Premier League - Villa hang on for big win
Eurosport - Sun, 29 Aug 16:55:00 2010
Aston Villa gave their troubled season a much-needed boost with a resilient 1-0 Premier League win over Everton at Villa Park.
Defender Luke Young grabbed the game's only goal early in the first half to give the Villans a lead they defended doggedly against a barrage of set pieces from the Toffees, who are still yet to register a league win this season.
After a bright start from Everton, Young opened the scoring with only his second goal for Villa on nine minutes. The full-back was fed by a smart ball from his namesake Ashley and he curled a delightful left-footed effort into the top corner, giving Everton keeper Tim Howard no chance.
After that Everton resumed their domination of possession, with Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar continually linking up well down the left wing. One move saw the South African curl an effort towards the far top corner, only to see it bounce back off the upright with Brad Friedel rooted to the spot.
Aston Villa 1 Everton 0
The visitors continued to see much more of the ball, with Villa largely reduced to attacks on the break, but the struggles in front of goal that have seen them only register one league goal so far this season were again evident, with Jermaine Beckford often a peripheral figure up front.
Villa did make appeals for a penalty just before half-time when the sporadically impressive Marc Albrighton went down as Pienaar ran behind him, but referee Michael Jones correctly waved away the vehement claims.
After a bright start from the home side after the break which saw John Carew send a diving header wide and Ashley Young fire off target from the edge of the box, Everton's grip on the match tightened.
However, they were unable to convert any of the multitude of corners and free-kicks awarded to them in a nail-biting final period.
Villa did occasionally threaten on the break, with Ashley Young having a rebound effort blocked by Phil Jagielka and Albrighton rushing an effort and skewing it wide after Howard palmed a save right to his feet.
But the story of the match was very much Everton's profligacy, this season's cause for their customary poor start to a campaign. Manager David Moyes may well feel moved to bolster his attacking options before the transfer window closes, while his opposite number, Villa caretaker Kevin MacDonald, may just be hoping that this win is enough to convince chairman Randy Lerner to give him the job full-time.Tony Mabert / Eurosport