May 24, 2024

Goalkeepers, Jordan Pickford and Emiliano Martinez helped substantially to Aston Villa head coach Unai Emery’s first goalless draw in 97 Premier League outings.

Villa’s inability to pass Manchester City and tie the leaders Liverpool on points was made worse by the point, but at least it put an end to a run of three straight league losses for Everton, who are just one point ahead of Luton in 18th place with a game remaining.

That was mostly because to Pickford, who produced excellent stops from Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey, and Martinez, who denied James Garner and Dominic Calvert-Lewin clean through on goal in short succession, At Goodison Park, the two goalkeepers were at the peak of their games, but the men spearheading each attack were not as good.

Read also at goodison park goalkeepers dominate as everton and aston villa draw blanks

Calvert-Lewin, who has not scored in 13 games, was substituted just after the hour mark after failing to break a run that began in October. He also failed to convert Everton’s best opportunity.

Though Watkins’s matchup with James Tarkowski was ultimately more interesting, Villa’s 15 attempts on goal were ultimately ineffective.

This was the pair’s 212th league match, a record in English domestic history, and as players repeatedly squared up to one another in the latter stages, that familiarity engendered some hatred.

Seamus Coleman, the captain of Everton, was playing in his 355th Premier League match, setting a new club record. While the £60,000 acquisition from Sligo in 2009 will have appreciated the clean sheet, there wasn’t much else to be happy about his historic performance.

Arnaut Danjuma horribly misplayed an early attempt from Jack Harrison’s cross, and although Abdoulaye Doucoure’s return after five games was a major factor, Villa appeared more productive in the last third.

Pickford’s knee stopped Watkins’ angled effort, and even though Alex Moreno beat the goalkeeper with a 20-yard strike, a long VAR review determined that Bailey—who played the final pass—was not onside during the build-up from a short corner.

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