Fulltime Thoughts - A barely deserved draw for the Blues at home to the Premier League’s 19th-placed team. Guess that’s all there is to say.
FT: #PremierLeague #EFC 1 (0.92 xG)#AVFC 1 (1.30 xG)— Infogol (@InfogolApp) July 16, 2020
Heartbreak for Aston Villa, as Theo Walcott scores late on (9%). The points are shared. #EVEAVL shot map ➡️ https://t.co/wvgyIxmccK pic.twitter.com/LJoLZMxHCE
90+4’ - Sigurdsson now with a shot from outside the box, deflected for a corner. Digne will take.. curled towards the goal and Reina claims it.
There’s the final whistle. 1-1 it ends.
90+2’ - Gordon with a cross from the left, goes over DCL. Blues look interested, finally.
Nice team passing movement as Coleman wins the ball from a tackle and eventually ends in a Walcott cross sizzling low across the box, no Blues nearby.
90’ - DCL now wins a corner late on. Digne inswinger is taken and lost by Reina, he regains luckily for him with no Blues nearby.
Four plus minutes to be added on.
88’ - A goal! Out of nowhere! Gomes swung in a wonderful cross from the left touchline, met really well by Walcott who heads across the goal to the back post and it’s in!! 1-1!
85’ - Close! Gomes dinks into the box and his centre to DCL is perfect, the striker tries to wrong foot the goalie and it goes just wide of the near post.
Matthew is in fine form today on the RBM Twitter.
82’ - Digne and Walcott exchange crosses before the Frenchman wins a corner.
Sigurdsson’s corner is too deep and goes out for a goalkick.
78’ - Kean holds off his man well as he cuts in from the left, his shot is way over.
How are Villa not up 2-0 right now? Grealish with a peach of a ball from the left, and El-Ghazi fires over from like a yard and half out!
72’ - Another freekick given away on the right wing, Gomes fouls Davis.
Hourihane with a freekick towards goal, it’s inch perfect and Konsa heads in, Pickford going the wrong way. 1-0 to Villa, from a lazy tug by Gomes.
70’ - Davies giveaways in his own box, twice in less than a minute. Oh man.
Last two subs will be Gylfi Sigurdsson and Moise Kean, on for Davies and Richarlison.
67’ - Second half drinks break. Richarlison is looking more and more sullen, and is looking tired too. He should be taken off before he gets sent off.
65’ - Branthwaite tugs substitute Keenan Davis down just outside the box on the Everton right. Grealish will take this, right in his wheelhouse, about 21 yards. Nope, Hourihane takes it instead and Gordon in the wall blocks.
61’ - Iwobi with two failed crosses, and then Coleman emulates him with a poor one too.
Richarlison now goes into the book for a weak foul.
Double change for the Blues - Anthony Gordon and Theo Walcott on for Bernard and Iwobi respectively.
57’ - Digne is the first booking, tugging back McGinn after he gets away from him.
That’s Everton for you. Played the ball out from the back around the 57:01 mark, pretty much every player in Blue on the pitch touched it as they passed it around well, no Villa touches and eventually the cross is into the goalie and the moment gone, overall time about a whole minute.
55’ - Everton set up well, Davies with a chance to shoot from outside the box, poor and over.
50’ - All Villa after the break. Have Everton even crossed the half line yet?
They do now after Digne wins a freekick. Gomes delivers into the box, DCL heads over.
47’ - Excellent cross-field ball finds Grealish one-on-one with Coleman, he cuts in and then shoots at the near post but it’s well wide. Early scare for the Blues.
46’ - We’re back. No changes that I can see.
"Everton versus Aston Villa is the most-played game in top-flight history" is the most-repeated statistic in top-flight history— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) August 23, 2019
Halftime Thoughts - Everton have not been poor, but haven’t been great either. The opposition being pretty bad themselves has something to do with that. Anyone’s game here really.
45+2’ - Another poor giveaway in the middle and Villa can attack.. cross comes to Samatta whose shot is muffled by Branthwaite and Pickford gathers. 0-0 halftime.
45’ - Bernard has had a rocky half and now gives away a freekick on the left channel. Grealish will curl this away from Pickford, cleared well by Keane. Will be two-plus minutes added on.
44’ - I haven’t mentioned him much, but Digne has been good. Always a threat when going forward, and done well in the back too.
42’ - Iwobi has definitely been involved quite a bit here. The end product is still not there unfortunately.
Luiz has a shot at goal from outside the box, over.
33’ - Digne sets up Iwobi for a shot from outside the box, on his weaker left foot he hits it over.
