Aston Villa – Everton: Villa Exploit Everton’s Dreadful Shape for First League Win of the Season (2-0)
Aston Villa secured their first points of the season in an intriguing Friday night football affair. Building rapid attacking transitions was the key to unlock Everton’s defense. Marco Silva’s team, once again, showed problems in their buildup, as they struggled to handle a relentless, fast-paced Villa.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
Not many football clubs in English football have as much history and longevity in the top flight, as both Aston Villa and Everton. It would be the 203rd time these two would meet, both teams opposing almost identical win-records against each other - 73 wins for Aston Villa, 76 for Everton.
After three seasons in the second division, Aston Villa’s long-awaited return to the Premier League has begun with two losses. With a huge influx of signings coming in, Dean Smith has the complicated task to gel £130 million-worth of talent, as echoes of Fulham begin to ring. Smith made just two changes to his Villa team, starting in the 4-1-4-1 formation. Fred Guilbert came in at right back and Jota Peleteiro started as a left winger.
Everton’s slow start to the season could see them top the table for 24 hours at least. Despite being the only team not to concede, the shape on the ball has left Everton with little options to progress the ball forward. Lucas Digne managed to retain his position, even after going off last weekend with an injury scare. Morgan Schneiderlin returned to the midfield, whilst Dominic Calvert-Lewin retained his position upfront.
Everton’s recurrent problems with shape
After scrappy opening minutes to the game, it was unsurprising that . . .