By Jack Cunningham

20th Sep, 2021 | 9:40pm

Goodison Tactics: Why did Everton lose 3-0 to Aston Villa

Saturday evening saw the first defeat of the Rafael Benitez era as Everton were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Aston Villa.

It was 0-0 at half-time, but after Matty Cash scored, the Toffees collapsed, and Villa ran riot in the end [Match of the Day].

However, what was to blame for the defeat? Did Benitez get something wrong, or were the goals more down to individual errors?

Well, before the game even started, the Toffees were slightly handicapped as they were without the likes of Richarlison, Jordan Pickford, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Three guaranteed starters, and while Salomon Rondon was handed his first start in an Everton shirt, he was provided with very little service.

However, the goal that Cash scored to open the scoring was definitely avoidable.

The ball through to Marvelous Nakamba is too easy for Axel Tuanzebe to play, and the Villa midfielder has so much time to play his pass.
The ball is worked out wide to the right and Danny Ings is in acres of space. Michael Keane has made a half-hearted attempt to press him. Doucoure and Allan are nowhere and the Brazilian should be on Ings’ toes. Digne’s body shape is slightly wrong, giving Cash a slight advantage.
Douglas Luiz has picked up a pocket of space in between the defence and the midfield and Doucoure has to be tighter. Keane is caught ball watching and Digne realises he is in trouble.

Digne is then beaten to the ball by Cash, who comes into the box on his left foot and thumps in a fine finish.

So, there are a lot of individual mistakes here, and the only thing you can really criticise Benitez for is that the team were perhaps caught between pressing and soaking up the pressure.

However, he can’t do anything about the individual errors that contribute to this goal.

The second goal was an own goal from Digne, and, once again, there are a few individual errors.

Leon Bailey sends his corner in and you can clearly see that Digne has jumped too early. The ball looks to be heading straight into the arms of Asmir Begovic as Ollie Watkins is behind him. However, the Bosnian doesn’t move.
Digne manages to get a glancing touch on the ball rather than the full contact required to divert the danger and Begovic lets the ball pass through his arms. Not one Villa player has barely moved.

So that was the second goal and you would have to say that Begovic and Digne are at fault here.

The third goal was a quick counter-attack by Dean Smith’s men, but again, there were some very avoidable errors.

This goal starts off with a long throw from inside Villa’s half.
Ings collects and pings a ball into an area. Ben Godfrey is way too far over and he isn’t even aware of Bailey. He has to be more central so that he has a chance of winning the foot race.
If Godfrey had been more central, he might have had a chance of catching Bailey, but the winger lashes his shot through Begovic and into the net.

This was a brutal second-half collapse from the Toffees, but it is very clear that every goal was avoidable.

There were individual errors in every goal, so we don’t really think you can blame Benitez for this one.

Hopefully, it will prove to be just a bad day at the office, and the Toffees return to winning ways on Tuesday and then against Norwich City at the weekend.

In other Everton news, Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on James Rodriguez.

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