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Everton 1-1 Aston Villa

Team news: One change for Toffees test Dean’s Debrief: Smith on Everton frustration and final two games
Everton 1-1 Aston Villa

Ezri Konsa’s first Premier League goal wasn’t enough to see Aston Villa to victory at Goodison Park as they were pegged back by a late Everton equaliser.


The defender prodded home Conor Hourihane’s free-kick to give the visitors a deserved lead after 72 minutes.


But after Anwar El Ghazi spurned a superb chance to double the lead, Toffees substitute Theo Walcott looped a header over Pepe Reina to snatch a draw for his side.


The result leaves Villa three points from safety in 19th place.


Fresh from a 2-0 win on Sunday, Dean Smith made only one enforced change to his starting XI as Matt Targett came into defence in place of Neil Taylor.


And the Villa backline were examined early on as Dominic Calvert-Lewin twice fired on goal before Bernard clipped the crossbar with a miscued cross.


Ahmed Elmohamady’s crossing had been a feature of the win against Crystal Palace and he created the visitors’ first opening with another tremendous delivery from the right.


The full-back’s ball picked out the head of Ally Samatta, but the striker’s header was wayward and flew well over the crossbar.


Hourihane and Douglas Luiz were winning the midfield battle as the half wore on, providing captain Grealish with plenty of chances to get on the ball.


The skipper’s trademark driving runs from deep were causing problems for the hosts, and one such run saw him reach the edge of the box before flashing a deflected effort just wide.


Grealish looked in the mood on Merseyside and after three minutes of the second half, he’d had two great chances to open the scoring.


The playmaker dragged his shot wide after John McGinn had picked him out with a superb crossfield pass before he sent another effort just past Jordan Pickford’s far post.


Smith rallied his players in the drinks break and they returned to the pitch with renewed vigour, with their efforts rewarded after 72 minutes.


The left foot of Hourihane has delivered many fine moments for Villa, and it was the Irishman’s inswinging free-kick that just needed Konsa to flick home with his outstretched leg.


Substitute El Ghazi had an amazing chance to make it 2-0 shortly after, but the winger fired the ball over the bar from close range after superb work from Grealish.


The miss proved costly for the Villans as with four minutes left, Everton substitute Theo Walcott’s looping header crossed the line before Konsa could clear.


Villa: Reina, Targett, Mings, Konsa, Elmohamady, Luiz, McGinn, Hourihane, Grealish (c), Samatta (Davis), Trezeguet (El Ghazi).

Subs: Nyland, Vassilev, Guilbert, Nakamba, Lansbury, Jota, Hayden.

Greg  Styles
By @GregStyles91 16th July 2020