Premier League
Aston VillaAston Villa2EvertonEverton0

Aston Villa 2-0 Everton: Wesley & Anwar El Ghazi on target for hosts

By Steve SutcliffeBBC Sport
Wesley joined Aston Villa from Bruges for £22m in the summer

Aston Villa collected their first Premier League points of the season as goals from Wesley and Anwar El Ghazi gave them victory over Everton.

Brazilian Wesley, who arrived from Club Bruges for a club record fee, opened his account in English football with a close-range effort from Jota's incisive pass.

El Ghazi sealed victory late on after collecting John McGinn's pass and sliding a shot underneath Jordan Pickford from six yards out.

The result lifts Dean Smith's side up to 11th in the table and gives Villa their first win in the top flight since February 2016.

Substitute Alex Iwobi went closest to scoring for Everton, driving a low effort against the right-hand post at 1-0.

However, it was a largely frustrating evening for Marco Silva's side with Theo Walcott also spurning a glorious 89th minute chance to equalise from a right-foot volley.

Everton toil at both ends

With four points from their opening two fixtures of the season, Everton's undefeated start to the campaign had been constructed on their collective solidity rather than attacking verve.

However, Villa's opening goal was a result of a breakdown in communication and a disregard of defensive duties.

Andre Gomes, who joined the Blues permanently from Barcelona in July, and Michael Keane were both culpable.

Caught out of position by Jack Grealish's quickly taken free-kick, the Portugal midfielder allowed Jota both the time and space to slide a pass through the Everton defence.

Keane's sluggish reaction then compounded matters, with the England defender allowing Wesley to run across him and put the ball past a helpless Pickford from seven yards.

While Silva's side were slick in possession, there was a noticeable absence of attacking threat to their play.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin wasted a glorious opportunity to equalise at 1-0, firing a shot straight at Villa's Belgian defender Bjorn Engels.

And while the second-half introduction of Moise Kean, Iwobi and Walcott provided more thrust and pace, the latter's late miss with the goal gaping summed up an evening in which they only managed a single shot on target.

Jota and McGinn excel for Villa

Successive defeats have delivered a tough period of acclimatisation for Aston Villa who returned to the top flight this summer after three years in the Championship.

With individual errors rather than poor performances depriving Villa of points, this fixture was a test of their nerve and concentration.

Repeatedly cut open in the early stages, Smith's side found discipline and shape before Jota was the catalyst for an upturn in their fortunes.

Exerting his influence from the right, the 28-year-old Spaniard's presence of mind and ability to retain possession halted Everton's dominance.

A delicious pass to Wesley brought the opening goal and three minutes later he again carved the visiting defence apart, sliding the ball behind Keane and Yerry Mina to create another opening for the Brazilian.

Not to be outdone his fellow midfielder McGinn produced a superbly weighted pass for El Ghazi's goal in added time.

Man of the match - Jota (Aston Villa)

Jota's pass success rate was 92% in the first half as he set the tone for Aston Villa

'It's difficult to see how we lost'- what they said

Everton boss Marco Silva, speaking to BBC Sport: "It is really difficult to see how we can lose this game when we create so many chances to score.

"We started well and controlled the game with some dangerous moments around their box. The first time they went in our box they scored.

"We spoke during the week that Villa like to play fast set-pieces and they did that and we switched off. In the first moment it was 1-0.

"It is concerning about the goals we didn't score and of course we should score more. Against Palace we created lots of chances to score and didn't and again today."

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith told BBC Sport: "I am more pleased to get the first points in the Premier League. Our performances have been OK, Tottenham was tough first up and we were good for an hour. We played well against Bournemouth and from the supporters there is a lot of optimism. They stuck right behind us. Everton started brighter but it was a good performance to get the win.

"We have had a bit of fortune, they have missed two big chances form inside the box and Theo Walcott shot over. I always felt we were a threat on the counter and we broke at pace. They play a higher line and we used that well."

Smith breaks Premier League duck - the stats

  • Aston Villa ended a run of 15 Premier League games without a win (W0 D1 L14). This was their first top-flight victory since beating Norwich City 2-0 in February 2016.
  • Everton suffered only their third Premier League defeat in their past 14 matches in the competition (W7 D4 L3).
  • Aston Villa manager Dean Smith enjoyed his first win against Premier League opposition - as a manager, Smith had lost all eight of his previous games against top-flight opponents across spells at Walsall, Brentford and Aston Villa.
  • Everton have lost back to back Premier League games against newly promoted opponents (also 2-0 v Fulham in April) for the first time since August 2011.
  • Jota has been involved in 21 goals in 32 league appearances under manager Smith across his spells at Brentford and Aston Villa (12 goals, nine assists).

What's next?

Aston Villa visit Crewe in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday (19:45 BST) and then go to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, 31 August (15:00).

Everton travel to Lincoln in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (19:45 BST) before resuming their Premier League duties at home to Wolves on Sunday, 1 September (14:00).


Aston Villa

  • 1Heaton
  • 24GuilbertBooked at 5mins
  • 22Engels
  • 40Mings
  • 3Taylor
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 23JotaSubstituted forEl Ghaziat 77'minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 10Grealish
  • 17TrézéguetBooked at 85minsSubstituted forEl Mohamadyat 86'minutes
  • 9Wesley


  • 8Lansbury
  • 12Steer
  • 14Hourihane
  • 15Konsa
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 39Davis


  • 1Pickford
  • 23ColemanBooked at 85mins
  • 5Keane
  • 13Mina
  • 12Digne
  • 18Schneiderlin
  • 21André GomesBooked at 80mins
  • 7RicharlisonSubstituted forWalcottat 78'minutes
  • 10G SigurdssonSubstituted forIwobiat 61'minutes
  • 20BernardSubstituted forKeanat 62'minutes
  • 9Calvert-LewinBooked at 52mins


  • 2Holgate
  • 11Walcott
  • 17Iwobi
  • 19Sidibé
  • 22Stekelenburg
  • 26Davies
  • 27Kean
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamEverton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 2, Everton 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 2, Everton 0.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Aston Villa 2, Everton 0. Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by John McGinn.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lucas Digne (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Ahmed El Mohamady tries a through ball, but Anwar El Ghazi is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton).

  7. Post update

    Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  9. Post update

    Delay in match because of an injury Frederic Guilbert (Aston Villa).

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Theo Walcott (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Moise Kean.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Aston Villa. Jack Grealish tries a through ball, but Anwar El Ghazi is caught offside.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Ahmed El Mohamady replaces Trézéguet.

  13. Booking

    Séamus Coleman (Everton) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Booking

    Trézéguet (Aston Villa) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Séamus Coleman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Trézéguet (Aston Villa).

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Anwar El Ghazi (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Wesley.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Moise Kean (Everton).

  19. Post update

    Frederic Guilbert (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Alex Iwobi (Everton) hits the right post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Michael Keane with a headed pass.


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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 23rd August 2019

As It Stood

3Man City21107254
4Man Utd21105144
8Sheff Utd21102114
11Aston Villa310245-13
15Crystal Palace201101-11
17West Ham201116-51
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