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Page last updated at 18:12 GMT, Sunday, 7 December 2008

Everton 2-3 Aston Villa

By Ian Hughes

Martin Laursen and Ashley Young
Young (r) scored 30 seconds from the end to give Aston Villa victory

Ashley Young scored an injury-time winner to shatter Everton, who had equalised only seconds earlier.

Steve Sidwell smashed in from 20 yards in the first minute but Joleon Lescott prodded home a deserved equaliser.

Marouane Fellaini had a header cleared off the line and hit the bar with another before Phil Jagielka's woeful backpass allowed Young to slot home.

Lescott scored with an acrobatic volley to bring Everton level again but Young snatched the points when he curled in.

It was a dramatic end to game that had started in equally thrilling fashion.

Villa went into the match on the back of two consecutive goalless draws in the league but it took only 31 seconds to ensure the run would not stretch to three games.

Interview - Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill

James Milner received the ball with his back to goal and laid it off to Sidwell, who smashed a ferocious, rising drive into the top corner from 20 yards.

But instead of inspiring Villa to take control of the game, the goal had the opposite effect of stinging Everton into action.

The hosts impressively set about the task of getting back into the game - led by Leon Osman and Fellaini.

Osman set up Tim Cahill for a first time volley that Brad Friedel beat away at the near post before Fellaini tested the American keeper with a header.

And when Everton deservedly equalised it was Osman who nodded Mikel Arteta's free-kick into the path of Lescott, who prodded the ball in from close range.

606: DEBATE
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Now dominating the game, Everton pressed for a second goal and they came close to getting it when Fellaini's looping header was cleared off the line by Carlos Cuellar.

Fellaini went even closer after the break when he thumped a header goalwards only to see Friedel somehow deflect it on to the bar.

But then Everton undid all their good work as a horrible lapse of concentration from Jagielka cost them dear.

The centre-back played a bind pass back to Tim Howard, straight into the path of Ashley Young, who raced on to the ball and clipped it into the corner of the net.

Having surrendered their advantage once in the game, Villa looked determined not to do it again as they defended with greater desire and spirit.

There was no longer the same zip about Everton's play and they were laboured in possession.

Interview - Everton boss David Moyes

And while Villa were happy to camp in their own half, they were finding it easy to keep Everton at bay.

They might even have caught Everton with a sucker punch when Young broke on the counter, but the winger lost control of the ball when he tried to cut inside Joseph Yobo.

Everton piled forward as the clock ticked down, but it seemed they were to be foiled.

But when Jagielka headed back into the box, Osman nodded the ball on and Lescott scored with a flying volley that appeared to have salvaged a draw.

Yet there was time for it all to change again, and it was Lescott who was turned inside out by Young and the Villa man curled in a shot to steal victory.


Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
"It was an amazing finish and I could not be more delighted.

"It is a phenomenal victory for us - and the manner in which we did it speaks volumes for the ability and spirit of the team.

"Ashley Young was absolutely world class. He is a magnificent footballer and he put his chances in the net superbly.

"We got a great start but Everton clawed their way into the game and then put us under enormous pressure. We were under the cosh for long periods.

"They got an equaliser and just when you thought the referee was going to blow the whistle, Young comes up with a world class finish to win the match. I am ecstatic."

Everton boss David Moyes:
"I thought it was the final whistle after our equaliser.

"I don't know how much the injury time went on but that's what happens. Their third goal, everybody thought the referee was going to blow for time.

"There were mistakes organisationally, there were mistakes - we got caught on the ball, maybe we should have kicked the ball longer and without taking any risks.

"That wasn't the reason we lost today. We played well today we had two off the line, one hit the bar. The players played well today."


Everton: Howard, Neville (Van der Meyde 84), Yobo, Jagielka, Lescott, Osman, Fellaini, Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Anichebe (Baines 86).
Subs Not Used: Nash, Castillo, Jutkiewicz, Gosling, Kissock.

Booked: Fellaini, Lescott.

Goals: Lescott 30, 90.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Laursen, Davies, Luke Young, Sidwell, Petrov, Barry, Milner, Agbonlahor, Ashley Young.
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Harewood, Delfouneso, Knight, Reo-Coker, Shorey, Gardner.

Booked: Luke Young.

Goals: Sidwell 1, Ashley Young 54, 90.

Att: 31,922

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).


BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Aston Villa's Ashley Young 8.44 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Premier League as it happened
07 Dec 08 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
07 Dec 08 |  Football


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