It comes as a disappointment to all supporters to see yet another Villa game postponed this season but, given the covid epidemic has hit the team it was most definitely the right decision to make. With reports of Villa not being back at Bodymoor until Saturday, there was really no possibility of the game going ahead 24 hours later. By the end of the weekend Villa will have four games in hand on most other teams in the league and are heading towards an incredibly congested end of the season.
But let’s not worry about that yet. With the Everton game now officially postponed (see below) let’s use this time to look back on the most played fixture in the history of English league football.
HEAD TO HEAD
The record for each team is almost identical:
Since the introduction of the Premier League, however, Villa have a slight edge over the Toffees:
Although, since that eventful night at Goodison Park in 2008 (see below), Everton have become a team that Villa have often struggled against, winning only 3 times in 17 attempts.
RECENT VILLA HIGHLIGHTS
7 December 2008: Everton 2 – 3 Villa
With both Villa and Everton doing all they could to sneak into the top 4 spots, this was a game that was always going to be entertaining, but very few predicted just how much excitement there was going to be.
Steve Sidwell scoring a 20 yard screamer within the first 30 seconds was just the start of things to come.
A 30th minute equaliser by Joleon Lescott meant that the teams went in level at the break.
Villa found themselves back in front in the 54th minute as Ashley Young pounced on a weak back pass by Phil Jagielka and smartly lifted the ball over Tim Howard and into the back of the net. Now this is where things get interesting.
Villa, happy to keep hold of a lead this time, retreated deep into their own half to hold off another Everton equaliser. It looked like they had managed to pull it off until a couple headers across the box by Jagielka and Leon Osman teed it up for boyhood Villa fan (the less said about this the better) Lescott to acrobatically find the back of the net and equalise in the 90th minute. Thinking they had just scored a vital goal in the challenge for the top 4, the whole of Goodison Park erupted into chaos prompting Lescott to shed his shirt and throw it into the jubilant crowd.
However, when Ashley Young has his long sleeves and black gloves on, every Villa fan knew anything could happen.
With the points seemingly shared, a loose touch from Steven Pienaar is pounced on by Gabby Agbonlahor, who managed to get his toe on the ball and flick it through to Young. Only Lescott and Howard stood between him and 3 points for Aston Villa. He skipped past Lescott like he wasn’t there and managed to slot the ball to Howard’s bottom left, silencing the home crowd and sending every Villa fan (most noticeably Brad Friedel) into elation.
2 May 2015: Villa 3 – 2 Everton
In the 200th league appearance between these two sides, an in-from Christian Benteke, coached to his best by Tim Sherwood, managed to score his 11th goal in his last 9 games thanks to a brace in a vital win for Villa as they fought against the drop.
It cannot be emphasised enough, how vital this game was in keeping Villa up that season. This was Sherwood’s 6th win in 12 for Villa, a turn of form which had suddenly seen the Villa climb up to 14th in the table on 35 points after as many games, 2 points clear of the drop. The squad experienced even more pressure as during the lead up to this game Everton had won 5 of their last 6 Premier League fixtures and were “the form team” according to Sherwood after the game.
A brace from Benteke and a goal from Tom Cleverly, following an immaculate through ball from Leandro Bacuna, was enough to seal the victory for the Villans.
23 August 2019: Aston Villa 2 – 0 Everton
Villa were back in the topflight after 3 years away. The first game under the Villa Park floodlights, playing on a hot Friday evening… everything a Villa fan could dream of.
A tough couple of results at the start of the season away to Tottenham (3-1) and at home to Bournemouth (1-2) had Villa fans wondering if the Premier League was really the key to happiness. However, this game silences the worriers, reminding all supporters of what had been missing for the previous 3 years.
A bouncing Villa Park was riled up even further as they saw new signing Jota slide through a ball to record new signing Wesley, who slotted the ball neatly past Jordan Pickford to raise the roof off Villa Park.
Despite having having only 35% possession, it was the Villa who were able to get the second goal of the game through Anwar El Ghazi in the last, 95th minute.
The reason for such ecstasy at Villa Park was magnified, because Villa had failed to win in their past 15 Premier League games (W0 D1 L14). This result reminded all affiliated with the club that the top is where they belong.