Aston Villa 0 - 2 Everton

Steven Pienaar was fit enough to start, Osman stepping down to the bench. Everton started brightly, Mirallas firing in a sharp cross for Lukaku that went off the defender but onlya goal kick awarded. Mirallas got forward again but twice fired the ball at his marker.

On Villa's first real attack, Benteke appeared to stumble but Coleman was adjudged to have caught his heel... penalty to Villa. But Tim Howard had no intention of letting this one in from the Belgian and he produced a superb one-handed save to push the well-stuck spot-kick around the post!

A horrible late challenge by Tonev on Baines went unpunished with a card but Baines curled in a nice free-kick that the keeper read well. The game became really competitive with Villa pressing Everton hard and marking tight, so Blues possession was not straight-forward by any means. Everton tried pushing through the middle until a ball out to Coleman drew a foul in a dangerous spot on the corner of the Villa area, but it was delivered by Baines straight to Guzan.

More attacking play ensued but the pace was too slow and it was overworked until possession was lost. Benteke seemed to be miles offside when he got behind the Everton defence for a pass from Tonev. The Big Belgian once again steadied and fired goalwards but Howard was again well matched and saved brilliantly. Vieman was then through in a similar position, miles offside when the ball was played to him, and again it needed some miraculous footwork from Howard to save the day.

A faster move down the right and a great ball whipped in for Lukaku saw Everton's Belgian striker head on target but Guzan this time made the save. A fantastic shot by Barkley was deflected off a villa foot and flew over Guzan to smack off the bar and over for a corner. Lukaku then tried to power his way goalward and got close with another strike that Gizan saved.

Mirallas in loads of space, tried to do it all himself, but his final shot was deflected out for a corner that was again played a little deep, Distin's header in was blocked by the crowd of defenders. Villa's corners were more dangerous, one right under the bar that Howard had to parry across goal.

More laboured buildups through the middle rather than fast play down the flanks ended in predictable turnovers or longer balls played forward, with Luna overstretching for one and being replaced by Clark just before half-time.

Better play after break saw Coleman and Mirallas linking up well on the flank but his cross led to a corner that was headed over by Lukaku. Barkley did well to fight off Villa defenders but he chose to shoot when pushed wide and was never going to score with his off-balance slice.

Villa responded with pressure from another deflected shot and corner dealt with well by Lukaku, but Everton were still looking less than composed at the back at times. A shot from Delf was deflected off Jagielka for another corner that Lukaku headed away. On the hour mark, Barkley was replaced by Osman.

Poor play by McCarthy? allowed Westwood to release Benteke but Jagielka was faster to the ball. McCarthy then went straight in on Westwood's ankle and picked up the first yellow of the game..., could have been a straight red, a very poor late challenge. Villa had been the stronger since the break, and had limited Everton's advances up the pitch.

Some much sharper passing down the left saw Osman pick out Lukaku with a gift of a setup and the Belgian did the business brilliantly to finally make the breakthrough, powering the ball superbly into the Villa net past a despairing dive from Guzan to send the tremendously vocal Everton contingent into rapturous appreciation.

Naismith came on and came close to scoring with a thoroughly demoralized Villa side and crowd well outsung by a the raucous travelling contingent, who had not seen too many wins on the road for the Blues. It was Ole football played in the yellow second kit, with Deulofeu coming on for an added time cameo as Everton wrapped up three excellent points to go third in the table — a massive boost for Roberto Martinez as he continues to produce some splendid results for Everton.

Scorers: Lukaku (68'), Osman (81')
Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Westwood, Weimann, Luna (43' Clark), Delph, Agbonlahor, Benteke, Tonev (77' Helenius).
Subs not Used: El Ahmadi, Steer, Sylla, Kozák. Lowton.

Everton: Howard Y:87', Baines, Jagielka (c), Mirallas (90' Deulofeu), Distin, McCarthy Y:62', Lukaku, Barry , Barkley (60' Osman), Pienaar (80' Naismith), Coleman.
Subs not Used: Robles, Stones, Oviedo, Jelavic.

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Attendance:35,154

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Jim Bennings
956 Posted 26/10/2013 at 15:35:34
Pienaar doesnt look fit, game so fast with the pressing these are doing, they really want it bad, we can only hope they tire out in the second period because they seem to have a bit more energy than us at the minute
Jim Bennings
957 Posted 26/10/2013 at 15:38:32
Does anybody else think that having two out and out strikers, natural strikers makes life a whole lot harder for defenders?
We seem to be asking Lukaku to do the the work of two men whilst Benteke and Agbonlahor compliment eachother, resulting in our defence looking ragged.
I will be very pleased witha point here today, whether we get it who knows right now.
Steve Brown
958 Posted 26/10/2013 at 15:42:37
This could easily be 4-4 at half-time. Unbelievably open game.
Steven Telford
959 Posted 26/10/2013 at 15:40:31
Nerve raking game........ a tale of two keeps so far. they seem physically stronger than us, and they are very dangerous on the break.

