After two home wins on the bounce, Everton fell to a 2-0 loss this afternoon as Aston Villa ended Blues’ boss Sean Dyche’s 100% record at Goodison Park.
It was always likely to be too much to ask for three wins in a row, especially by a solitary goal again, and so it proved. I thought Villa would score today and they did.
This was a very winnable game against a Villa side struggling for form and confidence. It was in the end a classic case of a Toffees’ team that huffed and puffed and created chances but lacked the craft and ability to find the back of the net before being clinically punished for that failure.
Everton had enough opportunities to probably win the game, particularly in the first half, with Neal Maupay, Alex Iwobi and James Tarkowski having good chances, which they missed. The woodwork was hit and the ball cleared off the line.
Once again, the lack of firepower is hurting this team so much and undermining the good work being done by Dyche with other areas of the team.
If, as I suspect will happen, the Blues’ don’t manage to survive this season and are relegated, the basic fault will lie squarely with the owner, board and Director of Football.
They have failed to solve this goal-scoring problem in the last two transfer windows and have left their new manager with a flimsy and toothless attack, which is almost entirely dependent on a fragile and injury-prone centre-forward who has hardly played for nearly two years.
It is a truly disgraceful situation.
Even so, enough chances were created this afternoon really for the team to score with plenty of crosses put in and Everton should still have got at least one goal, somehow.
But, they didn’t and Villa rode out their luck before scoring twice to take the points and end their own three-game losing run.
Once Ollie Watkins had scored Villa’s opener from the spot after John McGinn was brought down in the box by Idrissa Gueye, it was effectively game over given the Blues’ chronic goal-scoring problems.
Everton couldn’t find an equaliser and then on the break, substitute Emiliano Buendia finished superbly to seal the victory for the visitors.
To be honest, the Toffees’ really shouldn’t have lost this match against a poor Villa team. Had they had a fit and in-form striker able to take one of the chances spurned this afternoon things might have turned out very different.
But, the reality is that’s a firsrt home defeat for Dyche and now he and the Blues’ face a trip to North London to take on league leaders Arsenal, where they never win.