Sunday, October 27, 2013

Aston Villa 0 Everton 2

Weimann's had a few flat performances lately, but this is just a bit mad. We met the real one outside a few minutes later.

A view of the Holte end.

It's been a quiet October, but yesterday we went to Villa to see the most played fixture in English football, when they took on Everton. It was Sean's birthday game and we were hoping for a win for a change after the last few years had seen Villa draw twice and lose once on this occasion.

The day got off to a good enough start with Sean meeting Andi Weimann (the real one and not the one in the picture), Antonio Luna, Libor Kozak and Yakouba Sylla, which was a bit of a highlight and better than having to make do with the cardboard cut out in the club shop!

The game started off well enough and Villa had a great chance to take the lead in the 6th minute from the penalty spot, but unfortunately Benteke's shot was saved by Tim Howard, who was on fine form. Too good form if the truth be known. Villa had load of chances in the first half and Weimann and Agbonlahor should probably both have scored. Benteke on the other hand still looked injured and why he wasn't subbed at half time is a bit of a mystery. Villa dominated for the first hour of the match, but luck isn't something that Villa have had in recent times and particularly in front of their home fans.

After a really solid performance when they should have had the lead and Everton should have been down to 10 men after a horrific tackle on Westwood, things started to fall apart. On 68 minutes Lukaku had his first chance and put it away, it was a well taken goal from a superb striker, but you have to feel that Lambert was partly to blame. After Luna had limped off the pitch there was a need for a defensive reshuffle and the logical decision would have perhaps been to go 3-4-3. El Ahmadi has been showing great format of late, so it was probably time to introduce him. Another variant may have been to put Ciaran Clark at left back rather than bringing him on and moving him to left back. Clark was introduced, but Baker moved wide. Baker had had Lukaku in his pocket, but was pulled out of position and this allowed Lukaku to pounce.

After this, as is often the case Villa's confidence started to crumble. It wasn't helped by Gabby Agbonlahor putting a decent chance straight into the arms of Tim Howard a couple of minutes later. Then Osman came on for Everton and on 81 minutes he scored a great goal to make it 2-0 and Villa played out a dire final 10 minutes.

The positives to come out of the match were that Guzan was as solid as ever; Bacuna, who was man of the match, and Delph seem to be getting better all the time and Vlaar had a good first half; Tonev was given a rare start and his first touch was brilliant, he seems to have stopped shooting on sight and could be a good buy with more Premiership experience. The negatives were that Benteke is really not fit and should probably have been substituted if he should even have started. Teams seem also to be getting wise to Weimann and Agbonlahor, so it might even be time to try an unfashionable two up front and seeing how Helenius and Kozak get on together.

The result might not have gone our way, but it was a decent enough performance, apart from in front of goal, and as always we had a good laugh. The home journey was pretty arduous thanks to an almighty cock up at Stamford by the rail replacement people, but at least we had a laugh with some Villa, Everton and Sheffield United fans, although a 2 and a half hour journey taking 6 hours means we were glad to have an extra hour in bed this morning.

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