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Villa Show Resilience

2 - 2
Aston Villa

Goodison Park


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

Star Player

Gareth Barry closely followed by Mellberg and roared on by a great away support AGAIN.

Player Ratings

Scott Carson 5

Out of position a good few times, few flaps and really not commanding. Can't see us keeping him.

Wilfred Bouma 7

Excellent game

Zat Knight 6

Seemed to get stuck in, can't see that he was responsible for either goal.

Martin Laursen 6

Couldn't help the deflection.

Olof Mellberg 7

He really does want to leave with Villa in Europe, top man.

Gareth Barry 8

Set up both goals, a real skippers role.

Ashley Young 7

Fully involved, unlucky not to score, nearly took a point off for his banana coloured boots though, come on Ashley, are you colour blind or were they a dare?!?!

Nigel Hokey-Cokey 6

I quite like NRC, I think he does a lot right and does break up play well, but his marking for the Everton goal was poor and he did give the ball away a few times when not under pressure. Once he stops that he could be a great player for us.

Stiliyan Petrov 6.5

Another game when Petrov was fully involved and useful, he is getting used to this malarkey!

Gabriel Agbonlahor 7

Superbly taken goal.

John Carew 7

Was kept busy by Lee Carsley today but when the chance came, he took it.

Patrik Berger (on for Knight 75)

Got a great reception as a former Liverpool player, had a massive grin on his face, I think he enjoyed it!

Marlon Harewood (on for Wilf 78)

Not much chance for a real impact but nearly got into a fight, now that I would have paid to watch as they both looked like the packed a punch!

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 27 2008
Time: 6:50PM


27/04/2008 18:55:00
got to admit the villa havent been this exciting this season for many a year, they are nerve wracking but some great football this year. Entertainment personified.
27/04/2008 18:59:00
oh Gruck, you leave me broken hearted, I work my fingers to the bone and where is the love? Where is Glensider more like!!!! LOL Hopefully he'll get his live report done later and I'll post tonight or in the morning...! Glensider, they love you. Fear, feck orf!!!!!!!!!
The Fear
27/04/2008 19:05:00
i can barely watch these games anymore! I'm just left in pieces, thank god we showed such resilience. This is good for the future of the club to know we can come up and get the result in big games away from Villa Park.
27/04/2008 19:14:00
Oh my god that was exciting,Mellberg was massive ! Shame we couldn't of grabbed it but we have the best (on paper) run in. Weather was terrible and didn't suit our style,lol,listen to what im saying,two years ago we didn't even have a style. Gu'on the VILLA!!
27/04/2008 19:32:00
Was'nt that long ago that Gabby scored his first ever goal at Everton when we lost 4-1 in probably our worst performance under o'dreary .Sure have come a long way since then thats for sure.
27/04/2008 20:34:00
If we win on Saturday v. Wigan, does that mean we are guaranteed at least an Intertoto place? I think Man City and Blackburn have applied for a place (not Portsmouth) but they can't overtake us if we get 3 points. This may all be wrong! Can anyone help?
27/04/2008 20:37:00
Wow, I burnt a lot of nervous energy up watching that! Fantastic effort from the lads. Come on Arsenal!!!
27/04/2008 20:40:00
great game today, i predicted an entertaining clash with us just shading it 2-1, i was almost right. I think Everton would do a lot better with some of the things Villa have in reserve, and that is someone who can dictate the midfield like Barry (I hope he stays at VP) and plenty of tall athletic players like Carew and Knight. If we had a more Carew sized players and a midfielder of Barry's ability we would be a better sized, we were sucker punched by lack of height today, Moyes won't be happy with the defending from set pieces, but Evertonians think the height issue and lack of a midfield maestro will be addressed in the summer. Lets hope we're preparing for Europe ;) great game guys.
27/04/2008 21:02:00
It was an exciting game!
Fan of Blues
27/04/2008 22:06:00
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