Looked to be to be a very soft penalty.

I'd say, Barkley looks to be the man to turn this game in our favour. There is an air of excitement when he is in possession.

Jim Bennings
960 Posted 26/10/2013 at 16:14:17
This is all Villa, its performances like this I can see how they won 3-1 at Arsenal, they seem to be full of energy and have started the second half the way they finished the first. We haven't played at all today and to be honest I am close to conceding this game, if we get out of this with a point I would be bloody delighted.
Jim Bennings
961 Posted 26/10/2013 at 16:16:44
If Villa get the win today, we can't complain. We have to just say well done, they have been well better than us all over the pitch.

Sub Osman for Barkley, wasn't his day today, got swarmed under the pressure from Villa, surely though Osman is hardly going to be able to keep up with their raw energy?

Steve Brown
962 Posted 26/10/2013 at 16:24:22
Get in there!
Jim Bennings
963 Posted 26/10/2013 at 16:29:17
How are we winning this?

Let's see how much resolve our defence has now though, we know we never hold the lead.

Steve Brown
964 Posted 26/10/2013 at 16:41:27
Oh yes 2-0, Ossie has made all the difference.
Dermot O'Brien
965 Posted 26/10/2013 at 16:55:43
Haha, when I saw Ossie coming on I thought FFS.

Well done Leon, I love it when you sicken my hole.... YYEEESSSSS!!!!!!!!
Ross Edwards
966 Posted 26/10/2013 at 16:57:18
Fantastic subs and judgement by Roberto. He timed it perfectly, and Osman was fantastic for the two goals.

Typically, I missed the goals as Windows 8 was being its usual self: crap.

Up to 3rd place now. Yes, we should have been 3 down, but Howard played a blinder today, as did all the lads.

COYB, IMWT!!

Ross Edwards
967 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:00:31
El Classico to come next, can't wait for that.
Paul David
968 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:00:46
A really enjoyable game, a high tempo from start to finish from both sides.
Ian McDowell
969 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:06:17
That's how football should be played. Both teams going for the win.
Anto Byrne
970 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:02:17
Certainly Osman had a point to prove today, he looked a lot better in the middle and it will no doubt do his confidence a lot of good. Nice to have a tactically astute manager who will make the changes and not settle for a point as I would imagine would have been the case in not so recent times. I did enjoy the last 20 minutes keeping the ball and being patient.
Tommy Coleman
971 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:14:42
Great result. Defended well under pressure. Ozzie showing his experience with decision making. Barks will watch and learn.

Keep it going Toffees!

Gary Poole
972 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:16:06
Great performance in the second half and two top goals. Now we need Fulham to do us a favour and the results to go for us tomorrow. Saturday night feels good!!!!
Patrick Carty
973 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:13:38
Happy days, I can't wait for Match of the Day.

Credit to Ozzie, he has got a lot of abuse in recent months, I was calling for him to be dropped myself as I think his displays had not merited a start.

Delighted to keep the clean sheet too after our recent displays at the back.

David Donnellan
974 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:22:17
Great result!! we have got momentum now, bring on Spurs next week!

You nearly threw in the towel there, Jim.

Wayne Smyth
975 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:12:58
A difficult win against a very good side who played with a lot of energy and directness.

We had some superb goal-keeping to thank for keeping us in it, but the first 20 minutes of the second half aside, we always looked like we carried a threat.

I thought most of our players played very well, but Barry and McCarthy in particular looked superb. Pienaar still looks like he needs a few matches to get sharp. Barkley did ok, but is still learning. He'll only get better by playing in games, though.

The substitution of Osman was inspired. He no longer has the legs to play against quality opposition at the start of a match when they are fresh, but in the last 30 minutes when tiredness is starting to take its toll his experience and ability can really tell as it did with an assist and goal.

Most pleasing was how after the first goal was scored, we refused to sit back and defend the one goal lead, but instead continued to push for a second. The control of the game in the final 10 minutes was a joy to behold. Its how football should be played.

Chris Cumisky
977 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:27:11
Made up for Ozzie today after the stick he's got on here lately from the usual anoraks,
Mike Oates
978 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:23:53
Great result, but not particularly a good performance. Martinez excellent at making decisions which need to be made to win games. Game changed for us with Ossie introduction, i wonder if the Ossie bashers will keep quiet for a while.

Young Barkley looking a bit jaded, poor decision-making — Lukaku wouldn't have been given the goalscoring opportunity if Barkley had still been on, it was a wonderful pass from Ossie. Then he tops his day with another excellent created goal.

Steve Brown
979 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:32:51
Nev 976, Jim just had a bit of a wobble but never lost the faith really. He was posting away right through the game.
Phil Roberts
981 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:09:37
Think this just proves Abraham Lincoln was right when asked.

