Substitute Theo Walcott scored an 87th-minute equaliser for Everton to nudge Aston Villa closer to relegation.
Ezri Konsa’s first Premier League goal looked to have earned struggling Villa a crucial win at Goodison Park, the former Brentford defender pouncing from close range after getting on the end of Conor Hourihane’s free-kick.
But Villa were denied a first away win since 1 January when Walcott headed the home side level despite Konsa’s attempted goal-line clearance.
Villa, who were seven points from safety before Sunday’s win over Crystal Palace, remain 19th in the table, three points behind 17th spot, with just two games of the league season left.
They face Arsenal at home next Tuesday before finishing the season at fellow strugglers West Ham on 26 July. Time running out for Villa
The aim for Dean Smith and his Villa players is to get to the final day of the season still in with a chance of staying up.
But despite taking four points from the last two games, time is running out for the West Midlands club. With West Ham hosting Watford on Friday, Villa will be four points from safety if the game between 16th and 17th ends in a draw at London Stadium.
Having seen his side take the lead in the 72nd minute with the game’s first attempt on target, Smith cut a dejected figure at the final whistle as his team failed to defend their advantage.
Villa limited their opponents to a handful of chances before a drab affair burst into life when Konsa struck after a lovely set-piece from Hourihane. However, Villa are the only side without an away clean sheet in the Premier League this season and they once again conceded as three points became one.
Important summer transfer window for Everton
Walcott’s second Premier League goal of the season failed to mask another unimpressive performance by Everton.
An unspectacular season which featured the sacking of Marco Silva, an FA Cup exit at the first hurdle and 11 defeats in 18 Premier League away games could yet end in Everton’s lowest league finish since 2003-04.
There were strong words from manager Carlo Ancelotti and captain Seamus Coleman following the 3-0 defeat at Wolves on Sunday, when the Toffees mustered just two shots on target.
Against struggling Villa they managed just one. Fortunately for them, it was enough to earn them a point.
With the squad lacking inspiration and leadership, Everton are facing another important summer transfer window after failing to secure a place in Europe.
Ancelotti’s side at least started this game with some intensity, Dominic Calvert-Lewin volleying over the bar in the first minute, while Bernard struck the top of the bar with a miscued cross.
Despite Walcott’s late equaliser, which extended his team’s unbeaten home league run to 11 matches, the Toffees look a tired mid-table side lacking ideas following a fourth successive game without a win.
Clean sheet problems – the stats
- Villa have conceded more Premier League goals in the final 15 minutes of action this season than any other side (17).
- Theo Walcott has been directly involved in 23 Premier League goals as a substitute (9 goals & 14 assists), the fourth-most in the competition’s history behind Kanu (29), Jermain Defoe (27) and Daniel Sturridge (24).
- Villa have managed just one victory in their last 14 Premier League games on the road (D4 L9), with a current winless run of seven (D3 L4).
- Since his league debut for Aston Villa in January 2017, Conor Hourihane has provided more assists in league competition (including play-offs) than any other Villa player (21).
Source – BBC News
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