Dean Smith: Aston Villa ‘devastated’ after draw at Everton

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Aston Villa deserved three points and a new lease on Premier League life.

But the final few minutes versus Everton went according to the season’s plot line, as Villa drew 1-1 at Goodison Park and is still three points back of Premier League safety.

[ RECAP: Everton 1-1 Villa ]

Ezri Konsa had put the Villans ahead in the second half only and the visitors might’ve put the match to bed had Anwar El Ghazi not chopped an expected goal over the bar minutes before Everton equalized.

Even that was gut-wrenching, as Konsa’s bid to overhead clear the ball off the line looked to be successful for a brief moment before referee Anthony Taylor’s watch rang with the message of a goal from the Goal Decision System.

Villa boss Dean Smith struggled to find the words.

“The lads are devastated in the dressing room because we deserved more out of the game. We took the lead. We had chances technically before, some half-chances really, and we took the lead but we missed a massive chance to go 2-nil up when El Ghazi puts it over the bar but defensively I thought we’ve been good and hadn’t conceded too many opportunities against Everton. Probably the last eight minutes we got a little bit sloppy on the ball and didn’t take enough pressure off ourselves. For the previous 82 minutes we’d shown really good composure.”

Anyone who watched the match would tell you Villa performed well enough to win and El Ghazi’s poor finishing attempt is what allowed Walcott’s hopeful header to be worthy of a point.

Villa now has to hope Watford beats West Ham on Friday and to get points versus Arsenal and the Irons. It won’t be easy but Thursday’s effort plus a bit more finish could do the trick to keep Villa in the top flight.