Everton players are brilliant some of the time and useless some of the time but none of them are brilliant all of the time and neither are they useless all of the time.

So how many of you think he should never take Barkley off and never bring Osman on? Or does this week prove that some players are not awful all the time. Time will come where his age will count against him, but until them, he does his job.

Tony Stanley
983 Posted 26/10/2013 at 17:49:05
The way we won that game really impressed me; that was the sign of a successful team.
Mark Tanton
985 Posted 26/10/2013 at 18:05:37
I actually thought it was a decent away performance, not a 'smash and grab' win. We tried to play football, we tried to move it around. Villa hit us early and quickly repeatedly with pace and direct balls; they did well but we deserved what we got. Great to see a manager turning 2 points (West Ham and today) into 6 points with the power of substitution and positivity.

Mirallas is getting back into form, though I still didn't think he was particlarly good today - just a little anonymous than the rest of the season thus far.

If we can remain unbeaten against Spurs and Those Who Must Not be Named then we are gonna have a good Crimbo.

Sean McNally
987 Posted 26/10/2013 at 18:09:50
Jim Bennings has suddenly gone quiet......
Paul Andrews
988 Posted 26/10/2013 at 18:17:22
Get in there!!
Paul Ferry
990 Posted 26/10/2013 at 18:15:34
Very happy with our snazzy gaffer today. Suffered through a poor '45 when we were second best, had a word at half-time, villa came out well but we gradually started to boss the game, perfect subs at the perfect time.

Shall we call it Plan-B? His selection did not do as well as we might have thought rubbing our hands with anticipatory glee on the forum pre-match. And then he changes things. So much for the few on here who call him a one-trick-pony.

There's a lot to be said for having a skillful player with good positional sense - Osman - turning into a final third of the game sub. He was terrific when he came on and a huge pat on the back for Gareth for that lovely pass for the 2nd goal.

That is the sign of a good team. Playing away, home team getting the better of things, but able to turn the match around and quite literally stifling Villa after that 1st goal and simply not letting them get back into it by? Not shoring up defence but pushing forwards for a second putting them on the back foot. Great stuff. The passing game was sublime in the last 15 mins. Coasting.

And what support today! Thanks to one and all!

(Can I mention that I loved the 'Moysey Moysey what's the score' ditty, a great roar with travelling blues singing along heartily with gusto).

There was a lovely sense of fellow-feeling and collective solidarity as the end of the game between gaffer, fans, and players. Players just clearly enjoying themselves and what they are achieving under Bobby with what he has brought to us and each and every fan lapping up every single second if it in joyous song.

Lovely. It's great to be a blue and to feel so good about what we do and are.

Bobby Martinez could turn out to be the most astute bit of business at the gaffer level for some time and I say 'could' as it is way too early to judge but on the basis of what we have had so far there is every reason in the world to be cheerful and little reason at all to be Entwhistle-glum.

Bobby-itis is infectious!

Kevin Tully
997 Posted 26/10/2013 at 18:30:42
Thought Villa put a hell of a lot of effort into that game - they were running like there was more than 3 points at stake today. I watched them against Spurs last week, and they only put about 60% into that game compared to today.

After listening to Osman say he was more or less guaranteed to start every week, it will clearly benefit him (or any player) to have some competition for starting places.

We were lucky to go in at half-time level, but how many times have we cursed our luck with deflected goals etc?

Even if it's just for a couple of hours, third in the League, and 18 points after 9 games is a wonderful start.

Massive game against Spurs next week, and a real test to gauge just what may be possible this season.

Sean McNally
004 Posted 26/10/2013 at 18:51:22
Some consensus about how we were lucky to go in level at HT...

I seem to remember hitting the bar, having a point blank Lukaku header saved and a Mirallas clear-cut chance blocked.
Jamie Crowley
007 Posted 26/10/2013 at 18:59:07
I had a kid's game at 9 am, another kid's game at 10:30, and two other sons refereeing at 11:00 am here in Florida.

Set the game up to record. Got home, not knowing the result... Yep, no recording. WTF?

Log into NBC Sports to see if I can watch the replay on line. The idiots at NBC put the results of every EPL game just above the spot where you click to watch. Thanks NBC. Jeez. Maybe move the scores away from the replay tab? I dunno, just an idea. Useless feature thanks to a shit web layout. Geniuses at NBC.

Will watch MotD and the Review Show but happy for the result, despite the dejection of not being able to watch.

Damn TV. Well done Everton.

Frustrated but happy... Walking Oxymoron. Or maybe just the later end of that word...

