As a dull affair concluded on this occasion, with the biggest talking point of the match for Aston Villa fans being the baton being passed back to captain Jack Grealish as he made his eagerly anticipated return to action.
Emi Martínez: 8/10
After a long wait to equal the club record of most clean sheets, it was on this occasion that the Argentinian eventually re-wrote history in his debut season at Villa Park. It certainly was not plain sailing as he was made to produce a total of six very impressive saves to keep out a resilient Everton side. The goalkeeper exuded confidence as he was often looked towards to calmly and patiently play the ball from the back and be the focal point of transitioning the ball up the pitch.
Matty Cash: 6/10
The right-back, unfortunately, saw his afternoon cut short as he was withdrawn through advice from the Villa medical team after seemingly finding pain in his hamstring. A massive shame for him as it seems that could be the end to his season if that is the case. In the 45 minutes he did have on the pitch, he was steady defensively whilst accurate on the ball, ensuring his team would not concede possession in a cheap manner.
Ezri Konsa: 7/10
Another dominant performance from the center-back, contributing towards the clean sheet. Accurate with his passing and resurgent in his positioning in defense, the Englishman snuffed out opposition opportunities before they had the capacity to flourish. The only difficulty on this occasion was his inability to nullify the aerial threat Dominic Calvert-Lewin when competing in the air, which he will be disappointed with.
Tyrone Mings: 7/10
The England international could have quite easily been the match winner on reflection as his unmarked header mid-way through the first half somehow whistled inches past Jordan Pickford’s post to everyone’s bewilderment. Regardless of his attacking frailties, the center-back enjoyed a successful display, limiting dangerous duo Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison to limited goal scoring opportunities. Dominant aerially whilst also on the floor with his successful clearance and tackle percentage, Mings certainly played his role in keeping a hard-fought clean sheet for the home team.
Matt Targett: 7/10
‘Mr. Consistent’ put another impressive performance on display in front of the eagle-eyed international manager. With his relentless commitment to attacking and defensive responsibility, Matt Targett is quickly becoming a firm fan favorite by Villa fans. The vast improvement made from his irresponsible nature last season is astonishing to see; fitting in comfortably and taking responsibility with an 87% pass accuracy and winning 78% of his aerial and ground duels.
Douglas Luiz: 7/10
The young Brazilian enjoyed consistent possession of the ball and was assured in retaining the ball with a 90.1% pass accuracy. A 100% cross accuracy and 97% long ball accuracy shows a stark improvement from his lackadaisical efforts of recent games. Not only was his creative influence on display, the 23-year-old provided sufficient support to the back four with two clearances, two interceptions, and two tackles to maintain the clean sheet throughout the duration of play.
John McGinn: 7/10
The rugged Scotsman put in a performance worthy of a high degree of praise this afternoon with some fans online labeling him as being ‘back to his best’. The impressive nature of the central midfielder’s relentlessness on the ball; managing to shield possession when surrounded by opposition players with his unique technique allows Villa to effectively draw opposition players in, before switching the ball in to space.
Ross Barkley: 5/10
In his last appearance at Villa Park, the Chelsea midfielder failed to make sufficient impact on proceedings, failing to provide sufficient support to lone front man, Keinan Davis. His inability to track the forward runs of Davis left the striker isolated and forced him to forfeit possession in what could be dangerous attacking scenarios.
Anwar El Ghazi: 7/10
The Dutch winger failed to continue his hot scoring streak against today’s Merseyside opposition. Regardless, El Ghazi enjoyed a successful afternoon linking play between midfield and attack. His forward running and willingness to open his body up to either find a pass or have a shot allowed the team to move forward in numbers, which created holes in the opposition defense.
Bertrand Traoré: 6/10
The Burkina Faso international endured an uneventful afternoon on home soil. Unable to make on sufficient impact on proceedings left his teammates forced to transition play down the opposite flank to where the wide midfielder was situated. However, despite this, he defended resolutely, tracking opposition full-back, Seamus Coleman, disallowing him the opportunity to deliver an in-swinging cross for aerial threat, Calvert-Lewin.
Keinan Davis: 6/10
In the absence of front man, Ollie Watkins, his replacement was unable to replicate the relentless closing down that Ollie possesses. There was a lack of urgency without the ball, highlighting just how key Watkins is to this Villa side even when out of possession. Pressing quickly starts from the front and today, unfortunately, it was not quick enough. This wasn’t helped, however, teammates were unable to pick Davis out with the ball and often played it too far in front of him. It was a frustrating afternoon as he failed to leave his footprint on proceedings.