Everton 2 Aston Villa 2: Leighton Baines pegs back Villa after Darren Bent double

02 April 2011 10:05
Gerard Houllier praised the spirit of his players after this controversial draw, but he is kidding nobody if he thinks Aston Villa's turbulent patch is over just yet.

The Frenchman's side, reportedly on the verge of mutiny in recent weeks, took only a point despite leading 2-1 late in the second half.

In a match that ended with both managers suggesting goalline technology is long overdue, Everton went ahead through Leon Osman before falling behind to two goals from Darren Bent.

No mistake: Leighton Baines levels matters from 12 yards

MATCH FACTSEVERTON (4-4-2): Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin (Vellios 80min), Baines; Coleman (Gueye 52), Neville, Heitinga, Osman; Beckford, Bilyaletdinov. Subs (not used): Mucha, Mustafi, McAleny, Forshaw, Nsiala. Booked: Heitinga, Jagielka, Osman.

ASTON VILLA (4-4-2): Friedel; Walker, Collins, Dunne, L Young; Downing, Makoun, Reo-Coker, A Young; Agbonlahor (Heskey 90), Bent. Subs (not used): Marshall, Pires, Albrighton, Delph, Petrov, Cuellar. Booked: Makoun, Walker.

REFEREE: M Jones (Cheshire).

His second was scored a few secondsafter Everton had been denied what looked a perfectly legitimate goal.Jermaine Beckford's shot crossed the line after hitting the undersideof the bar but the officials did not give it.

Late on, with a touch of poeticjustice, Everton were awarded a penalty after Phil Jagielka fell in thebox under a challenge from Jean Makoun. 'Soft' was Houllier's verdicton that decision and even counterpart David Moyes agreed it might nothave been given. It was the first penalty Everton have been awarded allseason in the league.

This stalemate leaves Villa unbeaten in 10 league meetings against Everton still only two points above the relegation zone.

With seven games remaining,including away matches at fellow scrappers West Ham and West Bromwichand their last two fixtures against Arsenal and Liverpool, Houllier'sside will not be able to relax.

'We just have to rely on ourselves and go for it,' he said.

Level pegging: Darren Bent (centre right) scores Villa's equaliser

Moyes is enduring an injury crisisthat he says is 'like nothing I've ever experienced'. Mikel Arteta, TimCahill, Jack Rodwell and Marouane Fellaini were just four of theabsentees yesterday. As a result, the Everton bench featured sevenplayers without a single Premier League appearance between them.

'For the team we had out there, I thought we did very well,' said Moyes.

Houllier said afterwards that hespent half-time impressing on his players that they needed to worktogether to succeed a loaded message in a week of so many murmurs ofdissent in the dressing room. They responded with Bent steering theball home from Stewart Downing's cross.

After Beckford's shot was not givenas a goal, Moyes said: 'It's a hard call for the ref and the linesmanbut I thought at least they'd pick up [that it was a goal] from theangle of the bounce out of goal. It was a double whammy, not gettingthat goal then being behind within seconds.'

Battle royale: Everton's Leon Osman is challenged by Villa's Nigel Reo-Coker

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 Explore more:People: Phil Jagielka, Darren Bent, Leon Osman, Gerard Houllier, David Moyes, Ashley Young, Tim Cahill, Stewart Downing, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Luke Young, Louis Saha, Richard Dunne Places: Leeds, United Kingdom

Source: Daily_Mail