Paul Ferry
008 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:03:59
Sean Villa were the better team in the 1st half and did not put their glorious chances away and we as you say had some of our own, but were the much better team in the 2nd half - all credit to gaffer, players, and fans - and took our chances and won 2-0. Simple narrative really. Get in.
Paul Ferry
011 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:13:18
Hey Jamie can you watch replays on line if you have the NBC channels on TV - what's the link mate? I wish NBC would show replays of games - like Fox used to - on those 490s and 220 channels. Busy morning hope your boys in FA won.
Jamie Crowley
013 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:16:34
Paul -

You have to go online to watch the replays. It's on the WATCH LIVE link at NBC Sports. But again, you're gonna know the score before you watch as it's literally right in front of your face as you link to the game.

http://stream.nbcsports.com/liveextra/#replays

Bottom of the page. Click on "REPLAYS" and select Villa v Everton.

You have to log into your Directv account - username and password.

Just checked the page again and it's up without the score of the game in front of me. But it was there before... ruined watching of sorts knowing the result. But watching now.

To their credit it's phenomenal quality....

Jamie Crowley
016 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:25:27
OMG What a save on the PK by Howard! What a save that was!
Paul Ferry
017 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:29:41
cheers Jamie mate - hopefully your help will help others over here. But watch the replay JC,the way the game unfolded is real tribute to the gaffer, players, and fans.
Paul Ferry
018 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:31:45
HA you are watching it.
Jamie Crowley
020 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:33:34
Yes I am... btw for the Americans here - Howard pulls the Aaron Rodgers Championship Belt move after the save. Priceless.

God that was amazing.

Will watch the entirety Paul. Away fans seem fantastic.

Ray Robinson
021 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:37:57
Howard a hero, yes, Osman played a blinder when he came on but the real Man of the Match was Gareth Barry. Excellent throughout!
Paul Ferry
028 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:50:01
Not gonna cross swords Ray and after a shaky first quarter I thought that Barry played very well - the pass to Osman for the 2nd was the icing on the cake. But Mccarthy was my MOM today - well outfield as Howard deserves credit - and I would have a flutter on McCarthy ending up player of the season, the sort of hard-working get-on-with-it smart player who often nabs these things, although I would like to see a little more creativity, if you get a chance watch THAT quarter-final again and follow Mccarthy like a hawk and you will see what I mean.
Ray Robinson
029 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:59:56
Sorry Paul - could not bear to watch that Wigan game again for whatever reason. I agree that McCarthy had a very good game but thought Barry took the honours. Still, it's great for us when they're both playing well.
Nigel Gregson
030 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:01:45
Good Shout Paul Ferry and Ray. I thought the game turned a little after that nasty tackle that McCarthy put in the second half (and then conclusively turned once Ossie was introduced). Until then Villa were physically dominant and still looking good value. In the second half they started with about 65% possession.

Its such an amazing feeling to start your saturday thinking that we will come up with a new way to win today ! The Spurs game will be an absolute CRACKER !!!

Richard Farrington
032 Posted 26/10/2013 at 19:57:54
No mention of the second goal in the report. Though frankly - who gives a shit. Cracking times to be an Evertonian. Great support again from our fans - we are almost becoming an extra man. We did just about enough today, Villa are on a bad run and were a shade unlucky.

Only down side for me was Baines who didn't look arsed again for me and Seamus' distribution was poor at times.

Three cracking points - bring on Spurs.

Jamie Crowley
033 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:16:30
I'm not sure we played a bad first half. In fact, I just saw a very entertaining wide open half where Villa had 3 chances including a pen and we had 3 opportunities.

Not poor at all. Don't think we were outplayed in the least frankly.

Coulda been 3-3 at half FFS. But on the whole I thought it was evenly contested.

And America is definitely set at the keeper position. We need to find a striker on a military base in Germany...

Andy Crooks
038 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:23:23
Great result and a welcome clean sheet. It is nice to have a coach with a genuine plan B.
Paul Ferry
040 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:24:16
Spot on, Richard (#32), there is a sort of languid quality about Leighton these days, so different from days gone by. Seamus had a shocker in the 1st half, getting laced left, right, and centre, but picked up his game in the final third of the game – but then so did just about everyone else.
Colin Wainwright
044 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:46:19
Another 3 points, another inspired substitution. We were fuckin' good second half. Some of the passing football in the Villa half was exceptional. Howard great, McCarthy a fuckin' demon in the tackle, Osman turned the game. Good stuff blue boys.
Darren Hind
046 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:18:26
Couple of small gripes.

We were making life very difficult for ourselves in the first half, but we weren't helped by a prick of a linesman causing real uncertainty by simply refusing to put up the flag despite Villa players clearly being in offside positions — saw a couple of blues thrown out for screaming at him... and I thought I'd seen the back of every man back for a corner, but this was as bad as I've seen it; we were desperately slow getting out behind the clearances too, which allowed Villa to build up a head of steam early second half.

Really funny to see the introduction of Ossie now being viewed as a master stroke — especially when you consider the stick he took last week. He did play well and was one of half a dozen candidates for MotM. I spent last week slagging Jagielka, but he gets my vote for the way he snuffed out the threat from the big fella.

