Everton 2 - 1 Aston Villa: Player Ratings

Malcolm Couzens

A comeback victory saved Everton from their usual dominating display but disappointing result.

Tim Howard - 6

He had little to do most of the day as we dominated posession. Many people may disagree with me but I still think Howard should have done slightly better on that goal. That was too acute of an angle to let someone score through your legs.

Sylvain Distin - 7

It was really nice to see Distin's face after the Derby. We sure missed his presence and he didn't seem to miss a beat.

Leighton Baines - 8

Baines was involved much more in the attack by linking up with almost every player on the left side. Everton's attack pretty much came from the left side once again but that final pass still eludes him and everyone else on our squad.

Phil Jagielka - 7

After one of Jags' worst displays ever, he had a solid outing. We knew he would bounce back immediately.

John Stones - 7

A great bounce back for Stones as well. It's great that Martinez didn't sit him out and instead trusted him to play the next match. Young players really need assurances like that.

Gareth Barry - 7

I'm still not completely happy with Barry's play. He doesn't seem to be as dominant as he was earlier and is losing possession quite a bit more now. But his passing was infinitely better than his previous display, completing the most passes during the match (67) and was very influential this match. The passing leading up to Naismith's goal was a beauty.

James McCarthy - 7

McCarthy, while a bit more anonymous in attack, was very good in disrupting Aston Villa's counterattack (which is what they do well).

Ross Barkley - 6

Aston Villa stacked the middle so Barkley could not really operate as usual. That didn't usually stop him, but he still doesn't seem fully fit. Good decision by Martinez to sub him out.

Leon Osman - 7

Osman once again was ever reliable. He linked up well with Baines and gave us seemed to be very active in the final third.

Aiden McGeady - 7

McGeady started off really well hitting the post and adding some creativity that some of our other players don't possess. He tends to cut in a little too often and he also loses possession a little too much (although I attribute that to still not being fully fit). McGeady is going to be very useful for us in the future, especially when he will be able to link up with Coleman.

Kevin Mirallas - 7

Mirallas wasn't able to get involved in the attack at all. He also started to get frustrated as the match wore on but in the end a spectacular free kick salvaged his and Everton's day and he single handedly got Everton three points.

Subs

Steven Pienaar (Barkley 45') - 8

After such a terrible display, Pienaar looked very impressive after coming on for Barkley at halftime. He seemed to be the only one that might have been able to break Villa's defense with his quick moves and creative link ups.

Steven Naismith (Stones 70') - 8

After most of the fans moaning and groaning of Naismith's play (including me), we finally realize why Moyes bought him in the first place. He IS a game changer. We have been playing him at the wrong position for far too long and he didn't deserve that. He was very impressive in his goal, showed quickness, and linked up well with everyone in the midfield. He also didn't lose possession too often, one of his main deficiencies.

Tony Hibbert (McGeady 87') - N/A

Hibbert came on to replace a tired McGeady and to preserve the one goal lead. He was ever reliable like usual but I have to admit there was a moment or two were I was nervous.

Man of the Match: Steven Pienaar

This was actually very tough since there wasn't one standout. I was really close to giving it to Baines, but Pienaar changed the game when he came in. We actually seemed like we were going to score instead of just keeping the ball and then losing possession and resetting again.

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