Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish was involved for Aston Villa for the first time since 13 February

Everton’s hopes of finishing in the Premier League’s European places suffered a blow as they played out a goalless draw at Aston Villa.

In an uninspiring contest devoid of quality Tyrone Mings headed Villa’s best chance wide from Douglas Luiz’s cross.

Subdued for long periods of the first half, Everton improved after the break, with Ben Godfrey drawing a save from home goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick.

Andre Gomes wastefully lashed a left-footed effort over the bar as the visitors chased a winner but Martinez was rarely called upon, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late header his only other save of note.

The result leaves Carlo Ancelotti’s side eight points adrift of Chelsea in fourth, with West Ham, Liverpool and Tottenham all better placed to qualify for Europe.

Villa, who welcomed captain Jack Grealish back from injury as a second-half substitute, remain 11th in the table.

Everton’s missed opportunity

Everton arrived at Villa Park hoping to maintain their fine away record that accounted for 65% of their Premier League points this term.

And while there was the added incentive of gaining revenge against a Villa side that won at Goodison Park 12 days ago, they only showed sporadic flashes of attacking ambition.

Abdoulaye Doucoure, Richarlison, Michael Keane and Calvert-Lewin all failed to convert when presented with good chances, with Martinez producing an outstanding save to keep out the England forward’s header.

Four draws and defeat in their last seven matches points to a side that has always seemed to be chasing others above them without ever being able to apply any serious pressure.

While they again looked solid defensively – restricting the hosts to just two efforts on target – Ancelotti’s side will need to show more attacking ambition in their final three fixtures against Sheffield United, Wolves and Manchester City.

More to follow.

Player of the match

MartínezEmiliano Martínez

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number26Player nameMartínez

  2. Squad number10Player nameGrealish

  3. Squad number18Player nameTargett

  4. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  5. Squad number4Player nameKonsa

  6. Squad number41Player nameRamsey

  7. Squad number5Player nameMings

  8. Squad number2Player nameCash

  9. Squad number27Player nameAhmed El Mohamady

  10. Squad number21Player nameEl Ghazi

  11. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  12. Squad number39Player nameDavis

  13. Squad number15Player nameTraoré

  14. Squad number20Player nameBarkley

Everton

  1. Squad number22Player nameGodfrey

  2. Squad number9Player nameCalvert-Lewin

  3. Squad number12Player nameDigne

  4. Squad number23Player nameColeman

  5. Squad number10Player nameG Sigurdsson

  6. Squad number6Player nameAllan

  7. Squad number5Player nameKeane

  8. Squad number7Player nameRicharlison

  9. Squad number16Player nameDoucouré

  10. Squad number4Player nameHolgate

  11. Squad number1Player namePickford

  12. Squad number17Player nameIwobi

  13. Squad number21Player nameAndré Gomes

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 26Martínez
  • 2CashSubstituted forEl Mohamadyat 45+2′minutes
  • 4Konsa
  • 5Mings
  • 18Targett
  • 7McGinnBooked at 90mins
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 15TraoréBooked at 43minsSubstituted forGrealishat 72′minutes
  • 20BarkleySubstituted forRamseyat 65′minutes
  • 21El Ghazi
  • 39Davis

Substitutes

  • 9Wesley
  • 10Grealish
  • 12Steer
  • 19Nakamba
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 30Hause
  • 41Ramsey
  • 52Philogene-Bidace
  • 60Chukwuemeka

Everton

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Pickford
  • 4Holgate
  • 5Keane
  • 22Godfrey
  • 12Digne
  • 23ColemanSubstituted forIwobiat 75′minutes
  • 16Doucouré
  • 6Allan
  • 10G SigurdssonBooked at 55minsSubstituted forAndré Gomesat 67′minutes
  • 7Richarlison
  • 9Calvert-Lewin

Substitutes

  • 8Delph
  • 11King
  • 17Iwobi
  • 18Nkounkou
  • 20Bernard
  • 21André Gomes
  • 26Davies
  • 31Neves Virgínia
  • 33Olsen

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