EPL: Manchester United and Aston Villa win against Everton and ...

27 Nov 2023

Alejandro Garnacho scored from an outrageous overhead kick to set up Manchester United’s 3-0 win at Everton in the Premier League on an afternoon of protests inside and outside Goodison Park and Aston Villa came from behind to win 2-1 at injury-hit Tottenham and move two points off the lead, but today will be remembered as the day Terry Venables died.

Tottenham - Figure 1
Photo New Zealand Herald

Venables was a charismatic and tactically innovative English football coach who led his national team to the European Championship semifinals in 1996 after winning trophies at club level with Barcelona and Tottenham.

His death was announced on Sunday (England time) in a statement by his family to British media, saying he died on Saturday after a long illness. He was 80.

EPL results: Manchester United vs Everton 3-0

Argentinan winger Alejandro Garnacho met a cross from the right by Diogo Dalot with a bicycle kick from 15m that flew into the top corner in the third minute. It had echoes of former United striker Wayne Rooney’s spectacular strike in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford in 2011.

“I can’t believe it,” Garnacho said. “One of the best goals I’ve scored and I’m very happy.”

Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho scores his side's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match against Everton. Photo / AP

Marcus Rashford converted a 56th-minute penalty after Anthony Martial was tripped, and Martial deftly chipped Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for the third goal in the 75th after being slipped in by Bruno Fernandes.

The match was played against a backdrop of protests by Everton supporters furious at what they perceived to be an over-the-top sanction — a record 10-point points deduction — for financial mismanagement, issued by a disciplinary commission last week.

This was the first game since that punishment. Everton fans marched in their thousands to the stadium, holding up pink cards featuring the word “corrupt” and the logo of the Premier League, and chanting, “We shall not be moved.”

The protests continued inside the stadium but were briefly muted by Garnacho’s goal.

“A goal like this has to silence the crowd — even this Everton crowd,” United captain Fernandes said.

It was a fifth win in United’s past six league games, moving Erik ten Hag’s team six points behind leader Arsenal after 13 games.

Everton created enough chances to get something from the game but couldn’t finish past United goalkeeper Andre Onana, whose best saves were against Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Idrissa Gana Gueye.

Everton stayed in next-to-last place and above Burnley only on goal difference. The team are now five points from safety.

EPL results: Aston Villa vs Tottenham 2-1

Villa’s Ollie Watkins found space at the heart of a makeshift Spurs defence to roll a shot into the bottom corner in the 61st minute, scoring his seventh league goal of the season and completing the turnaround by Villa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It was a third straight league loss for Tottenham, whose campaign is in danger of unravelling when not long ago the team managed by Ange Postecoglou were in first place. Joining a lengthy list of injuries and — in the case of Cristian Romero and Yves Bissouma — suspensions was Uruguay midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, who was making his first start after eight months out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and was forced off after a foul by Matty Cash.

Tottenham - Figure 2
Photo New Zealand Herald

Villa climbed to fourth place, tied on points with Liverpool in third and two points behind leader Arsenal after 13 games. Tottenham are two points behind Villa in fifth.

Giovani Lo Celso, playing as a replacement for injured playmaker James Maddison, lashed in a deflected shot from the edge of the area for the opening goal for Tottenham in the 22nd after Villa failed to clear a right-wing corner.

Watkins had a goal ruled out for offside almost immediately after the restart, Bentancur went off injured, and Villa then equalised in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time when Pau Torres headed in Douglas Luiz’s free kick.

Villa saw more of the ball in the second half and after Tottenham goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario tipped a shot from substitute Leon Bailey on to the post and away, the visitors took the lead when Watkins exchanged passes with Youri Tielemans and sent a low shot beyond Vicario from a central position.

Tottenham applied late pressure as goalkeeper Emi Martinez produced a double save to deny Brennan Johnson and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg before Son Heung-min had a goal disallowed for offside.

There was a minute’s applause ahead of the game and both sets of players wore black armbands as a tribute to Terry Venables.

Tributes for Terry Venables

Charming, witty and popular, Venables, who was born just outside London, played for Chelsea, Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace — all clubs in the capital — in a 16-year senior career that included two appearances for England in the mid-1960s.

Palace and QPR were the first teams “El Tel,” as he was nicknamed, managed before he moved to Barcelona for a spell from 1984-87 where he led the team to the Spanish league title in 1985 — their first since 1974. He also led Barca to the European Cup final in 1986, where they lost to Steaua Bucharest on penalties.

During his time at the Camp Nou, Venables oversaw the sale of Argentina great Diego Maradona to Napoli.

Terry Venables, nicknamed El Tel, was a charismatic and tactically innovative coach. Photo / AP

As Tottenham manager from 1987-91, he won the FA Cup in what proved to be his final season and then became chief executive before his relationship with then-chairman Alan Sugar gradually broke down and he was fired. Later in 1993, the BBC’s Panorama program alleged improper conduct connected with Venables’ businesses, to which he responded by threatening legal action.

Venables turned to international management and his proudest moment was coaching England from 1994-96, including at Euro 96 on home soil where a talented team — containing the mercurial Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer and playing in a “Christmas tree” formation — lost to Germany in a penalty shootout in the semifinals. England’s 4-1 win over the Netherlands in the group stage has gone down as one of the national team’s great performances.

“He was an unbelievable personality and character, larger than life,” former England right back Gary Neville wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “He was someone who was a players’ man, looked after his players, stood up for his players in big situations.”

Venables was hired by Australia in 1997 but failed to qualify the team for the 1998 World Cup after losing in a playoff to Iran. He still left a legacy on Australian football despite his short time in charge, said Tottenham’s Australian coach, Ange Postecoglou.

“The biggest testament,” Postecoglou said, “is that anyone who I have ever come across that has worked with him will say he is by far the best coach, manager and tactician they have come across.”

Venables’ final coaching spells were back in club football with Palace, Middlesbrough and Leeds, though he had a brief stint as assistant to England coach Steve McClaren in 2006 only to leave after the team failed to qualify for the European Championship.

Gareth Southgate, the current coach of England’s men’s team, described Venables as “tactically excellent” and “capable of handling everyone from the youngest player to the biggest star”.

“He was open-minded, forward-thinking, enjoyed life to the full and created a brilliant environment with England that allowed his players to flourish and have one of the most memorable tournaments in England history,” said Southgate, who missed a penalty for England in the 1996 shootout against Germany. “A brilliant man, who made people feel special, I’m very sad to hear of his passing.”

Tottenham held a minute’s applause before its game against Aston Villa on Sunday, with both sets of players wearing black armbands.

Gascoigne, who played under Venables at Tottenham and for England, wrote a brief message on social media.

“Such a sad day, cheers boss xxxx,” Gascoigne posted on X, with a picture of his former manager smiling and raising a teacup.

EPL ladder

(Team, points)

1. Arsenal 30

2. Man City 29

3. Liverpool 28

4. Aston Villa 28

5. Tottenham 26

6. Man United 24

7. Newcastle 23

8. Brighton 22

9. West Ham 20

10. Chelsea 16

11. Brentford 16

12. Wolves 15

13. Crystal Palace 15

14. Nottingham Forest 13

15. Fulham12

16. Bournemouth 12

17. Luton Town 9

18. Sheffield United 5

19. Everton 4

20. Burnley 4

– with AP

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