Aston Villa held to draw at Everton, misses chance to go level with Liverpool
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Aston Villa missed a chance to go level on points with Premier League leader Liverpool by drawing 0-0 at Everton in a lackluster match on Sunday.
Emiliano Martinez, Villa’s Argentina goalkeeper, pulled off the best save when he spread his legs to deny Dominic Calvert-Lewin in a one-on-one chance just before halftime. Martinez got up and was soon diving to his left to tip aside a follow-up shot from James Garner.
Villa barely threatened at the other end until late on, though looked to have taken the lead in the 18th when Alex Moreno drilled home a shot from the edge of the area. After a long VAR check, the goal was ruled out for offside in the buildup.
In a dominant end to the match by Villa, Matty Cash’s goalbound shot was blocked near the line by a sprawling challenge from Jarrad Branthwaite and Jhon Durán later flicked a finish just wide.
Villa stayed in third place, level on points with Manchester City in second and two behind Liverpool, which doesn’t play until next weekend in a round of fixtures played over two weeks amid England’s short winter break.
Everton, hampered by a 10-point penalty at the end of last year for financial mismanagement, restored its one-point cushion above the bottom three.
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