Biggest plus: The way we controlled things once we were ahead, we didn't go gungho but we completely took it away from Villa... the second goal was always going to come, such was our dominance of the ball.

The last few minutes were a joy: I haven't spent so long greeting every pass with an "Olé!!!" since ... Well... ever!

Jamie Crowley
047 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:53:43
Colin - He's defo a demon in a tackle. But I just saw a straight red in the 63rd. McCarthy was a lucky young man to not be sent off.
Mark Frere
048 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:56:27
Do my eyes deceive me Darren, there was actually a bit of positivity in your last 2 paragraphs.
Colin Wainwright
049 Posted 26/10/2013 at 20:56:18
I think I remember the tackle Jamie but thought, although a bit strong, he didn't go over the top of the ball. Bit of a dodgy link though so I may be wrong. Every good side needs a snarler in the middle of the park though.
Jamie Crowley
050 Posted 26/10/2013 at 21:17:00
Agreed Colin on the snarler point.

Just saw Osman's goal.

Did we have 10,000 fans there? Jesus the whole corner of the stadium was full of Evertonians. Fantastic.

Great game.

Darren Hind
053 Posted 26/10/2013 at 21:14:52
Its Saturday Mark of course I'm positive - I do my moaning Sun-Fri, then I support on Saturday ( or whatever day we play )

Good Bevy, good company, good match, fantastic result, amazing suport.

All the boxes ticked

Mark Frere
054 Posted 26/10/2013 at 21:28:47
Fair enough Darren. Take it you went to Villa park today?
Richard Farrington
055 Posted 26/10/2013 at 21:41:35
Cheers Paul. I really hope I'm wrong but Baines just isn't at it like he has been and think he is on his way down the East Lancs.

That said, the way things are right now - if he wants to go - take a good price and either replace him or look at Garbutt coming through. He whipped in a cracking corner that his team scored from last week-end - got to look onwards and upwards with the new regime and keep the feel good factor going.

One game at a time - if we can beat Spurs - who knows where we can go... Ya just never know with Everton.

Gerry Quinn
059 Posted 26/10/2013 at 22:02:08
With Gareth Barry - Played 5, Won 5 = 15/15 pts
Without Gareth Barry - Played 4, Drew 3, Lost 1 = 3/12 pts

Anyone else notice a pattern?

Richard Farrington
061 Posted 26/10/2013 at 22:07:18
Yes Gerry - he's mustard, my lad was giving me the same stats on the way back today. I tuned in to BBC WM while getting away from the ground and all the Villa fans were desperate to have him back and saying how they could really do with him right now. Says a lot about RM that we got him as well as Lukaku.

It will be interesting when we play the shite as always but the midfield battle could be very interesting this time. A half decent level headed ref would do for starters.

Chris James
063 Posted 26/10/2013 at 21:16:18
To be fair I think this is us getting a little rub of the green at last - we battered opponents in first 3 games without getting a deserved win, this one could easily have been a draw (maybe even 5-5!!) but we've come away with the points against a pretty good attacking outfit.

Obviously Martinez deserves a lot of credit for the subs, but I think the most gratifying thing for me is that the victory is largely down to of our most criticised, yet probably loyalists servants.

Howard, at times literally singlehandedly, kept us in the game in the first half, whilst Osman was the man who changed the attacking focus and obviously had a strong hand in both goals.

Huge congrats to both of them, I hope they can enjoy the praise they should be receiving this weekend.

Elsewhere, there's been no shortage of mentions about Barkley's decision making, but I'm not too worried about that and hope he's not chastised too much - creative players have to be given freedom to fuck up sometimes, if you could tell them precisely what to do they wouldn't be creative playmakers.
Pienaar looked a little off the pace (as you'd expect considering time out) and thus his and Baines penetration still isn't up to the levels it can be. By contrast I thought Mirallas was largely excellent, always offering himself as an outlet and breaking with pace.

Barry was assured again and McCarthy too seemed to be doing the job in winning the ball back, although it was noticeable we weren't controlling midfield and stifling the opponents in the way we have in some other matches (at least until the Osman change).

The concern for me however is how fragile we looked at the back, especially in the first half when Villa really should have put away at least one chance and I dread to think what Arsenal's attacking line or our neighbours' SAS could do to us.

Then again, it's not a night to be churlish. We're joint 3rd, just 4 points off the top after 25% of the season and seem to have developed the knack of scoring crucial goals. Looking forward to the more telling tests with optimism - bring on Spurs!

Paul Ferry
068 Posted 26/10/2013 at 22:55:09
Licking my lips about spuds next week already but already the nerves and jangling and palms sweaty, a more important game than the russians and the sheiks because of where it falls in our development.
Brian Waring
069 Posted 26/10/2013 at 22:53:50
Did anyone know that Barry is only 4 yellow cards away from being the player who has received the most yellow cards of all time in the prem? At the moment he is 3 behind Robbie Savage.
Albert Perkins
073 Posted 26/10/2013 at 22:20:08
Could have gone either way, but we seem to be winning these of late. Full backs didn't get into the game today, but we used some long balls to Mirralas to compensate.

