Premier League – Young sinks Everton at death in thriller

Ashley Young grabbed his second of the game deep in injury time to give Aston Villa a 3-2 win over Everton in an amazing finale to the match at Goodison Park.

FOOTBALL Premier League Everton Aston Villa Young Laursen Agbonlahor - 0

Joleon Lescott thought he had won a point for Everton after netting his second of the game in the third minute of added time, but with the home fans still celebrating Villa broke to the other end and Young finished coolly to give the visitors all three points.

The game had started in a similarly dramatic manner, Steve Sidwell blasting Villa ahead with barely 30 seconds on the clock before Lescott brought Everton level for the first time with a close range finish on the half hour mark.

Young then capitalised on a terrible defensive error by Phil Jagielka to put Villa ahead for a second time on 54 minutes before the match was settled in thrilling fashion during an amazing finale.

The result sees Villa move up to fifth place while Everton, who were without their first choice attack line, remain in ninth.

Villa were handed the perfect start when Sidwell beat Tim Howard all ends up with a thunderous strike from James Milner‘s lay off. Clocked at a mere 31 seconds, it was the quickest Premier League goal of the season so far.

But Everton – roared on by the home crowd – responded well to the early setback and twice went close before Lescott eventually levelled things up after half an hour.

On 24 minutes, Tim Cahill ran onto Leon Osman‘s header through only to see his sweetly-struck first-time effort repelled by Brad Friedel and just moments later the big American denied Marouane Fellaini a headed goal.

Two minutes after that, the home crowd were brought to their feet in their appeals for a penalty, but referee Martin Atkinson ruled Milner’s challenge on Victor Anichebe in the box to have been a fair one.

That decision was soon forgotten as Lescott proved he still has his scoring instinct despite having previously netted just one league goal this season, sticking out a leg to prod home Mikel Arteta‘s free-kick, which had been flicked on by Osman.

The goal gave the hosts even more confidence and they surged forward in search of a second before the half-time whistle sounded. Fellaini nearly found one with another header on 41 minutes which Carlos Cuellar was forced to head off the line.

The Belgian proved a constant threat in the air and he again used his height to good effect soon after the restart. The summer signing from Standard Liege was only denied a close range header by Friedel’s trailing hand which diverted his effort onto the crossbar.

With the wind very much in Everton’s sails and with the home side backed by such a passionate and vocal crowd it was difficult to see how Villa would emerge with anything from the game.

Phil Jagielka provided the answer on 54 minutes. The Everton defender, usually so dependable, suffered a rush of blood to the head and made a terribly ill-judged back pass towards Howard that gifted Young the opportunity to fire Villa into the lead for a second time.

The Villa winger did not need a second invitation and he gratefully collected Jagielka’s pass before finishing coolly past a stunned Howard.

Again, Everton responded positively but another defensive misjudgement, again from Jagielka, nearly saw them come unstuck.

The stopper flew into a challenge only to see the ball rebound back in the path of Young, who was allowed to have another run in on goal. This time the starlet’s indecision in front of goal cost him and the chance went begging.

As time ran out, Everton threw everything they had at the Villa goal and they were rewarded when Lescott hooked a volley past Freidel in the 93rd minute to send the home crowd into raptures.

But the feel good factor was to last exactly 15 seconds, as Villa kicked-off and launched a late, late attack which culminated in Gabriel Agbonlahor prodding the ball through for Young to run on to, beat his man with an explosion of pace and fire low past Howard.

Mike Hytner / Eurosport

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