Everton could be on course to challenge top of the table

 

Aston Villa 1 Everton 3:LIKE JUST about every other manager in the Premier League, David Moyes and Paul Lambert will be making a case for strengthening their squads before the transfer window closes on Friday. On this evidence, both should be assured of a receptive audience.

For Moyes, the right addition could see Everton maintain a challenge at the top of the table. For 70 minutes his side cut Aston Villa to ribbons, their three-goal lead a ridiculously inadequate reflection of their superiority. The movement and passing of Nikica Jelavic, Steven Naismith, Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar was outstanding, as even the habitually cautious Moyes acknowledged, and having deservedly beaten Manchester United in their opening game, this was a performance of a sufficiently high standard to make their chances of threatening the top four merit serious debate.

There was no shortage of energy or purpose in the manner in which Moyes’s players went about their work. They should have been ahead before Pienaar’s fine curling opener and, if Shay Given was badly at fault in being beaten by Fellaini’s header, the Villa goalkeeper had no chance of keeping out Jelavic’s first-time shot shortly before half-time.

Everton were just as good after the break but inevitably eased off once Villa’s Ciaran Clark was sent off for a tug on Jelavic. Tim Howard should have kept out Karim El Ahmadi’s 25-yarder that gave the scoreline a spurious respectability. With Villa propping up the division, Lambert’s need to improve his squad is urgent. He said he would sit down with owner Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner and “see what happens from there”.

Guardian Service

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