Everton vs. Aston Villa: Final score 3-3, Villa throw away 3-1 lead

Alex Livesey

Aston Villa are back up to their old tricks -- instead of getting blown out of the water, Paul Lambert's men are playing good football and then coughing up points late. That's what happened at Goodison Park, where they threw away a 3-1 lead to Marouane Fellaini and Everton.

Christian Benteke gave Aston Villa the perfect start, dashing past the static figure of John Heitenga and then ripping a low shot past Tim Howard to give the visitors a surprise second-minute lead. As it was Villa who'd scored, however, pretty much everyone was waiting for the natural order to reestablish itself. It seemed as though it had twenty minutes later, when Victor Anichebe turned Ciaran Clark and slotted home for the equaliser, but Villa came roaring back immediately thereafter to reestablish their lead.

Benteke came within a few feet of his brace when he was set free on the right and his shot was deflected into the side netting, but Villa would profit from the subsequent corner. The ball was only partially cleared and eventually came back to Ashley Westwood, who crossed in from the right for Gabby Agbonlahor. With both Heitenga and Fellaini marking him, the striker had no right to get on the end of it. Somehow, he did, and he made no mistake with his header.

The early stages of the second half didn't go much better for the hosts. Fellaini spent much of the first fifteen minutes limping around, Andreas Weimann nearly made it 3-1 when he blew past the Toffees offside trap only to blast high over Howard's goal, and then Benteke did make it 3-1 when Matthew Lowton found him isolated against Heitenga, allowing the big Belgian to head in off the far post.

Fellaini drew Everton back into the game after playing a superb one-two with Anichebe and firing past an unsighted Brad Guzan, and then, in six minutes of injury time, the inevitable occurred. The Toffees won a corner, and very large Belgian with hair to match rose above the crowd to turn three Villa points into one and rescue a draw for the hosts.

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