The watch buzzed and Villa’s hearts sank, as stumbling Everton came back to take a point from Villa in a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Thursday.
Theo Walcott’s late header crossed the line just before Ezri Konsa could clear it, minutes after the Villa defender had given his club a dramatic late lead and hope of avoiding the drop.
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The point moves 19th-place Villa three back of Watford and West Ham, who play each other on Friday. Villa plays Arsenal and West Ham to complete its PL fixture list, and is also behind Bournemouth on goal differential.
Everton’s 46th point comes from its 10th draw. The Toffees need to win out and have Burnley lose out to finish top half.
Three things we learned
1. Konsa saves his best for first: Twenty-two year old center back Ezri Konsa’s first Premier League goal was an impactful one. The ex-Charlton and Brentford man lunged to redirect Hourihane’s free kick home late for a deserved goal as Villa dominated the shots totals. If he clawed Walcott’s equalizer off the line he’d be in line for possible pub grub naming in Birmingham.
2. Ancelotti’s summer-long headache: Legendary Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti knows he has his work cut out for him as the Toffees continued to wobble to the Premier League finish line. Realistically how many players can be expected to stay and start for Ancelotti next year? Richarlison, Mason Holgate, and Lucas Digne? Michael Keane, Seamus Coleman, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin? Surely there’s change coming to Goodison Park.
3. Who will Villa support on Friday? Villa is now three points back of West Ham and Watford before the two sides meet on Friday, and Dean Smith’s men will tangle with West Ham on the last day of the season. Does Villa root for a draw to keep both teams within focus or just go full-on anti-Irons? We’re betting the latter.
Man of the Match
Grealish and Konsa were both good but Douglas Luiz was a huge part of the win. He won all 10 of his duels for Villa, according to SofaScore, drawing three fouls and completing all four of his dribbles.
Everton – Aston Villa recap
Villa had some moments in the first dozen minutes including a Mohamed Elmohamady cross that was absent receiver in the 12th.
Another Elmohamady cross was popped over the bar by Mbwana Samatta in the 15th.
Everton then lost center back Mason Holgate to an apparent leg injury.
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Villa’s key man, no surprise, was Jack Grealish. The Villans aimed to find him on the left more often than not, and Grealish cut in for right-footed shots on multiple occasions.
Yet wit Grealish standing over a dead ball, the visitors would go ahead through Konsa’s flick of a Conor Hourihane-taken free kick to wrongfoot Jordan Pickford.
It should’ve been 2-0 off a delightful Grealish cross to the back post that Anwar El Ghazi chopped over the bar under pressure from a charging Pickford.
Andre Gomes set up Dominic Calvert-Lewin for an 86th-minute shot wide of the near post. It was foreshadowing, as Walcott’s looping header defying Reina and the flying boot of Konsa to ring as a goal on Anthony Taylor’s Goal Decision System watch.Follow @NicholasMendola