Everton of England midfielder, Alex Iwobi could get only 76 minutes of action under his boots before he was replaced in his side’s astonishing defeat by vitiating Aston Villa, megasportsarena.com reports.
Despite gritty efforts from Iwobi and his pals at Goodison Park, Anwar El Ghazi’s 80th-minute strike dented Everton’s hopes of getting a ticket into European competition next season, as Villa secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory.
The Toffees’ coach, Carlo Ancelotti had selected an unchanged side for the hosts with Everton opting for continuity, but James Rodriguez pulled up with a calf strain in the warm-up and was replaced late by Iwobi.
Iwobi ended up with five points out of ten in what was the 205th top-flight clash between both sides, and the most played fixture in England’s top division – but the hosts looked unsettled by the late withdrawal of James Rodriguez in the opening stages after the Colombian sustained a calf injury in the warm-up.
Iwobi failed to score in a game that saw Ollie Watkins’ 13th Premier League goal of the season put Villa ahead after a mistake from Mason Holgate, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin restored parity when he met Lucas Digne’s corner.
Holgate looked to play out from the back, but his poor control was pounced upon by Watkins, who showed good strength and composure to steal possession and tuck his shot between the legs of Jordan Pickford.
In front of England’s national team coach, Gareth Southgate, Watkins came close to adding to Villa’s lead when he raced onto an Ezri Konsa long ball, brushing off Holgate again, but his shot from the angle was smothered by Pickford.
It would prove a costly miss as moments later, Everton were level. Calvert-Lewin escaped Nigerian-born midfielder, Ross Barkley at the far post to power his header from Digne’s corner over the line despite Tyrone Mings’ best efforts to keep it out.
Deam Smith’s visiting side were not done there in a frantic half as Barkley, on his return to Goodison, collected Traore’s pass and struck the base of the post with Pickford beaten.
Everton had ridden their luck, but they emerged the brighter side following the restart as Alex Iwobi and Allan were wayward with right-footed efforts in quick succession before Richarlison raced onto Pickford’s long ball only to drag his shot a yard wide of the post.
With the game meandering towards a draw, El Ghazi was afforded too much time to curl a shot into the far corner and clinch an eighth Premier League away win of the season for Dean Smith’s side.
The result means Iwobi’s side remain in eighth place – nine points off the UEFA Champions League places with five games remaining – while Villa rise to ninth.