Aston Villa secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Everton on Saturday with Emiliano Buendia scoring the only goal at Goodison Park.
It was a tough encounter for Steven Gerrard’s side, with the hosts reinvigorated following Rafa Benitez’s sacking and with Duncan Ferguson put in temporary charge.
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) January 22, 2022
As expected, they were physical and tried to make it as difficult as possible for Villa, and while they certainly piled on the pressure in the second half, we stood up to that well and kept a well-earned clean sheet to protect our lead.
While there were moments in the first half where we showed quality in possession, it was largely a scrappy game and one that Villa and Gerrard will be delighted to have come through with all three points.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Everton:
Emiliano Martinez, 6 – Didn’t have a great deal to do which is testament to his defenders for offering solid protection for the most part. Showed his class when rushing out to sweep up after Digne’s mistake in a dangerous moment for Everton, but otherwise largely untroubled.
Matty Cash, 7 – Put in a solid defensive shift as he was more than up to the task of dealing with Gray. Concentration levels and focus never dipped as he gave away little down that flank and put in some big blocks too to deny Everton.
Ezri Konsa, 7 – Villa were given a huge boost as he was passed fit having been a doubt this week due to a hip injury. Put in his usual controlled, composed and physical display to help secure the clean sheet.
Tyrone Mings, 6.5 – A towering figure as he dealt with anything put in our box in the air and he marshalled the backline well. The only criticism of our captain is his casual play in possession and tendency to play a hopeful long ball forward with no real direction. It gave away possession too cheaply too often.
Lucas Digne, 7 – Registered his first Villa assist with an excellent delivery for Buendia’s goal, and while it would have been a difficult afternoon for him on his return to his former club, he dealt with that well and put in a good performance.
John McGinn, 7.5 – Made a brilliant start to the game as he set the tone early with his aggressiveness and physicality. With Everton fired up for this one, we met them head on and it was McGinn who was throwing himself around that helped ensure we quietened the crowd in the opening 10 minutes or so.
Douglas Luiz, 6.5 – Did well at times in breaking up play and getting us moving up the pitch with clever passes. It could still be argued though that he lacks the physicality and dominance in that area of the pitch to really impose himself and give us better control of the game when we come under pressure.
Jacob Ramsey, 7 – His driving runs from midfield coupled with his probing passes that break the lines are crucial to getting us into dangerous positions, and he continues to mature into a key player for us. Wasn’t as effective in the final third as he would like to be on this occasion, but another important shift for the team.
Emiliano Buendia, 8 – Another top display from our No.10 as he picks the ball up in great positions, turns and drives into attacking areas, shows great technical quality on the ball and always works tirelessly for the team off the ball. The important difference today was that he was decisive and scored the goal that secured all three points for Villa.
Ollie Watkins, 7 – Worked tirelessly off the ball and his movement was key to stretching the Everton defence and bringing others into play. The long ball over the top caused Mina problems, and although Watkins struggled to have a direct threat on goal, he was always busy and in the game.
Philippe Coutinho, 5.5 – A struggle for the Brazilian magician on this occasion as he was given a surprise start. Perhaps still lacking a bit of match fitness and sharpness as he couldn’t really get going in this one.
Carney Chukwuemeka, 5.5 – Struggled to have much of an impact after coming on, but with Everton pushing for an equaliser, it was always going to be difficult for him to get up to the speed of the game so quickly.
Danny Ings, N/A
Kortney Hause, N/A