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v Wolfsburg

Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Villa Park | 26th October 2013 15:00 | Attendance - 35154

Aston Villa v Everton

For the second match in a row a Roberto Martinez substitution won the game for Everton.

He introduced Leon Osman from the bench on the hour mark and the stalwart promptly set up the opening goal for Romelu Lukaku and then scored the second himself.

Lukaku's expertly taken goal meant he won the battle of the Belgian strikers with Christian Benteke who had earlier seen a penalty brilliantly saved by the outstanding Tim Howard.

This was the most played English top flight fixture and in recent years matches have often been thrilling.

And on this occasion the goalmouth incidents began inside a minute when an early burst and cross from the right by Kevin Mirallas cannoned off Lukaku's knee.

Lukaku GoalLukaku celebrates his goal

Then the striker versus goalkeeper battles really began in the seventh minute. After Seamus Coleman clumsily clipped Benteke in the box, the Villa
striker picked himself up to take the spot-kick only to see his powerful effort was superbly palmed over by  Howard.

Midway through the half Howard again denied Benteke with a perfectly executed save after the big forward had raced through at the end of a fine one-touch Villa move.

Andreas Weimann was the next to be thwarted, with the Blues' USA custodian this time using his legs to snuff out a one-on-one chance.

Howard wasn't the only American glovesman on form though and at the other end his international understudy Brad Guzan underlined his quality by saving Lukaku's powerful header 26 minutes in.

Ross Barkley's deflected drive hit the top of the bar then Lukaku toe-poked at Guzan following a barrelling run.

Howard Save PenUSA! Howard saves the penalty

His Belgian colleague Mirallas forced a last ditch block from Nathan Baker after a typical sprint from the right wing before half time but the scoreline remained 0-0.

There was a poignant moment at half-time when the whole stadium came together to pay tribute to James Greenop, the young Everton fan who tragically died earlier in the week.

Lukaku headed over at the start of the second half but then it was all Villa as Benteke and Fabian Delph had efforts deflected over and then wide.

Seeking to arrest that trend Martinez sent on Leon Osman and eight minutes later the veteran had teed up Lukaku for his goal.

The on-loan hit man steered home from the edge of the box after excellent build-up play also involving Leighton Baines.

Mirallas VillaMirallas sends over the cross

Seconds later Lukaku was in again and Everton shouted for handball as Ron Vlaar intervened but then Villa went back on the offensive.

Gabriel Agbonlahor side footed straight at Howard with 15 minutes left but then Everton showed admirable calmness and control as they enjoyed more possession than they had all game.

And it was rewarded with a second goal when a short corner routine saw Gareth Barry set up Osman to side foot home from almost the same spot as Lukaku.

Another sub, Steven Naismith was inches wide late on and the Blues comfortably resisted Villa's final 10 minute charge.



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