Dean Smith credited a near-perfect team performance as he lauded his Aston Villa players for their desire and quality in the win over Everton. Anwar El Ghazi curled home a beauty with just 10 minutes on the clock left to win it while, in the first half, Ollie Watkins put Villa ahead before Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed home the equaliser. Villa climbed back into ninth with their first win at Goodison Park in 10 attempts and, speaking afterwards, Smith was full of praise for those in claret and blue shirts.

Dean Smith said: “What pleased me most was our attacking intent against a good team like Everton. Also the fact that when I look at the team I don’t think anybody was under a seven if I was giving marks out of 10. That makes for a really good team performance which is pleasing. It’s easy to say that you’ve got nothing to play for or that the players aren’t showing much desire. They showed that they have that desire today and showed. We’ve been inconsistent as you know over the last couple of months and we’ve lost an incredible talented player without Jack Grealish so we’ve had to find a different way to find that creative spark. The last few games has showed that we can do that. West Brom are in the bottom three, Everton are in the top eight. We’ve showed that in both games. We were certainly good on the transition today, our build-up was much better and it was a very entertaining game against two evenly-matched teams. We created the bigger chances in the first half.”

On Villa’s match-winner El Ghazi,

Dean Smith said of his winger: “He’s got that quality that we saw today. We just want more consistency from him, that type of brilliance he can create. He’s up to eight goals this season as well which just shows his goal-scoring form.”

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