Fulltime Thoughts - Spineless performance from Everton, and not for the first time this season at an empty Goodison. A deserved defeat, and no more excuses will be tolerated from either Ancelotti or his players.
Everton (1.32) 1-2 (1.84) Aston Villa— The xG Philosophy (@xGPhilosophy) May 1, 2021
90+3’ - There’s the final whistle, and the better side have won. Everton will not make Europe, and do not deserve it on this showing.
90+2’ - Allan wins a freekick in his own half. Pickford will hoof it into the box. Cleared and Villa can break, but waste the chance.
90’ - Three minutes added on.
87’ - Barkley buys a cheap freekick off Allan on the Everton right. He takes it himself, inswinger taken well by Pickford.
86’ - King finds some space outside the box, and lets loose a shot, wide. It’s that kind of day isn’t it?
82’ - Sigurdsson going off, and it’s Josh King on. Need two goals here, but even one will do. Still a 4-2-3-1, with King on the left now.
80’ - DCL creates some space outside the box, but his shot is very, very poor.
What a delightful goal for Villa. Traore breaks and finds EL Ghazi in lots of space. He cuts inside Coleman, and curls a beauty past Pickford. Nothing Pickford could do there. 2-1 Villa with ten plus minutes to play.
76’ - I had thought Josh King would be the man on for Iwobi, but it’s Bernard. What can the little Brazilian do?
Formation is 4-2-3-1 now, with Sigurdsson - Bernard - Richarlison behind DCL.
70’ - The first change is going to be Fabian Delph <eyeroll>. It’s Gomes going off.
Delph has gone into the defensive midfielder role and Allan has moved upfield a bit.
68’ - A falling Watkins catches Digne on the heel, and the fullback is hobbling a bit, but is back on.
63’ - Villa corner on the Everton right. Barkley takes it short and there’s some in-the-box shenanigans but Everton can clear their lines.
61’ - Delightful long ball from Ben Godfrey finds Richarlison in space in the box, he sets up Sigurdsson for the shot who tries to lay it off for DCL and miscues it completely, argh.
Same long ball again for Richy, but this time he’s not as unselfish and takes a shot that Martinez saves easily.
56’ - Richarlison almost takes advantage of a Mings error, but it goes wide.
53’ - Everton chance to break off a turnover, but Richarlison picks the wrong pass looking for a covered DCL with Sigurdsson streaking free on the left.
Iwobi and then Allan both try shots from distance, but they are both wayward.
46’ - Second half underway and Villa pick up where they left off winning a corner early that is cleared.
Halftime Thoughts - Everton have been too undisciplined here in defence. Villa have owned the middle of the park with the Blues chasing shadows. They’ve had their own chances in attack too, but really need to tighten things up.
45+3’ - One more chance as Digne gets the ball into the box, but neither Richarlison nor DCL can get off a shot. Halftime, 1-1 the score though Villa have had the better chances.
45+2’ - Coleman wins a corner on the right, Digne to take. Low, Targett flicks on and causes a mess for his own side, another corner. Dangerous again, cleared from inside the six-yard box.
45’ - There will be 3 minutes added on. The change at the break has to be Tom Davies on for Andre Gomes, Villa are ruling the roost in the middle here.
44’ - Now Villa waltz through the middle, El-Ghazi’s shot blocked by Coleman, rebound falls to Watkins and his shot is deflected for a corner that is cleared.
42’ - Richarlison runs away from Douglas Luiz, and his countryman brings him down winning a yellow card. Sigurdsson to cross from the right wing, Martinez punches away well. Ball eventually comes to Coleman who tries a shot from distance, and well wide.
41’ - Iwobi finally does something useful and dribbles into space, a lovely pass for DCL whose touch is poor and the chance goes begging, ack.
37’ - The Rat really wants a goal, and firs a shot off the base of the post, beating Pickford. The goalie is angry at how much room he had to shoot with Holgate playing off him.
Villa corner from Barkley, nothing comes of it.
33’ - Sigurdsson tries a potshot with his left foot from distance, over.
Gomes and Digne set up Sigurdsson for another shot, blocked.
