Villa held by Everton in scrappy goalless draw

Alex Moreno of Aston Villa scores their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Aston Villa at Goodison Park on January 14, 2024 in Liverpool, England.

Aston Villa missed the chance to move level on points with Premier League pace-setters Liverpool as they were forced to settle for a draw in a scrappy, low-quality encounter with Everton at Goodison Park.

In the first goalless draw in manager Unai Emery's 97 top-flight games with Arsenal and Villa, his side could not produce the decisive moment to enable them to overhaul Manchester City and move into second place.

Villa thought they had taken a first-half lead when Alex Moreno rifled a 25-yard finish past Everton keeper Jordan Pickford but the goal was ruled out for offside after a four-minute video assistant referee (VAR) check.

Everton had chances of their own before the break but the struggling Dominic Calvert-Lewin could not beat Emi Martinez after racing clear, the Villa keeper then producing a superb save from James Garner.

Villa pressed after the interval, with Jhon Duran coming close, but this very poor game eventually fizzled out into a draw.

Everton remain 17th, one point above the relegation zone.

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