Ehiogu underlines Villa's superiority

Football: Everton 0 Aston Villa 1

There were optimistic noises about Aston Villa before the season started and they will not diminish in the light of this result. Wins at Goodison Park are not trifles these days.

It was secured by a second-half goal from Ugo Ehiogu against opponents who had been unbeaten hitherto and who also fancy their chances of a serious tilt at honours. Everton, who hit a post and had another effort cleared off the line, will feel aggrieved but such was Villa's quiet authority you suspect they will not be unique.

"It was close," Brian Little, the Villa manager, conceded. "More than one goal would have flattered us. But we've come to a hard place like this and won and a lot of teams will get nothing."

Everton's chance went in a first half in which Andrei Kanchelskis threatened to tear the visitors to pieces and somehow failed to deliver. The Russian winger was quick and elusive, but his final ball fell short of his strengths elsewhere and he was also guilty of missing two opportunities one on one with the Villa goalkeeper.

It may have dawned on the home side that it might be not their night as early as the 12th minute when the 5ft 4in Alan Wright climbed high enough to clear Gary Speed's header off the line. If spirits began to sink, they submerged just before the interval. Kanchelskis scorched past Wright and even when Michael Oakes saved at his feet the chance had not evaporated because the ball flew to Duncan Ferguson. The Scotland striker had an instant to react and, in the circumstances, did well to get anywhere near the target, but with the goal unguarded he hit the post.

The tide turned immediately after half-time, Dwight Yorke thumping a shot against the bar that hit the line and bounced clear. The reprieve was short-lived, however, as Ehiogu swept in Yorke's header in the 63rd minute.

"On the evidence of that they are the best team we've played," Joe Royle, the Everton manager, said. "They are very tight." He will not be the last to say that this season.

Everton (4-4-2): Southall; Barrett, Short, Unsworth, Hinchcliffe; Kanchelskis, Grant, Parkinson, Speed; Ferguson, Stuart (Rideout, 66). Substitutes not used: Limpar, Hottiger, Ebbrell, Gerrard (gk).

Aston Villa (3-5-2): Oakes; Ehiogu, Southgate, Staunton; Nelson (Scimeca, 89), Townsend, Curcic (Taylor, 76), Draper, Wright; Milosevic (Johnson, 85), Yorke. Substitutes not used: Bosnich (gk), McGrath.

Referee: M Bodenham (East Looe, Cornwall).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent