Aston Villa player ratings gallery vs Everton: Two score ‘woeful’ 3/10s but four earn 7s
Player ratings and match report from Aston Villa’s ‘lethargic and sluggish’ 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Everton at Villa Park.
Aston Villa were dumped out of the Carabao Cup at the first time of asking as Everton ran out 2-1 victors at Villa Park on Wednesday evening. Lethargic and sluggish in the first half and then almost equally as devoid of quality in the second, the Villans put on one of their worst performances under the reign of Unai Emery. Boubacar Kamara got on the scoresheet with a deflected strike but it was too little too late as the Toffees held on to progress to the fourth round.
Villa controlled possession in the early phases of the encounter - and Youri Tielemans went close with a dipping half-volley from range - but it was the visitors who took the lead in emphatic style. Robin Olsen put the ball into danger with a complete miskick and Amadou Onana did brilliantly to intercept and play in James Garner, who took one touch before firing with power to beat Olsen at his near post. The away support were in terrific voice after their goal. The home fans, meanwhile, were silenced.
Emery was forced into a premature substitution just before the half-hour mark as Leon Bailey raised his hand and went down holding his thigh. Summer signing Nicolo Zaniolo was the man to come on in the Jamaican’s place but even he wasn’t able to kick the Villans into gear as the play was passive and indolent, with much of the possession in the defensive third. The frustration understandably grew at Villa Park as the lack of desire to go forward was clear as day.
Everton very nearly earned themselves a 2-0 lead in the 39th minute as Villa had yet another blunder playing out from the back. Arnaut Danjuma advanced down the left and Ezri Konsa came across to deal with the threat but his attempted clearance deflected off Matty Cash and back to the Toffees winger. The Dutchman fired into the area for Jack Harrison and he did well to get a shot away but Olsen pulled off an incredible reflex save to keep it out.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin then had a delightful opportunity for the visitors as he was played through by Harrison. The striker saw a shot saved by Olsen and then had an open goal to aim at but could only find the side netting. Villa managed to craft only their second opening of the first half just before the break as Pau Torres put Jhon Duran one-on-one with Jordan Pickford. The Colombian was off balance, though, and sent the ball high and wide into the Holte End.
The second period started just as badly for the hosts despite three substitutions as Calvert-Lewin made it two for Everton within just five minutes. It was far too easy for the former England international as he skipped past Konsa with the slightest touch and finished cooly beyond Olsen. There was a slight reaction from Emery’s men as Ollie Watkins darted forward with some rare Villa directness and Moussa Diaby was picked out on the right. The Frenchman managed to get his shot on target but Pickford did superbly to save with his feet.
Villa Park was eventually given something to cheer as Kamara was in the right place at the right time to net with a deflected long-range effort. Douglas Luiz’s inswinging corner was headed out by Toffees substitute Beto but only as far as Kamara, who struck off centre-back Keane’s leg and beyond a helpless Pickford. There was more late hope as Diaby fired from 25 yards but Pickford punched away and then Luiz tried some audacious acrobatics but couldn’t hit the target. Everton were able to hold out for victory. Here are our Villa player ratings from the defeat.