Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia scored to get Aston Villa’s Premier League campaign up and running with victory over Everton as Steven Gerrard got one over on his old midfield rival Frank Lampard.
The two were facing each other as managers for the first time after years of battles on the pitch in games between Liverpool and Chelsea.
Both had overseen losses in their Premier League openers and it was Gerrard’s side who claimed their first win of the season with a dominant display at Villa Park.
The home side looked on it from the start and got the breakthrough midway through the first half when Ollie Watkins, making his first start of the season, found strike partner Ings inside the box and he turned sharply before firing clinically into the back of the net.
Everton, once again playing without a recognised striker, did not manage a shot on target in the first half, although they did see an Anthony Gordon effort ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside.
They showed some improvement after the break as Dwight McNeil flicked a shot just wide of the post and Demarai Gray saw a decent effort saved by Emiliano Martinez.
Villa substitute Buendia saw a deflected shot cleared off the line before adding a second when he stabbed in late on.
Lucas Digne turned a cross into his own net immediately after to give Everton hope, and they staged a late rally as Anthony Gordon was twice denied by Martinez, but Villa held firm to take the three points.
Villa bounce back as Mings returns
Villa desperately needed a good start to this season after they finished last term with just two wins from their final 10 games, and that poor form continued with a 2-0 loss at newly promoted Bournemouth in their opening game.
Gerrard caused a stir by replacing Tyrone Mings with John McGinn as the Villa captain and starting Mings on the bench against the Cherries, but the former Liverpool captain will probably have felt somewhat vindicated by his decision during this game.
There were no signs of disharmony as Mings put in an assured performance on his return to the first XI, while it was McGinn’s brilliance that led to the opening goal as he won the ball off McNeil before playing a superb pass to Watkins, who then teed up Ings to score.
Villa really should have been out of sight by the time Buendia added a second and the late Everton pressure will have given Gerrard some discomfort – but overall this was a decent Villa display that will provide encouragement for the fans as they hope for a top-10 finish this season.
More to follow.
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- 2CashSubstituted forKonsaat 90+4′minutes
- 3Santos SilvaSubstituted forChambersat 90+5′minutes
- 27DigneBooked at 49mins
- 41J RamseySubstituted forYoungat 90+4′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 23CoutinhoBooked at 29minsSubstituted forBuendíaat 60′minutes
- 9IngsBooked at 75minsSubstituted forBaileyat 78′minutes
- 6Douglas Luiz
- 30CoadySubstituted forAlliat 81′minutes
- 16DoucouréSubstituted forDaviesat 35′minutesBooked at 43mins
- 7McNeilSubstituted forRondónat 64′minutes
- 11GraySubstituted forOnanaat 81′minutes
- Michael Oliver
Match ends, Aston Villa 2, Everton 1.
Second Half ends, Aston Villa 2, Everton 1.
John McGinn (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Amadou Onana (Everton).
Ashley Young (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt saved. Anthony Gordon (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt blocked. Anthony Gordon (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexander Iwobi.
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Calum Chambers.
Attempt blocked. Amadou Onana (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Salomón Rondón with a headed pass.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Calum Chambers replaces Diego Carlos because of an injury.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Ashley Young replaces Jacob Ramsey.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Ezri Konsa replaces Matty Cash because of an injury.
Attempt saved. Salomón Rondón (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Attempt saved. Anthony Gordon (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Vitalii Mykolenko.
Attempt missed. Lucas Digne (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Emiliano Buendía following a corner.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Jordan Pickford.
Attempt saved. Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Leon Bailey.
Attempt blocked. Nathan Patterson (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Everton. Conceded by Jacob Ramsey.
Own Goal by Lucas Digne, Aston Villa. Aston Villa 2, Everton 1.
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