Aston Villa 3-2 Everton: Benteke brace gives Villans big boost

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Christian Benteke scored twice and Tom Cleverley added another as Aston Villa moved into 14th place with a 3-2 win over Everton on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku converted a PK before Phil Jagielka scored in stoppage time for the Toffees, which finished the day in 11th place.

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Benteke leapt between and above Leighton Baines and John Stones to accept an inviting cross from Fabian Delph, nodding home to make it 1-0 after 10 minutes.

And the big Belgian made it two when Ron Vlaar’s slight flick of a corner evaded all of Everton’s back line and Tim Howard, allowing Benteke to slot home easily off the back post.

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But Everton found a way back in the 58th, as James Naismith was taken down in the box. Penalty given, and Lukaku’s stuttering run-up almost failed him… but still cut the deficit to 2-1.

It didn’t take long for Villa to answer back, as Tom Cleverley made a cutting run to meet a great Leandro Bacuna through ball before beating Howard to make it 3-1.

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Then Jagielka nodded home a crossbar rebound in stoppage time to narrow the gap to 3-2, but that was as close as the Toffees would get.

LINEUPS

Aston Villa: Given; Bacuna (Hutton, 81′), Vlaar, Okore, Richardson; Westwood (Sanchez, 75′), Cleverley, Delph; N’Zogbia (Cole, 90′), Grealish, Benteke.

Goals: Benteke 2 (10′, 45′), Cleverley (64′)

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Baines; Barry, McCarthy; Mirallas (Osman, 75′), Naismith (Barkley, 75′), Lennon; Lukaku.

Goal: Lukaku (PK, 59′), Jagielka (90+2′)