Really like Barry, but he seemed to lose his man for the last two goals against.

Then there was the cast-iron handball pen and the studs into Baines.

We are getting used to playing well and tend to grumble when we win without bossing. Good place to be. COYB.

Also, the NBC online games have a replay for the goals and other interesting features during matchplay.

Christopher Kelly
076 Posted 26/10/2013 at 23:28:39
Barkley concerns me just a wee bit, but I know he'll come good. I trust RM with him completely. What a difference between him and Golum. I love Ross, but he's not the brightest bulb on the circuit. I hope has an idiot/savant sort of mind for football. Beckham has it. So does Tom Brady in the States. He may not be able to tell you what street he grew up on, but he can tell you what will happen in 2 passes from now.

I love the hybrid type Player that he is becoming! Power, finesse, speed. He's almost like a player from the future (not to be too dramatic) Perfect footballing physique and if only he didn't have that horrific injury, he'd be 2 years ahead of where he is now. I don't know too many players that share his qualities. Maybe Michael Ballack??

Christopher Kelly
077 Posted 26/10/2013 at 23:46:01
Type or paste your comment here. No txt-speak, please try to use proper grammar, all-lowercase posts are likely to be deleted
Christopher Kelly
079 Posted 26/10/2013 at 23:46:47
lol not sure how ^^ that happened but since I'm thinking about it. I wasn't overly moved by Mirallas' play today. His passes are not crisp enough. He's arguably our most important player (unofficially he did also get Lukaku here :). RM needs to spend a lot of time with Ross and Mirallas this week IMO.
Patrick Murphy
083 Posted 27/10/2013 at 00:19:26
The best thing about today apart from the obvious three points is the fact that we played as a team. That has undoubtedly been a core strength for a long time but we now have players who can be match-winners, yes Lukaku is an important part in that but all over the pitch we are showing we could be as good as many of the others.

I might be tempted to rest Barks next week and play two up front, perhaps playing Lukaku slightly deeper and Kone or Jellavic up front, a bit off the wall perhaps but I don't think that the Spurs defence has had much to do for most of this season and I would like us to have a real go at them, but not to be as open as we have been of late.

Keep it going Blues it's been very enjoyable so far.

Paul Ferry
084 Posted 27/10/2013 at 00:24:01
Cheers Jamie NBC have given us a great deal there - all games lives on HD-TV and we can watch all games on-line-hd replayed - nice one - thx for letting me know ....
Anthony Lewis
093 Posted 27/10/2013 at 01:21:55
Good win today and one of those games we should be winning.
I thought the first half was one of the most exciting games I've seen watching Everton for years. Very open and could easily have been 3-3 at half time. How much were we all crying out for this the last few years, a team that would just go for it instead of KITAP1 boring shite.
I thought second half we weathered a bit of pressure well, then snatched a goal that killed Villa. After that we were immense and probably could've got one or two more goals.
I have to say though, that McCarthy is some player. Not my MoM (Howard), but he was a very close second. He's looking a bargain for the 15mil we paid for him and in my eyes a better player than Fellaini.
He reminds me of a young Peter Reid. He's everywhere on the pitch, in the faces of the opposition, winning the ball, covering the gaps. And like Reidy, he can play a bit too, very rarely loses the ball.
I have to say that this probably one of the best midfields (if not the best) I have seen at us since the 80's. McCarthy and Barry compliment each other perfectly, with the foil of Barkley (who I thought had a poor game today).
COYB's
Jamie Crowley
094 Posted 27/10/2013 at 01:16:33
YW Paul. It is nice to be able to watch / re-watch.

To Brian's point re Barry being 4 short of the all-time yellow card EPL King. I personally think Barry is an incredibly intelligent player. I've never worried once about him getting 2 yellows and getting tossed.

He plays very hard, will make some hard tackles, and occasionally those result in yellow cards. He also is smart enough to take the proverbial "professional foul".

But upon receiving a yellow he seems to adjust his game just enough to not be ineffective, but also not pick up that second yellow.

He's a very cerebral player IMO and it shows in the way he approaches the game. Fast becoming (if not already has become) an invaluable asset.

Si Cooper
099 Posted 27/10/2013 at 01:42:31
I would think the number of yellow cards Gareth Barry has accrued during his career is mitigated by the length of that career and the defensive / combative role he is expected to play

Knits our midfield together with his nous and experience, and will help McCarthy develop further both by example and giving him the freedom to use his attributes fully.

