From Jeers to Cheers: The Calvert-Lewin Resurgence
In the picturesque setting of Villa Park, Dominic Calvert-Lewin danced past the spectres of past criticisms. Memories of the harrowing 4-0 loss in August faded as the English forward confidently dispatched his side’s second goal, adding to his weekend tally at Brentford.
Villa’s Fortress Breached
The air at Villa Park was thick with anticipation. Aston Villa had been in roaring form, boasting a ten-game winning streak at their fortress. But the evening had other plans for the claret and blue army.
Everton’s earlier misadventures on this ground, where they were humbled by a dominant Villa performance, seemed a distant memory. Bouncing back from their inaugural Premier League victory of the season against Brentford, Sean Dyche’s boys arrived with a point to prove.
It was Robin Olsen’s misstep that first set the tone for the evening. The former Evertonian’s underwhelming kick saw James Garner, the former Manchester United maestro, clinically dispatch the ball into the net’s near corner.
Despite the Toffees’ dominance, Villa did have their moments. Youri Tielemans’ audacious effort from the edge sent a ripple across the roof of the net, while Jordan Pickford’s reflexes were tested by the lightning-quick Moussa Diaby. But it was the travelling 4,300 Everton fans who sang the loudest, their voices echoing around the ground, a testament to a team slowly finding its groove.
The magic moment arrived when Calvert-Lewin, having scored his inaugural season goal just days prior, latched onto a misjudged midfield pass. The result? A graceful dance past Olsen to double Everton’s lead.
While substitute Boubacar Kamara managed to pull one back for Villa, sparking a hint of a potential comeback, the night belonged to the boys in blue. Aston Villa’s fortress was breached, their five-match winning run against the Toffees brought to a grinding halt.
The Bigger Picture
It wasn’t just about progression in the Carabao Cup or the pulsating tie against Burnley that awaits. It was about character, resilience, and proving naysayers wrong. For Everton, it was redemption; for Aston Villa, a need to regroup and reassess.
By the Numbers:
Possession: Aston Villa 68% – 32% Everton
Shots: Aston Villa 11 – 13 Everton
On Target: Aston Villa 3 – 4 Everton
Corners: 4 – 4
Fouls: Aston Villa 10 – 14 Everton