32’ - Digne is not interested in playing defence today and both Watkins and Traore are finding acres of space on the Everton left that Holgate can’t cover alone.
Pickford again!! Great save from point-blank range from Watkins, and then El-Ghazi blasts from seven yards away and it goes off the bar! Cash cross from the Everton left, where Villa have had all the joy.
29’ - What is this defence doing?! Traore through on goal, Pickford holds him off and then Traore tries to curl it in over him, Pickford does brilliantly to slap it away for a corner.
First attempt cleared, Barkley to take again. Nothing comes out of it.
27’ - Digne is not a fan of ref Simon Hooper who now gives a foul for Villa in a dangerous spot. Barkley (aka The Rat) goes for goal, over the wall but it doesn’t drop. Pickford looked to have it covered.
24’ - Brave, brave diving header by DCL after a Digne volley into the box, but it’s straight at Martinez who parries away.
Defender Targett is writhing on the ground, kicked Richarlison and bent his knee funny.
22’ - Jeez! Great ball to Watkins and again he’s one-on-one with Pickford who saves this time!
Rebound falls to McGinn and his shot is well-blocked by Godfrey with Pickford sprawling.
21’ - Digne gets past Matty Cash and his cross is blocked for a corner.. no a goalkick, and the Frenchman is livid!
18’ - Richarlison wins a corner on the right that Digne will take.
Beautifully taken to the far post, DCL beats Barkley and heads home through Martinez’s arms!! 1-1!!
16’ - Holgate gives Watkins the good ol’ forearm shiver to the face going up for a high ball. That kind of payback won’t help the Blues.
13’ - Suicide. Holgate loses the ball sloppily while being pressed by Ollie Watkins, the forward steals the ball and slots it well through Pickford’s legs. 1-0 Villa. The visitors have been playing better after the first two minutes. Bye bye Europe.
10’ - Blues living a bit dangerously here passing the ball in their own box.
6’ - Jamie McGinn fires a shot over, a chance created after a horrific pass across the defence from Iwobi.
3’ - Looks like a 4-4-1-1 here, with Gylfi Sigurdsson behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin up top, where James would have played. Iwobi is out right and Richarlison in his preferred left wing position.
2’ - Good start for the Blues as they pass the ball around and create a shooting chance for Iwobi whose shot is blocked by Tyrone Mings. Chance that.
1’ - Underway at Goodison now.
Awful news for Everton just before kickoff - James Rodriguez has been hurt during warmups and is out for the game. Alex Iwobi has come in for him after the Colombian superstar picked up a calf issue.
Just a reminder, there will be no social media coverage from us here on RBM or Everton as we join in the social media boycott across football to protest the widespread abuse on those platforms. More details here.
No changes for the Blues as Carlo Ancelotti goes with the same lineup as against Arsenal. Likely the same formation too, will be interesting to see how the Holgate & Godfrey pairing deal with Villa’s crossing brigade. Former Blue Ross Barkley starts for the visitors.
Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Subs: Olsen, Keane, Mina, Nkounkou, Delph, Davies, Iwobi, Bernard, King
Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings (c), Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Watkins, Traore, Targett, Barkley, El Ghazi.
Subs: Heaton, Taylor, Wesley, Nakamba, El Mohamady, Hause, Davis, Ramsey, Philogene-Bidace.
The whole season has pretty much come down to the next three games for Everton - today at home against Aston Villa, and then away at West Ham United and Villa again. Nine points in those three fixtures pretty much secures European football of some form. Anything less could mean Everton needing to get a positive result at Manchester City in the last game of the season.
Competition: Premier League Matchday 33
Date and start time: Saturday, May 1st at 12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m ET / 8:00 p.m. BST
Capacity: 39,572 [Behind closed doors]
Weather: 46°F/8°C, clear, 1% chance of precipitation, 6 mph winds
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With Villa returning to the Premier League last season the last tie they visited Goodison Park was behind closed doors in the summer of 2020 with Theo Walcott getting Everton’s only goal in a 1-1 draw. Ross Barkley will be spared the jeers once again with no supporters in the stands today either.