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Barclays Premier League

Villa Park (ATT 31,853) 14th January 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: M Clattenburg

A Villa Aston Villa vs Everton Everton

A Villa 1

D Bent (56)

ft

Everton 1

V Anichebe (69)

Vic secures point for Toffees

Nigeria striker cancels out Darren Bent strike

By Tom Mallows.   Last Updated: 15/01/12 6:09pm

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Substitute Victor Anichebe rescued a point for Everton after Darren Bent had given Aston Villa the lead in an uninspiring clash at Villa Park.

Alex McLeish's men had offered little in the first half but responded to the Scot's team-talk after the break with a much improved display, Bent giving them the lead from close range after 56 minutes.

Toffees boss David Moyes replied by throwing on Nigeria striker Anichebe and the impact was almost immediate, the striker beating Villa's offside trap to collect Landon Donovan's pass and coolly slide the ball past Shay Given just eight minutes after coming on.

Villa brought on new loan signing Robbie Keane for his first appearance since joining from LA Galaxy but it was Everton who finished the stronger of the two sides, Anichebe seeing another effort saved by Given at his near post.

McLeish's side at least ended their run of four successive home defeats with Stephen Ireland having one of his best games in midfield.

Man of the match: Shay Given. The Ireland international showed no signs of rustiness despite only just coming back from injury to make three great saves from Saha, Fellaini and his own defender Stephen Warnock. Save of the match: Shay Given made a fantastic stop to keep out Louis Saha from close range following Leighton Baines' teasing free-kick. Shot of the match: Substitute Victor Anichebe had a great chance to snatch a late winner for Everton, but his shot from the angle was well saved by Given. Goal of the match: Victor Anichebe showed great composure to slide home Donovan's through pass and bring Everton level. Talking point: Villa avoided a fifth successive home defeat but struggled to impose themselves on the game for large periods - is Robbie Keane the answer to their Villa Park woes?

But their star performer was recalled keeper Given who had been sidelined for six weeks with a hamstring injury.

He justified his instant return to action in place of Brad Guzan with several fine saves.

Villa were the first to threaten after Bent made a probing run towards the Everton box and was brought down by John Heitinga.

Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov's 25 yard free-kick contained plenty of power and was fisted away by the diving Tim Howard.

Purposeful

Villa were the more purposeful in the early stages and Marc Albrighton's shot was blocked after Alan Hutton had teed up an opportunity.

Everton came more into the game and new signing Darron Gibson's flighted pass picked out a run into the Villa area from Tim Cahill but his first touch let him down.

Given made an excellent save away to his left to keep out a Louis Saha glancing header from a Leighton Baines free-kick.

He then had to turn aside a misdirected header from his own defender Stephen Warnock from a Royston Drenthe centre.

Drenthe made a crucial interception at the far post, tracking back inside his own area to deny Albrighton following a cross from Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Everton appealed in vain for a penalty after Hutton appeared to pull back Saha as he attacked a Landon Donovan centre.

Marouane Fellaini became the first player to be yellow carded after 35 minutes for bringing down Stephen Ireland after he had dispossessed the Everton player.

Villa finished the first half strongly and Bent headed over from a Warnock centre four and Howard parried a curling effort from Agbonlahor around the post.

Given made his third fine save of the game at the start of the second period after Collins brought down Drenthe.

Powerful

Baines' curling free-kick found Fellaini unmarked at the far post and his powerful header was blocked by the Republic of Ireland keeper.

Howard parried a shot over his shoulder from Bent before the Villa striker broke the deadlock after 56 minutes.

Albrighton's centre was only half cleared and Ireland poked the ball across the box for Bent to net from close range. It was his seventh goal of the campaign.

Howard then held onto a header from the former Sunderland player from another Ireland centre.

Moyes responded by bringing on striker Victor Anichebe in place of Drenthe after 61 minutes.

Hutton had a volley deflected wide after more good play by Ireland and a cross from Albrighton was headed over by Agbonlahor.

But Anichebe had been on the pitch only eight minutes when he brought Everton level. Donovan supplied the telling pass and Anichebe kept his cool to slip the ball past Given.

McLeish introduced loan signing Robbie Keane with 10 minutes remaining in place of Warnock with Clark reverting to left-back.

Petrov had a shot deflected wide and Bent had a header punched away by Howard.

Aston VillaTeam StatisticsEverton
1Goals1
01st Half Goals0
7Shots on Target4
5Shots off Target2
4Blocked Shots2
9Corners3
12Fouls11
2Offsides0
1Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
80.4Passing Success76
17Tackles11
82.4Tackles Success45.5
52.6Possession47.4
50.5Territorial Advantage49.5
460Total Passes413
32Total Crosses17
166Lost Balls173
57Recoveries46
48.21st Half Poss.51.8
57.32nd Half Poss.42.7

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Arsenal 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0
3 Burnley 0 0
4 Chelsea 0 0
5 Crystal Palace 0 0
6 Everton 0 0
7 Hull City 0 0
8 Leicester City 0 0
9 Liverpool 0 0
10 Manchester City 0 0
11 Manchester United 0 0
12 Newcastle United 0 0
13 Queens Park Rangers 0 0
14 Southampton 0 0
15 Stoke City 0 0
16 Sunderland 0 0
17 Swansea City 0 0
18 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0
19 West Bromwich Albion 0 0
20 West Ham United 0 0

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