Everton lost touch on their European dream whilst Aston Villa leapfrogged them in to the top half of the table, with Gareth Southgate looking on at Goodison Park. It was a fairly dominant display from the visitors, who are still looking to adjust to life without captain Jack Grealish. Have they finally found a way of dominating games without the presence of their talisman?
Emiliano Martínez: 6/10
The Villa goalkeeper had a relatively quiet afternoon in Merseyside with only two saves during the game. His passing was accurate, leading with patient play out from the back. Emi will be frustrated going home without that record equalising clean sheet as an amateur defensive error from a set piece allowed poacher Calvert-Lewin to level the game.
Matty Cash: 6/10
The full back returned after his suspension to provide support to the right wing through his darting overlapping runs. However, he was robbed of a sweet in-swinging assist following a brilliant save from opposition goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Otherwise the former Nottingham Forest man had a relatively average game, comfortable in possession and providing defensive cover when necessary.
Ezri Konsa: 6/10
In an uncharacteristic manner, the young England hopefully was slightly wasteful in possession, marking his lowest pass completion rate of the season so far (72%). Under the watchful eye of International manager Gareth Southgate the twenty-three year old seemed nervous and too quick to release the ball. However, he made up for this with his impressive defensive acumen, providing five clearances, winning 95% of his aerial duels under a strong, physical attacker of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Tyrone Mings: 7/10
A dominant display from the England international helped his team claim all three points in Merseyside. Villa clearly intended to stretch the Everton centre-backs with searching balls over the top into the flanks for frontman Ollie Watkins to hold up and bring others into play. It worked a treat. Of his 14 attempted long balls, 12 found a man in claret and blue ready to transition to the final third. Mings’ defensive display impressed, with six clearances, three blocked shots and five interceptions nullifying the dangerous Everton attack.
Matt Targett: 6/10
Coming off the back of a week when the English full back earned himself a new Villa deal, Targett put on a composed yet uneventful performance. As usual he provided a swift overlapping option to the wing, but failed to break through the opposition defence with his knife edge crossing.
Douglas Luiz: 5/10
A quiet performance from the Brazilian; he struggled to hold a competitive edge over the opposition midfield consisting of international teammate Allan. His tentative passing and inability to provide the defence sufficient cover demonstrated this was not his finest display
John McGinn: 7/10
On the eve of Scottish actor Martin Compston leading the final episode of Line Of Duty, his Scottish counterpart led the Aston Villa midfield, providing a physical presence that allowed his team to transition fluidly and gave the opposition defence a rough ride.
Ross Barkley: 8/10
The on loan Chelsea midfielder finally looked back to his best for the first time since his injury. Whilst official accounts on social media went dark to combat online abuse, Ross Barkley also stepped up to silence the haters, proving to be a dangerous attacking outlet against his former club. He linked up play well and could have scored a fabulous long range effort but for the post coming to Everton’s rescue.
Anwar El Ghazi: 7/10
The Rotterdam Wonderkid snatched all three points in Merseyside dampening the opposition’s hopes of Europe and lifting his team to the top half of the table. Apart from his match-winning effort, the Dutchman put on a relatively quiet display, but with two goals in two games, could we see December Anwar back whilst Grealish is still absent?
Bertrand Traoré: 7/10
The skilful winger showed his flair and precision in abundance. By now almost everyone has seen the clip of him leaving the opposition midfielder left for dead, before playing a delightful pass. Alas the move ending up hitting the woodwork. Villa fans were gutted as that could have been the goal of the season.
Ollie Watkins: 8/10
Villa frontman Ollie Watkins got his side off to a flying start as he dispossessed the Everton defence to score a cute finish past international teammate Jordan Pickford. His forward runs disarmed the opposition, and he could have had a hat trick before half time but for a smart save and an agonising miss. In addition, Southgate could not have missed how masterful his hold up play was during Villa’s win.
Jacob Ramsey (SUB): N/A
Keinan Davis (SUB): N/A