Anway, you know it by now but the cross came over, Cahill flicked it on and Lescott acrobatically fired the equaliser we thought would never come - Goodison Park, Jolene Lescott, and in fact any place on the planet containing an Everton fan - went berserk. Villa players were on the floor, gutted and for us it felt more like a win than a draw.
But there was a final twist, and a cruel one at that. The ref added more time on for Everton's celebrations and when Tim Howard's goal kick was headed back into our half by Martin Laursen, we were left badly exposed. Arteta miscontrolled the ball and behind him, almost on the halfway line, was a badly inadequate backline of Lescott and Osman. We should have had more men back and been much, much tighter but it's easy to say that in hindsight.
Agbonlahor popped the ball through to Young and with pace to burn, he knocked it one side of Lescott and raced through on the other before calmly slotting past Tim Howard. To be fair it was a brilliant and quick counter attack from Villa but wew were in no way set up as we should have been to defend it.
It was an unbelievable end to the game and Phil Neville has since compared the dressing room afterwards to that of after the Fiorentina game. I certainly hope they don't go into depression for a couple of months like they did after that penalty shoot out defeat because otherwise we're going to be on a pretty bleak run for a bit. But that shouldn't be the case - there was a lot here to be optimistic about.
Arteta was the best midfielder on the park and looked brilliant in the middle of the park. I think I said the other week that he should never be moved from the wing but on this display - and indeed against Tottenham last week - he looks the part. With Pienaar alongside him in midfield, Osman playing well, and Fellaini causing allsorts of problems from crosses, we definately look dangerous and we passed the ball as well as we have all season.
Another plus was the performance of two goal Lescott. He was superb and looked more like his old self. He flew into tackles, went forward with purpose and looked very confident. He was skinned for the winning goal and we should have been defending deeper against such a quick Villa side but his overall performance offers a lot of encouragement.
The most glaring weakness though was our lack of a cover from the midfield. We desperately, desperately need another Lee Carsley. I really don't think their last goal would have happened if he'd been on the pitch. Nor would their opener.
We simply don't have somebody who can sit there in front of the back four and break things up. Bang it into row Z if needed. Villa's opener, after only 30 seconds, summed that up. Arteta won the ball back for us in our own half, but in doing so he turned into trouble and had the ball taken off him by Luke Young. Two touches later it was in the back of our net after James Milner teed the ball up for Steve Sidwell who hammered it home first time from 25 yards.
Once Arteta had lost it, there was nobody between Villa and our centre backs and it was all too easy.
Everton rallied though and for the rest of the first half it was all us. Cahill went close and Fellaini hit the bar, but finally, Arteta whipped in a cross of real quality, which as usual, hit the first man. Only this time, the first man was Osman and his flick on was steered home by an ecstatic Lescott.
Arteta by the way, also made a lot of tackles and deserves credit for the way he went about his role. He added some steel to the creativity and it made a big difference. Unfortunately though he could have done with a no nonsense type alongside him.
The second half was also encouraging for the Blues and it was completely against the run of play that Villa went back ahead. Phil Jagielka, easily our best player in the last twelve months, made an uncharacteristic error when he knocked a back pass towards Tim Howard without even looking and then watched in horror as Ashley Young latched onto it and finished easily.
But we persevered and fought hard to get into the game. The equaliser from Lescott was no more than we deserved, but in the end it wasn't to be. Encouraging signs then, but there are also some worries.
Victor Anichebe played well and worked hard but he went off injured so where does that leave us? Saha might be back for the City game but you wouldn't bet on him having an injury free run for us given his history. Otherwise, we have Jutkowitz, who's name I've probably spelt wrong, and who David Moyes doesn't think is ready yet given his decision to send on Leighton Baines at the end and move Jagielka up front.
Even Andy van der Meyde got on, which tells you all you need to know about our injury problems at the moment. With no money to spend in January, we somehow need to conjure up a striker and a defensive midfielder. Loan signings are the way we'll we do it, and it'll be hard to get them in but not impossible. Victor Obinna from Inter Milan almost joined us in the summer and he might be someone we move for again. And as for the midfielder, Lee Carsleys don't grow on trees but they also don't cost much money. There must be players of that ilk that we can get who can do a job for us in the short term.
Until then though, we'll have to go with what we've got and hope we can keep putting results together.
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