Steve Brown
110 Posted 27/10/2013 at 03:56:22
I personally liked the McCarthy tackles in the second half. If we can combine the talent, flair, possession and goals with a competitive edge, there is no stopping us. The centre halves also looked better in the second half with more midfield cover. Their distribution from the back was improved, although they were closed down less by Villa than Hull did.
Vinny Garstrokes
138 Posted 27/10/2013 at 09:03:46
Steve Brown (#110) – I personally liked the McCarthy tackles in the second half.

Steve – Can't understand that comment; I agree that he played well but to be frank I think he was lucky to be on the pitch and I am staggered that it wasn't a straight red card. Gareth Barry, an awesome performance. By the way in my 53 years on this earth, my first time at Villa Park – unbelievable. Definitely my best away experience.

Steve Brown
140 Posted 27/10/2013 at 09:14:20
Vinny, what I meant was that the best sides can play and mix it when they have to. My main concern about the team was that it has talent and flair but could be muscled out of games by a more physical spproach. With Barry and McCarthy in the team that is much less of a concern.

Plus also remember Tonev deliberately went through in Baines in the first half - studs straight into his knee.

Al Reddish
150 Posted 27/10/2013 at 09:57:48
Vinny, although it as a nasty tackle, we do need that 'orrible bastard' type in midfield if we are to win games. Reid, Keane, Souness and even Parkinson were all nasty in the tackle........and they were all trophy winners.
Jamie Barlow
151 Posted 27/10/2013 at 10:21:06
I don't think the McCarthy tackle was as bad as it looked. He knew he'd mis-timed it so bent his knee to lessen the impact. It would have been much worse if he'd have carried on through with a straight leg. Possibly a leg breaker. Just a mis-timed tackle that he tried to pull out of for me.
Brent Stephens
154 Posted 27/10/2013 at 10:47:12
Just watched it again and that looks a sending-off offence by McCarthy, IMO. Against us and that sort of tackle we'd be howling at for a red. Maybe not intentional but dangerous.
Nick Entwistle
156 Posted 27/10/2013 at 10:50:47
Yeah, saw MOTD and he flew in on the guys ankle. That and Barry's two tackles last time out isn't good going.

The tackle, or rather late studs up challenge on Baines's knee, was also a red.

Only saw the first half, but what a game! It was our strongest line-up with balance, guile, flair and skill, yet with a soft underbelly. But that makes it all the more exciting.

Spurs match will be an epic.

George McKane
158 Posted 27/10/2013 at 10:59:40
Interesting comments about Mc Cathy's tackle - - debated at length on MOTD by the lovely Reds - - shown a few times - - no mention whatsoever of the horrible knee high tackle by Tonev on Baines I think(not sure).

As with last week - - hours and repeats of Barry's nastiness yet earlier in the day Gerrard already on a Yellow put in a dreadful tackle at Newcastle (saw it in The Dark House just before our game with Hull) - - not mentioned on TV anywhere - - but it was "lovely' to see the referee putting a loving arm around Mr. Gerrard, after all he is the England Captain.

Of course the media being dominated by Reds has nothing to do with it.

I do not condone bad, dangerous tackles, hate them but if there is a rule then surely it is for everyone.

My same thoughts about penalties.

We Blues are fair but don't forget we are fighting a horrible media bias.

I thought we were great yesterday. Loved it.

Jamie Barlow
164 Posted 27/10/2013 at 11:33:58
It made me cringe on Motd last night when they were reading the league table. They mentioned the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th placed teams. Not one mention of the team in 4th.
Patrick Murphy
166 Posted 27/10/2013 at 11:41:49
We need a few players who can look after themselves and their team-mates. No team has been in the shake-up for trophies or European places without having players of that type. Of course there is a fine line to be drawn between good hard tackles and dangerous tackles. Barry and McCarthy have been fortunate in the last couple of games, doubtless many others at other clubs have been as fortunate as well, The BBC or its employees do have an agenda when it comes to Everton. How many bookings have we received that have not been deserved?

The nearer we get to playing the dark side the more the BBC or its employees will highlight our misdemeanours - I would bet that one or two of our more important players are ruled out of the derby game due to suspension.

Tony McNulty
167 Posted 27/10/2013 at 11:45:44
Jamie (164),

I wonder why the views expressed in the media seem to bother people so much.

Those on MotD last night were basically barking through their outsize wazoos. I couldn't care less what Mister Ed and the rest of them think of Everton.

I am reminded of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who once responded to a critic: "I was relieved to get your letter. It is only your approval which could in any way annoy me."

Mike Gwyer
352 Posted 27/10/2013 at 19:19:13

Tony 167.

Very true - but the problem is the posts prior to yours are also spot fucking on. MOTD has that fuckwit hansen belittling everything that he does not deem worthy of his beloved RS. MOTD will never show those dirty, moronic RS fucks putting the boot in - never. However, the media are sensing the imminent approach of the derby and are also aware of the fact that the blues are playing well - actually really fucking well.

