Everton 4-0 Aston Villa

A blistering first-half display helped Everton defeat Aston Villa 4-0 on Retro Day.

With the Club celebrating the memorable sides of the 1980’s, the Blues put on a performance that would not have looked out of place alongside some of those from that era.

A Ross Barkley brace, coupled with the first of two from Romelu Lukaku saw Everton head into the break 3-0 up, and Lukaku quickly added a fourth soon after.

There were chances to add to the tally – substitute Kevin Mirallas gave a lively cameo when he was introduced – but by that time the damage was done and the points were Everton’s.

Martinez kept faith with the side that earned a hard-fought draw at West Ham United, with Brendan Galloway keeping is place after shaking a knock that curtailed his involvement with England Under-21s during the international break.

Everton controlled the opening quarter of an hour and created the game’s first opening. But when Seamus Coleman tried to wriggle past Kieran Richardson, before being denied by Brad Guzan, referee Michael Oliver saw enough to whistle for a foul.

Nevertheless, the Blues soon carved out a second chance soon after, and this time they scored. Guzan did well to palm away a Gerard Deulofeu effort but only into the path of Barkley, who side-footed into an empty net.

Everton were up and running, and piled forward in search of a second. Only an outstanding reaction save from Guzan denied Kone a certain goal after Deulofeu had ghosted past his marker and picked him out with a cross.


But the Blues would not be denied – that second duly arrived on 28 minutes. More good work from Deulofeu saw him feed Lukaku, his initial effort was blocked but when Coleman hung up a cross, the Belgian nodded it superbly into the far corner of the net.

With that, Lukaku became the fifth player to score 50 Premier League goals before his 23rd birthday, joining Wayne Rooney, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Cristiano Ronaldo as the only other players to achieve the feat.

Back on the pitch, a third Everton goal arrived just before the interval. Lukaku hooked a ball into box for Kone, Guzan tried to smother but when the ball wriggled loose, there was Barkley to tuck home his second of the afternoon.

Tim Howard – a spectator for much of the first half – had to be alert seconds after the interval, as he raced out to clear an under-hit back pass from Ramiro Funes Mori, with Jordan Veretout looking to capitalise.

But it wasn’t long before Everton were back in the scoring groove. John Stones found Deulofeu who played in Barkley, and after the midfielder placed the ball into into the path of Lukaku just like that it was 4-0 to the hosts with an hour played.

Villa did threaten on occasion, Jordan Ayew flicking a corner into the hands of Howard, before sending a tame shot straight at the American.

On 73 minutes, Deulofeu left the field to a standing ovation and his name chanted around Goodison Park, with Kevin Mirallas coming on. The applause continued as Barkley made his way, with Leon Osman replacing the two-goal midfielder.

Mirallas was at the heart of the Blues’ next assault, a flowing move that saw him spray a pass out wide to the right for Coleman, then flick the resulting cross into the path of Galloway. But when the youngster struck a well-hit volley, Mirallas unfortunately couldn’t get out the way and deflected it wide.

The Belgian then saw a free-kick tipped wide by Guzan.

On came Darron Gibson for the final 10 minutes to add fresh legs to midfield, before Mirallas went close with a superbly executed volley.

But by that time the three points were safely in Everton’s possession, who travel to Bournemouth next.