Aston Villa thrash Everton to recover from opening-day Premier League mauling

Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured for Sean Dyche's team as they suffer 4-0 rout at Villa Park

Aston Villa's Leon Bailey scores their third goal in the Premier League game against Everton at Villa Park. AFP
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Aston Villa bounced back from their heavy opening-day Premier League defeat by cantering to a 4-0 home win against Everton.

Captain John McGinn and Douglas Luiz’s penalty gave Villa a 2-0 lead at the break and after second-half efforts from Leon Bailey and substitute John Duran, Unai Emery’s side put last week’s 5-1 loss at Newcastle behind them.

It was all too easy for Villa as they cashed in on some wayward Everton defending, which prompted half of their fans to leave Villa Park long before the final whistle.

Everton have lost their opening two games for the second successive season and their cause was not helped by the first-half withdrawal of the luckless Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The England striker, who scored only two goals last season after being dogged by injury, failed to recover from an early clash of heads with Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez and was eventually forced off in the 38th minute.

Villa were without key players Tyrone Mings, Emi Buendia (both knee) and Jacob Ramsey (foot) due to long-term injury, but midway through the first half they had established a comfortable lead.

McGinn fired them in front in the 18th minute, volleying home Bailey’s cutback after the latter had wriggled his way to the byline.

Villa doubled their lead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute after VAR ruled Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had taken out Ollie Watkins with a flailing arm.

Watkins’ had moments earlier seen his shot cleared off the goal-line, while Pickford, making his 250th Premier League appearance, was booked for delaying the spot-kick, which was coolly dispatched by Douglas Luiz.

England’s number one went some way to redeeming himself soon after when turning Moussa Diaby’s goal-bound volley on to a post.

Everton troubled Martinez for the only time before the interval when a low, angled shot from Calvert-Lewin’s replacement, summer signing Arnaut Danjuma, forced the Argentinian into a near-post save.

The visitors were forced into another change soon after the restart when Alex Iwobi hobbled off and was replaced by Neal Mapauy.

It got worse for Everton in the 51st minute when Villa put the result beyond doubt. Bailey pounced after Everton defender Michael Keane had miscontrolled a throw-in into the box and fired home a low shot under Pickford.

Watkins went close to adding a fourth when his angled effort rolled inches wide before Martinez superbly blocked Maupay’s close-range effort at the other end following a corner.

Keane was caught out again in the build-up to Villa’s fourth, miskicking from former Villa defender Ashley Young’s throw-in and Duran ran clear to bury his first goal for the club, less than a minute after stepping off the bench to replace Watkins.

Everton boss Sean Dyche, told the BBC: "We will study the game tomorrow with the players. It was a tough day in the sense they were better than us. Sometimes that happens. They had more edge to their performance.

"We started OK, really soft goals and that changed the feel of the stadium and the feel of our performance.

"Too many mistakes get punished but overall I won't make any excuses, they were far better than us today."

Updated: August 20, 2023, 3:51 PM