Everton’s EPL top-4 hopes dented by losing to Villa 2-1

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Everton’s bid to qualify for the Champions League was dented by losing to Aston Villa 2-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday, a result that continued Carlo Ancelotti’s team’s woeful home record.

Anwar El Ghazi curled in an 80th-minute winner to seal Villa’s first victory at Goodison Park since 2008 and keep Everton nine points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

If Everton does miss out on the top four, its home form will be to blame. The team has won just one of its last 10 games at Goodison, losing to the likes of Fulham, Newcastle and now a Villa side with little to play for in the final weeks of the season.

Fifth place and a spot in the Europa League is still up for grabs, though. West Ham fills that place and is three points clear of Everton, with both teams having five games left.

With England coach Gareth Southgate in attendance, strikers Ollie Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin pressed their claims for inclusion in the country’s squad for the upcoming European Championship by both scoring in the first half.

Villa went ahead in the 13th through Watkins, who pounced on a fluffed back-pass by Mason Holgate to slot past Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for his 15th goal of the season.

Calvert-Lewin equalized six minutes later, heading in Lucas Digne’s inswinging corner to the back post.


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