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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Villa Park | 14th January 2012 15:00

Aston Villa v Everton

Everton's West Midlands super sub Victor Anichebe struck again to ensure the Blues got a share of the spoils at Aston Villa.

A fortnight on from his matchwinning cameo at West Brom Anichebe stroked home Landon Donovan's fine pass to equalise Darren Bent's opener.

A point was the least Everton deserved and there were encouraging signs as David Moyes handed Darron Gibson a debut.

Shane Duffy was tidy in defence on his first Premier League start and his compatriot Shay Given in the Villa goal produced a string of top drawer saves to boost his side.

Collins takes on SahaSaha clashes with Collins

Early on Tim Howard palmed away Stiliyan Petrov's fierce free-kick but then Everton assumed control of proceedings

Tim Cahill couldn't quite get a touch on Gibson's clever lofted ball and Louis Saha's glanced header from Leighton Baines' cross was well saved by Given shortly after.

Midway through the half the Aussie released Donovan down the right only for Saha to be prevented from reaching his cross by the attentions of Hutton. Moyes appealed on the touchline but unpopular whistler Mark Clattenburg said no.

Given was forced to repel a point blank header from his own defender Stephen Warnock as the ex-Liverpool man attempted a bizarre clearance but Everton couldn't breach the home goal.

New boy Darron Gibson is watched by Richard DunneNew boy Darron Gibson is watched by Richard Dunne

Villa improved before the break with Bent heading over and Gabriel Agbonlahor drawing a high quality save from Howard, the American atoning for a poor clearance which had created the chance.

Five minutes into the second period Given repelled Marouane Fellaini's powerful back post header with his shoulder

But Villa went ahead in the 56th minute when Bent turned the ball home after Stephen Ireland had recycled Marc Albrighton's cross with Everton's defence unable to clear.

Moyes' response was to throw on Anichebe for Royston Drenthe and switch Donovan to the opposite flank.

Royston Drenthe gets away from Stephen WarnockRoyston Drenthe gets away from Stephen Warnock

It paid dividends in the 69th minute when the American broke down the Everton left, surged infield and threaded the ball through for substitute Anichebe who slotted home in clinical fashion.

Anichebe's fine finish capped a perfectly-timed run but there were concerning scenes moments later when the scorer crumpled to the floor after racing to keep the ball in play.

Thankfully he was able to continue and Villa responded by bringing on their new signing Robbie Keane.

Gibson was withdrawn late on after a tidy and encouraging performance and Given was on hand again to deny Anichebe before time expired.



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