Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action in the Midlands.
On target: 3
On target: 4
Was the result fair?
Villa matched Everton for much of the game, but it was some clinical finishing from the Toffees that ended up separating the sides. The respective goalkeepers were the only reason that the game was goalless before Lukaku scored what was always going to be a crucial opener. Villa were threatening an equaliser and maybe would have deserved one before some composed play from Gareth Barry and Osman earned Martinez's side the points.
They started the better of the two teams, with Andreas Weimann thriving in the space between the Toffees midfield and defence, but perhaps not doing enough with the ball when he got in those positions. Fabian Delph succeeded in marking Ross Barkley out of the match, but they could not keep Everton's other major attacking threat, Lukaku, quiet for the entire afternoon. They afforded him a bit too much space on the odd occasion, and he made them pay with the opening goal. His opposite number, Benteke, appeared a gear or two short of full fitness, but they certainly look a more dangerous offensive unit with him spearheading it.
Martinez's side were reliant on their goalkeeper to keep them on level terms in the first half, and perhaps did not play their possession game as well as they were doing earlier in the season. But, for the second week in a row, they ground out a result. The two goals were their best passing moves of the game and it was their composure and vision in the final third that Villa were lacking. Howard's display was well supported by that of Phil Jagielka, who handled Benteke well throughout, particularly in the second period, in which he made some crucial interventions.
Sports Mole's man of the match:
Tim Howard: Had he not brilliantly saved Benteke's early spot kick, the outcome of this match could have been so very different. It wasn't a poor penalty from the Villa man either, it was a fantastic, one-handed stop from the American, who also denied Weimann, and Benteke for a second time, in a match-winning first-half display.
Gabriel Agbonlahor had a fantastic opportunity to pull Villa level on 75 minutes following good work from Weimann, but his shot lacked any sort of conviction and went straight into the hands of Howard. Six minutes later, Osman had bagged Everton's second and the points were secure for the Toffees. Had Agbonlahor scored, it would have been a game-changing moment.
Anthony Taylor made the correct call in awarding Villa their early penalty. His decision to punish James McCarthy with just a yellow card, for his late tackle on Ashley Westwood, rather than the red that some officials may have rushed into showing was a sensible one. A good display all round.
Villa: Paul Lambert's side travel to London for an all Claret and Blue showdown against West Ham United at Upton Park next Saturday.
Everton: Like Villa, they have already been knocked out of the League Cup, so have a free midweek before they face Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, after which we could have a better idea of the club's top-four credentials.