More horror from Gomes. Feebly loses the ball in the middle, too slow to track back and snuff out Grealish whose shot is deflected for a corner by Branthwaite.
Three consecutive corners for Villa before they take it short and Bernard can get it away. Villa are bossing possession about 80%-20% for the last ten minutes.
30’ - And Gomes back to his regular mediocrity, running into dead ends, missing passes, getting run by.
On a plus note though, Branthwaite seems to have settled in well now.
27’ - Douglas Luiz has been the best player on the pitch so far. A decent cross from him into the box and requires a good clearance,
The he starts another move in the middle that ends in Grealish dribbling into the box, takes three defenders to clear the ball.
21’ - Cross into the box is cleared away well by Branthwaite, climbing over Samatta. Better from the teenager.
Hourihane shoots wildly and the whistle blows for the first drinks break. Everton are much better today for sure, holding 2/3rds of the possession. However, look at the competition, that wasn’t a real surprise was it?
18’ - Bernard has given away a freekick. Curled into the box and Branthwaite’s second welcome to the Premier League is a tough one as Mings hits him hard in the back of the head.
15’ - El-Mohammady curls in a lovely cross right onto the penalty spot, over Mason Holgate and striker Mbwana Samatta can only head over.
Holgate is holding his leg where he sustained his previous injury, and will be coming off. Jarrad Branthwaite on for his Goodison debut.
12’ - Grealish has done well when he has the ball, bringing his teammates into play.
Now Bernard hits the bar! His left-footed cross soars over Pepe Reina and lands on top of the bar with the goalie beaten!
8’ - Everton win the first corner of the game, a deflection off a Seamus Coleman cross.
Digne takes it short and it’s wasted.
Digne & Richarlison combine, deep cross into the box is headed by MIngs, then deflects off DCL’s shoulder and goes over - could have gone anywhere.
4’ - Iwobi has been involved a lot early. In general the ball has been mostly out on the Everton right both attacking and when Villa have the ball too. The visitors are in a 4-3-3 with star Jack Grealish wide right.
DCL & Richarlison will need to be at their best against two very physical centrehalves Tyrone Mings & Ezri Konsa, the latter had been heavily linked with the Blues last couple of windows.
1’ - Everton are unbeaten in their last ten games at Goodison, five wins and five draws. Here we go.
Alex Iwobi cross into the box and Dominic Calvert-Lewin goes with the flamboyant scissor-kick, well over. Not quite Cristiano Ronaldo from DCL there.
Lineups - Ancelotti has made five changes to the side, and not a single one of them is what the fans would have wanted to see! Guess the boss knows best.
Everton have three games to go and pretty much nothing left to play for. As we knew when the season resumed after the coronavirus-induced interruption, the Blues only had an outside chance of getting into one of the Europa League berths. The thought was with nine games left to go, we would get to see which players were motivated to still be here next season, and who would have shown they don’t belong in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans.
With six of those nine games now gone, the veteran Italian manager will have a much clearer understanding of how bad this current team really is, where the biggest issues lie and who should still be here next season.
Ancelotti has indicated that he will have some money to spend in the summer transfer window, but the real magic will have to be executed by Director of Football Marcel Brands who has to find a way to get rid of a lot of deadwood on the current squad while hitting on every single transfer coming in - if the Blues are to break into the top six during Ancelotti’s four-and-a-half year contract, then there is no room for experimentation any more on the Everton project.
As for the game itself, with the Blues out of European contention now expect Ancelotti to trot out some youngsters and fringe players who need to grab their opportunity. Surely they’ll show more energy and initiative than some of the passengers currently in the squad.
Aston Villa will come to Goodison Park a determined lot, with their Premier League future still hanging by a narrow thread. Anything less than a win today will likely send them right back to the Championship.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 36
Date and start time: Thursday, July 16th at 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m ET / 6:00 p.m. BST
Weather: 65°F/18°C, partly cloudy, 4% chance of precipitation, 9 mph winds
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Starting XI: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Iwobi, Gomes, Davies, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Stekelenburg, Virginia, Baines, Sidibe, Branthwaite, Sigurdsson, Walcott, Gordon, Kean
Starting XI: Reina, El Mohamady, Konsa, Mings, Taylor, Luiz, McGinn, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Samatta, Grealish
Subs: Nyland, Guilbert, Hayden, Nakamba, Lansbury, El Ghazi, Jota, Vassilev, Davis
Ref: Anthony Taylor VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Villa were one of the three promoted teams that beat the Blues early on in the season, leading to the ultimate demise of Marco Silva at Everton.
The last time Villa came to Goodison Park was a few years ago when they were last in the Premier League, getting spanked soundly 4-0 with braces from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.