Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 27 2008
Attendance: 37 936
Blinking eck Villa, don't do that to us without a health warning before the games please! I'm cream crackered!
Villa have edged within two games of taking 5th spot, Everton are still in the driving seat but with them playing Arsenal next weekend, we've just got to concentrate on despatching Wigan and hope the Gooners do us a massive favour!
Hopefully we'll get an away day match report from the ever great Glensider later but from my armchair that was one hell of a game and Villa showed superb resilience to come back from behind twice. I didn't quite catch the record that Everton have at Goodison Park this season but for sure not many have scored one let alone two there and Tim Howard is only one goal away from 15 clean sheets for the season.
Villa weathered a storm for the first six minutes of the first half, then took over in attacking intent and possession. We really controlled the half without actually troubling the shots on target stats greatly, although Ashley Young was unlucky hitting the crossbar from a free kick.
The conditions at Everton certainly weren't favourable for a slick passing game but both teams did try at a rain sodden Goodison Park and if not for a bit of confidence following a pass from Wilfred Bouma, Nigel Hokey-Cokey may well have stormed into the box and shot towards the end.
In the second half, as you would expect, Everton once again came out fighting and Philip Neville scored via a deflection off Martin Laursen (and to be fair for once Scott Carson did look like he had it covered if not for the deflection). The only real bug bear of that goal is Neville was given far too much space, fair enough he doesn't usually score but come on lads, don't let an opponent take his time like that!
So there we were, 1-0 and looking like that might be it. But no, Villa have more about them these days and up popped Gabriel Agbonlahor on the six year line following a perfectly delivered corner by Gareth Barry - and yes, I do mean a perfect corner. I must admit I thought MON had gone doolally tapped, he left us with three at the back after bringing on both Patrik Berger and Marlon Harewood. I'd have taken Gabby off for Harewood - thank the lord Paul McGrath that I'm not a manager!
Just as this attacking formation seemed to pay dividends Villa once again went one behind when the Hokey Cokey was caught out at right-back by Yobbo. Game over and Europe all but guaranteed for Everton? Not on your life, Villa came storming back and once again the resplendent Gareth Barry floated a perfect pass to John Carew who made no mistake burying it.
2-2, a storm of an end by Everton but points justifiably shared.
I must admit Phil Dowd allowed the game to flow nicely and it could be said was slightly kind to Villa today, but hey ho, you take what you are given. Credit to the man in black for realising the conditions were difficult and some sliding tackles were going to be necessary and hand ball by Petrov? Never!!!!!!!
Match stats: Click Here
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Date:Sunday April 27 2008
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