Young double sinks Everton
Everton's dismal home form continued as they lost 3-2 to Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 07/12/08 6:44pm
Everton's dismal home form continued as they lost 3-2 to UEFA Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa in a breathtaking finish at Goodison Park.
The game began in explosive fashion with the visitors taking the lead after just 34 seconds after Steve Sidwell's 25-yard strike found the top corner.
The home side were level on 30 minutes when Joleon Lescott prodded home Mikel Arteta's free-kick following Leon Osman's flick-on.
Phil Jagielka gifted Villa their second goal when his back-pass put Ashley Young through on goal and he duly slotted past Tim Howard.
Everton began to dominate and thought they had grabbed a last minute point when Lescott acrobatically volleyed home an equaliser.
Villa and Young had other ideas and immediately from kick-off the winger weaved his way inside from the right wing before firing the winner past Howard.
Everton were beset by injuries and boss David Moyes had little alternative but to start 20-year-old Victor Anichebe, with Ayegbeni Yakubu, Louis Saha and James Vaughan all out.
Anichebe was the only change from the starting line-up in last weekend's win at Tottenham while Villa reverted to the same side that drew with Fulham last time out in the Premier League.
Villa were trying to avoid a run of three consecutive goalless league draws, and they settled that issue after just 34 seconds.
They had set about Everton with a ferocious tempo, and the hosts were caught cold when Mikel Arteta lost possession.
The ball was transferred between Ashley Young, James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor before arriving at Sidwell's feet. And from 25 yards the midfielder lashed a rising shot past Howard.
Villa were quicker all over the pitch and could have had another when Martin Laursen's header from Ashley Young's corner was deflected over the bar.
Another break down the left saw Agbonlahor pull the ball back to an unmarked Stiliyan Petrov, but he delayed his shot from a good position to allow Tim Cahill to get in a desperate saving tackle.
After 25 minutes Everton finally fashioned their first chances when Osman's header put Cahill in on the left, and his drive was blocked by Brad Friedel.
A minute later an Arteta's corner found Marouane Fellaini, but his header was saved by Friedel to his left.
That flurry gave Everton much-needed confidence and after 30 minutes they were level. Arteta's free-kick was flicked on by Osman for Lescott to turn the ball in from a couple of yards.
Everton, now firmly in the game, pressed Villa back and three minutes from the break it took a goal-line header from Carlos Cuellar to keep our another Fellaini effort.
Two minutes into the second period, Fellaini saw a further header touched onto the bar from Arteta's corner by Friedel.
But then a shocking error from Jagielka, arguably Everton's most reliable defender this term, gifted Villa the lead again after 54 minutes.
The Everton defender played a back-pass without looking and Ashley Young raced onto the ball to lift his shot past a hopelessly exposed Howard.
Everton's response to that body-blow was muted, Villa seemingly content to defend and hit on the break.
Ashley Young should have sealed the win on 77 minutes when he raced clean through again but he lost possession and the chance was lost.
It was a grandstand finish from Everton, with Cahill and then Lescott going close with headers.
But two minutes into injury-time, Everton hauled themselves level. Jagielka headed the ball back into the box, Cahill touched it on and Lescott was there to hook it home.
But Villa were not finished. They broke from the kick-off and from Agbonlahor's flick found Young who raced away to guide his low shot past Howard in superb fashion.
|Everton||Team Statistics||Aston Villa|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|7||Shots on Target||5|
|3||Shots off Target||0|