I mean the footy web page, on BBC sport, may as well be called the "SAS show", it has more articles about that diving horse faced twat and his miserable as fuck side kick that you would think it was paid for by the RS. Then according to MOTD both McCarthy and Barry are leg braking, mother killing psycho's who are more than due a sending off (or two). FFS, we still have over two weeks to go, plenty of time for the national and local rags to begin their RS frenzy about horse face, Stevie G & that total self loving fuck Breeeeeeenda. Then a minor ditto about plucky plucky Everton and how they should be more than happy to take a deserved beating.

Tony McNulty
356 Posted 27/10/2013 at 20:07:04
Mike – interesting perspective.

Having thought about this a little more, there is probably one area where I guess adverse media coverage really does matter.

This is when the focus on the negative with regard to Everton (e.g. McCarthy's foul yesterday) could somehow later influence a referee's decisions. On reflection, last week MotD focused on Barry's OTT tackle, whilst completely ignoring a not dissimilar foul on Jags later in the same game (the latter was however shown on the Sky match choice).

I suppose I don't want to give those gargoyles the satisfaction of knowing that their opinions could conceivably matter. But maybe you are right; we should push back on this sort of shite.

Just as an aside, I have found the continuing media desire to support MUM (Manure Manager) and the Manure myth quite vomit-inducing.

Colin Glassar
358 Posted 27/10/2013 at 20:14:20
Lads, I gave up on the media years ago. If you look at TV pundits, 8 out 10 are former rs players.

The media has an agenda which is to preserve the status quo, ie, only the richest teams are worth mentioning and have a god-given right to win everything. Everton are an anomaly they would prefer to ignore as we, unlike Southampton, vVilla, Sunderland etc... don't have an owner(s) who could pretend to challenge their rich idols.

Everton is the only (consistently) top 6-7 team who run on fumes and they (journalists) can't get their heads around this (this is recognition of OFM as well) so they prefer to ignore us or look at us like some sort of scruffy gatecrashers.

Until we are bought by a billionaire then we will be continued to be looked down upon like some smelly travellers buying a semi-detached in Aigburth.

Mick Davies
402 Posted 27/10/2013 at 22:40:46
To all the maggot-brained keyboard heroes who can't wait to say "I told you so", can you please get things in perspective.

Osman came on late in the game which had been played at such a high pace, most of the players were running on empty. He managed to scuff (yes, watch it again) a pass from Baines which fell into the path of Lukaku.

And yes, he did score a decent goal with his weaker foot, but surely this must prove to you all that:

(A) he cant play in central midfield, where Barry and Jimmy Mac are doing such a great job, so he is better further up the field, where he can't do any harm; and

(B) he is not fit enough to play from the start.

Strangely enough, all the points a lot of us have been making since the start of the season

Scott Jones
591 Posted 28/10/2013 at 18:50:52
I'm loving what RM has done for this club so far...his philosophy of winning in style is what this club used to be about. Sadly we have been inflicted over the years with managers who based there tactics on set-piece and fitness attributes. We all remember the FA Cup Final v Chelsea, what a boring performance from us... typical Moyes tactics in big games: sit on a lead and hope for the best! BORING.

Martinez will always try and win games, no matter who we are playing, or how big their reputation. It will sometimes backfire horribly, but it will also work for us sometimes... How long as it been since a win at Old Trafford or Anfield? I am convinced we will win at one of these clubs in the near future!

Martinez is the best thing to happen to this club since Howard Kendall... hang on tight, guys – it's going to be a fun ride.

Darren Hind
622 Posted 28/10/2013 at 20:36:02
I think anybody who has played the game at any level would recognise how difficult the pass played by Ossie into Lukaku’s path was.

Ossie divides opinion and its easy to see why, both his supporters and his detractors are absolute right, on one hand he is a very talented player who has scored some fantastic goals for us, on the other, he is often brushed aside with worrying ease.

To describe his pass on Saturday as a lucky scuff is just plain churlish, most observers would have seen the angle from which the ball came to him and recognise that the only way to steer into Lukakus path was to scuff it... but make no mistake, this was not luck, it was a touch of individual brilliance and thankfully has been universally acclaimed as such.

Leon isn’t athletic enough to compete every week in the prem, Martinez will know this by now – most of us have always known it, but he can and often does, offer something none of our other players have. He was quite brilliant on saturday and not just for the goals.

Young Ross is due – and will get – a break, in the coming weeks, but I hope Martinez will resist the temptation to look to Ossie as a starter. Those oft spoke about "quick feet" are far more effective against tiring players who don’t have the energy to muscle him off it.

Brent Stephens
628 Posted 28/10/2013 at 21:44:35
Mick Davies #402 "maggot-brained keyboard hero".

Mick Davies
451 Posted 01/11/2013 at 23:41:15
Brent Stephens @628, plagiarist!!

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