Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith is delighted with the progress forward Ollie Watkins has made this season and considered his performance in the 2-1 win at Everton to be one of his best.
The newly crowned England international’s 15th club goal of the season was canceled by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 20th goal of the campaign in the first half.
But Anwar El Ghazi scored for the second game in a row with a brilliant curling effort 10 minutes from time as Villa won at Goodison Park for the first time since 2008.
“I thought he was good tonight and hard to deal with. That’s why we paid a lot of money,” Smith said of the decision to sign Watkins from Brentford this summer for £ 28million sterling.
“I knew what he was and what he was as a person and how he wanted to grow and get better. I thought he was exceptional tonight.
“He picked the defender (Mason Holgate) well to score his goal and I thought Jordan Pickford had found parity with some of the saves against him.
“I think his game has improved. I have always said he is one of the best pressing center-forward in the Premier League, which is really praise. He backs that up with goals.
“He’s a boy who fought a lot if he missed chances, but he’s recovering a lot faster now and that’s a sign of a really hungry and top young player.”
Ancelotti questions attitude after ‘deserved’ loss
The loss extended Everton’s dismal home run to eighth-place victory in the last 10 and put a huge dent in their hopes of getting within striking distance of fourth-place Chelsea with a game in hand.
It was another hugely frustrating night at Goodison for Everton, who need to iron out the mistakes of their last five Premier League games if they are to maintain any hope of securing a European spot for next season.
Carlo Ancelotti says he finds it hard to understand why the performance on the road cannot be reflected in Merseyside.
“We weren’t good enough,” said the Italian. “It was completely different from the last game we played against Arsenal with more focus, more spirit and more attitude. The start of the game was really bad and there were a lot of bad passes. had opportunities but we also conceded a lot and in the end we deserved to lose so it’s hard to say why we have this kind of home run.
“You might think we’re more comfortable and not that worried at home than when we’re away, but that’s the reality. We’re still in the fight. [to finish in the European places] not for what we did at home but for what we did, of course. It’s a completely different team with a completely different attitude. “
Only Sheffield United and Fulham have lost more home games in the Premier League than Everton, whose away record is only improved by Manchester City. Huge lack of concentration ultimately cost them against an Aston Villa side that looked better prepared.
With James Rodriguez injured in the warm-up, Everton lacked balance. Andre Gomes is in the process of getting back to his top form but wasted possession again as the hosts struggled to gain a foothold. Ancelotti arrived with a winning record of 60% as a manager, but he is discovering the scale of his task to transform Everton into a team worthy of his illustrious career.
Pressed on the impact of Rodriguez’s absence, Ancelotti added: “He had a little problem and was not comfortable playing. But I think he will play the next game. individual mistakes, but the team spirit and the team. -the work was not good enough. “
Everton travel to face West Ham on Sunday, live Super sunday; coverage starts on Sky Sports Premier League and Main event at 4 p.m. with kick-off at 4.30 p.m.
Aston Villa is home to Manchester United on the same day, live on Sky Sports; kick off at 2:05 p.m.