Everton ease past 10-man Villa
Pienaar, Fellaini and Jelavic on target for in-form Toffees
By Razwan Mirza - Tweet me: @RazMirza. Last Updated: 25/08/12 7:55pm
Everton secured their first victory at Aston Villa for seven years as they continued their supreme start to the season with a comprehensive 3-1 victory.
Steven Pienaar broke the deadlock with a stunning strike from the edge of the box after just three minutes.
Marouane Fellaini then added a second just after the hour mark with a close-range header from Phil Jagielka's wonderful delivery, although Villa goalkeeper Shay Given should have made a routine save.
And two minutes before the interval Nikica Jelavic buried Leighton Baines' pull-back to leave Villa staring at a second straight defeat.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side in the second half as Ciaran Clark was sent off by referee Michael Oliver for denying Jelavic a clear goalscoring opportunity.
However, Villa did pull a goal back as Karim El Ahmadi's speculative effort beat Tim Howard for a late consolation, although the visitors deservedly went home with all three points.
Villa have now won just one of their last 14 Premier League home matches and are on a run of 12 league games without a win.
Everton needed only three minutes to silence the home fans who had given a rousing reception to Paul Lambert with a superb strike from Pienaar.
Steven Naismith, who was making his full debut for the Toffees, laid the ball back into the path of the South African who curled a 20 yarder past Given into the top corner of the net.
Everton threatened every time they ventured forward and a deep cross from Baines picked out the run of Jelavic at the back post, but he sent his header wide.
The Croatian went close again when his glancing header from a Baines corner was only just too high and then Darron Gibson flashed a 30-yard drive inches over the bar.
Villa started to come more into the game territorially but the lack of a cutting edge which was evident at West Ham last week was again apparent.
Then an error by keeper Given gifted Fellaini his second goal in two games after 31 minutes to double Everton's lead.
"It was straightforward for Everton. Villa had a little fight back at the end when they were down to ten men but Everton dominated the game throughout the whole of the first half."
Matt Le Tissier Quotes of the week
Jagielka floated over a hopeful right-wing cross which the Belgian attacked but his downward header looked to be covered by Given.
But the former Republic of Ireland keeper allowed the ball to wriggle from his grasp and over the line.
Villa were at sixes and sevens and Everton skipper Phil Neville was allowed to
advance unopposed into the box but he drilled his shot high and wide from a promising position.
Everton found space at will going forward and it came as no surprise when Jelavic made it 3-0 a minute before half-time.
Baines delivered a left-wing cross and no-one picked up the striker as he drilled a near post shot past Given.
Lambert brought on Brett Holman for Nathan Delfouneso at half-time but play followed the same pattern after the restart.
Pienaar twice carved out opportunities for Naismith and Jelavic and only fierce blocks from Nathan Baker on both occasions prevented Everton increasing their lead.
To make matters worse for Villa, they were reduced to 10 men after 58 minutes.
Clark brought down Jelavic as he bore down on goal and, as the last defender, was sent off for a professional foul.
Given partially atoned for his first-half error with a fine save to deny Pienaar.
But he could only stand and watch as Sylvain Distin powered a header against the bar from a Baines corner.
Villa did score a consolation and it came out of the blue when a swerving long-range effort from El Ahmadi deceived Howard who could only parry the ball into the net with 15 minutes remaining.Villa substitute Andreas Weimann hit a post in time added on but a second goal would have given a flattering look to the final score.
|Aston Villa||Team Statistics||Everton|
|0||1st Half Goals||3|
|2||Shots on Target||6|
|4||Shots off Target||8|
|39.3||1st Half Poss.||60.7|
|38.2||2nd Half Poss.||61.8|
Barclays Premier League
|10||West Ham United||28||39|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||28||30|
|18||Queens Park Rangers||27||22|