates by missing everyone with a terrible delivery.

78 minBarry and McCarthy are starting almost every move as the Everton back four push up to move closer to the two sitting midfielders. Everton in complete control but they've not got too much longer to find a winning goal.

80 minSUBSTITUTION: Interesting change from Lambert as Vlaar comes off to make way for Marc Albrighton. It's an attacking move, but will it make a difference?

81 minIt looks like Villa have changed to a 4-5-1, with Weimann and Albrighton attempting to offer Benteke support with their presence on the wings. Everton still on top, though.

83 minSHOT! Weimann earns himself some space and attempts an optimistic chip shot but his effort sails over the crossbar.

85 minGOAL! EVERTON 2-1 VILLA (MIRALLAS)

86 minWhat a strike! Everyone inside the ground expects Baines to strike a free kick from a dangerous position but it's Mirallas who takes responsibility and the Belgian delights the home supporters with an unstoppable effort. Stunning! Everton closing in on three points.

87 minYELLOW CARD! Baines is cautioned by the referee for a late tackle on Albrighton as Villa desperately try to get back in the game.

88 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Martinez's reaction to the goal is to bring on Tony Hibbert for McGeady. Lambert responds with a change of his own as Aleksandar Tonev replaces Weimann.

89 minSAVE! Everton take a short corner and Osman curls in an inviting cross to Naismith, who sees a header superbly stopped by Guzan. Villa are still in the game but they're still on the back foot.

90 minThe fourth official confirms that there will be four minutes added on. Can Villa produce a dramatic finish to this game?

90+2 minEverton are happy to keep the ball now as they look to finish the match in charge. Lambert is urging his players to push higher up but they're struggling to retrieve possession.

90+4 minWas Vlaar injured? That will surely be the questioned aimed at Lambert after the game. The Villa captain was the best player on the pitch but he was brought off as the visiting manager went in search of a winner. Just a few moments left in this one. The win is surely secure now for Everton.

4.52pmFULL-TIME: EVERTON 2-1 VILLA

4.54pmIt's all over! Everton have produced a fightback in the second half to claim a crucial victory at Goodison Park. Villa opened the scoring but Everton's dominance finally produced a breakthrough when Naismith equalised, before a stunning Mirallas free kick handed the hosts all three points.

4.55pmIt's a demoralising defeat for Villa, who worked so hard to frustrate the hosts for long spells of this match. They couldn't hold on though and leave Merseyside with nothing to show for their efforts.

4.56pmThanks for joining me today. I really hope you've enjoyed the coverage. Make sure you stay on the site as we bring you reaction from all of the Premier League games.

Everton's Spanish manager Roberto Martinez arrives for the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on January 28, 2014
Read Next:
Martinez praises brave Villa
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand