Emi Martinez outstanding as Jack Grealish returns – Ashley Preece – fr

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Emi Martinez outstanding as Jack Grealish returns – Ashley Preece – fr



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Aston Villa played a goalless draw with Everton in a game that had a real end-of-season feel.
It was the second time in just 12 days that the two sides faced each other after the Premier League fixture list debacle after the January postponement.

As for the game itself, Villa finally welcomed star man Jack Grealish after his 12 games and 89 days away due to his shin injury.

The captain had the last 20 minutes and, seconds after arriving, showed what Villa was missing with a series of targeted dribbles over Everton’s backline.

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Villa, meanwhile, was indebted to Emi Martinez in the second half after the Argentine brilliantly saved from Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s face-to-face while, minutes later, he had stopped Ben Godfrey’s volley towards his first post. The South American also managed another whip to thwart Calvert-Lewin’s header in the 86th minute.

Villa’s offensive play was limited with Keinan Davis starting in place of suspended Ollie Watkins watching from the director’s box.

It was Davis’ first Premier League start since July last year and his rust was showing with the 23-year-old lacking in confidence.

The moment of the game, however, came after just 17 minutes when Tyrone Mings missed an all-time goalkeeper by six yards as he headed away from Douglas Luiz’s cross.

Villa, meanwhile, had a few pot shots from a distance with Anwar El Ghazi and Bertrand Traoré seeing the efforts fly high, wide and not very handsome in empty seats. Matt Targett came close with a free kick to the death as Jordan Pickford flipped before referee Martin Atkinson blasted full time.

In the end, it was a lackluster draw on a wet evening in B6 with Dean Smith’s side having just three games to play in the next 10 days before the season ends. Villa remains 11th and one point behind Leeds United in 10th.

Here’s how we rated the Villa players after their goalless draw with Everton

Initial training: 4-2-3-1

Emiliano Martinez: Martinez was alert to a series of tame efforts at his goal, his best save coming to deny Calvert-Lewin in a one-on-one that was deemed offside. The South American was also good at rushing to devour balls deep. Martinez resumed halting Godfrey’s effort at his nearby post with a clever, instinctive stop. His best save came when he denied Calvert-Lewin’s header as he brilliantly cleared the ball. Villa was indebted to the Argentinian once again as he tied Brad Friedel’s 2010 clean sheet record (15). Unbeatable. 9 *

Matty Cash: Showed some promise and to some extent was back at former Matty Cash after his disappointing performance against Manchester United. The right-back often stepped forward and considered launching counterattacks in Villa’s favor. His two memorable moments came after taking an elbow in the face after challenging for a cross while moments later he kicked Keinan Davis after a calamitous encounter. Cash was substituted on the stroke of half time after tightening his right hamstring. 6

Ezri Konsa: His first contribution was a high clearance in the sky from Aston after mis-timing a bouncing ball. Konsa, on the main, has defended well throughout the season helping Villa reach their 15 clean sheet record for the season. Mings made a lot of tackles here as Calvert-Lewin played against him. Konsa, on the contrary, was as cool as you want him to be and found it to be a snap, in truth. 8

Tyrone Mings: Missed an absolute goalkeeper of six meters. It was a loose header that should have nestled at the back of the net. Mings, however, defended well here once again and took no unnecessary risks. Calvert-Lewin stepped on his Achilles heel which saw Mings wince in pain, but he continued. Mings had the courage to slide Richarlison’s dangerous ball in the dying moments. Mings, who finished occasionally, left everything there for the burgundy and blue cause. 8

(Image: Getty Images)

Matt Targett: Targett has been playing so confidently lately – and has been the whole season in truth with his passes and tackles all on the money. The left-back always finds his man, no matter how difficult the angle. He won a big header past Smith on the sideline which drew a huge roar from the bench. Targett was in good health defensively and it didn’t take long for him to team up well with a player he missed, Grealish. Targett is so consistent. 8

John McGinn: McGinn delivered good value in the first half, flying 50/50 balls and winning his battles against Doucoure and Allan. McGinn was also too strong for Sigurdsson with the Scotsman determined to regain his form. McGinn went close with an effort, but Keane blocked well. The Scotsman continued to tune in and, although his pass became loose in the second half, he made sure to cover the ground to keep Everton from leaping forward. A disciplined display like those in front of him did not provide that spark. 7

(Image: PA)

Douglas Luiz: The Brazilian’s pace of work was there for everyone to see and he covered a lot of ground pushing past Davis at times while making sure Everton was under control as well. Douglas actually got a bit of criticism from Konsa who didn’t like him rushing high but, in truth, Douglas tried to push Villa forward to force the issue. I thought it was more like that of Douglas being in the right place at the right time in the second half. A decent show. 7

Bertrand Traore: Not too much for Bertrand here, apart from the odd whirlwind away from the opposition. Traore saw his first effort stalled when, overall, he was largely anonymous. He was replaced by Grealish with 20 to go. 5.5

Bertrand Traoré from Aston Villa (left) and Ben Godfrey from Everton

Ross Barkley: Started with a spring in his step on what was his last appearance at Villa Park knowing he couldn’t play against parent club Chelsea in the final game of the season. Barkley looked confident but, when Villa needed a little magic, he didn’t produce and was sometimes way too deep as Davis searched for someone to play with. It was another disappointing performance from Barkley that has been all too common this season. 5.5

Abdoulaye Doucoure d’Everton (left) and Ross Barkley of Aston Villa

Anwar El Ghazi: Worked hard for the cause after celebrating the end of Ramadan on Wednesday. The Dutchman showed early promise and looked to score another World Cup against Everton, but for sending his effort high and wide. I tried to find a form but Everton locked it in all honesty. Tireless but, like the match itself, lacked quality. 6

Keinan Davis: Watched Keinan closely for the first few minutes and kept the ball well whenever it was played to him. However, his rust was evident as he lacked confidence whenever he had time on the ball. What is clear is that Davis needs a series of games and, after his big luck in place of Watkins tonight, he will likely get this next season on a loan that looks likely. Nothing to shout about his great chance to shine. He got into the truth, but more is needed. 5.5

Keinan Davis (left) of Aston Villa and Allan of Everton fight for the ball

SUBSTITUTES

Ahmed Elmohamady on Cash, 45 minutes: Inserted at the rear right and inserted a few deliveries of depth marks. The Egyptian blocked the goal of Gomes’ attack well after Mings was skinned by Richarlison. He always does a job for you, Elmo says. 6,5

Jacob Ramsey pour Barkley, 65 minutes: Minutes after arriving, Ramsey responded well to a long ball all the way to Davis and stayed close before seeing his effort deflect off the crossbar. Showed a lot of purpose. 6,5

Jack Grealish for Traoré, 70 minutes: Back after what has been a LONG 89 days. Grealish received his captain’s armband from Mings and, after taking the ball, he took three players out of the game before dragging Targett for a cross. Showed real intent to spark a ball in El Ghazi. It’s so nice to see this 10 on his back running against the opposition. He had four yellow shirts attaching it to him at one point. Welcome back, Jack. 7

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish warm-up

Subs not used: Steer, Wesley, Nakamba, Hause, Philogene-Bidace, Chukwekeka.

OPPOSITION

Everton: Pickford; Coleman (Iwobi, 74), Holgate, Keane, Godfrey, Digne; Allan, Doucoure, Sigurdsson (André Gomes, 67 years old); Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Subs not used: Olsen, Virginie, Delph, King, Nkounkou, Bernard, T.Davies.

BUTS

Aston Villa: N / A

Everton: N / A

Arbitrator: Martin Atkinson

OR: Graham Scott

Next step for Villa: Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday May 16; Kick-off at 12 noon. Live on Sky Sports.

The commentary system on BirminghamLive has been given an overhaul and we want to get even closer to what you think by getting your comments and feedback on all of our stories, especially the Aston Villa debates. . Let us know how you rated the players by having your say in the comments section below.

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