Aston Villa’s first three points of the new Premier League season came in a gritty battle against Everton at a muggy Villa Park on Saturday, thanks to goals from striker Danny Ings and substitute Emiliano Buendia.
Villa manager Steven Gerrard reinstated center-back Tyrone Mings to the starting lineup after a 2-0 opening weekend loss to Bournemouth, and the club responded with an energetic effort, defeating Everton, managed by Gerrard’s former England teammate Frank Lampard.
There was a noticeable lack of inventiveness until Ings scored the game’s first goal with the home team’s lone chance on target. The two players had a combined 59 career appearances and were praised for their attacking flair.
With Ollie Watkins having done well down the right, the 30-year-old snatched the ball away from his onrushing colleague Philippe Coutinho, cut inside onto his left foot, and blasted a drive past Jordan Pickford at the stroke of halftime.
Even though Everton stepped up the pace in the second half, they were unable to produce many clear-cut chances and ultimately fell 1-0 at home to Chelsea last weekend.
Villa won possession in the middle of the field, passed to Watkins, and Buendia finished off a breakaway with a tap-in 85 minutes into the game. However, the last minutes were tense due to an own goal by former Everton player Lucas Digne, set up by new visitor Amadou Onana.
As Everton pressed for an equalizer, home defender Mings produced a fantastic last-ditch tackle to prevent a goal by substitute Salomon Rondon.
Everton are a physical team, and they gave us a lot of trouble, so there were bound to be tense times,” Ings said to BT Sport. That’s how you hang in there, how you grind it out and sometimes win ugly.
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