Everton recovered from their Merseyside derby thrashing by Liverpool to beat Aston Villa thanks to Kevin Mirallas's superb 25-yard free-kick.

It looked like the hosts would suffer consecutive defeats after Villa defended Leandro Bacuna's first-half goal, their only shot on target.

But substitute Steven Naismith broke Villa's resistance with a 16-yard shot.

And Mirallas's curling strike five minutes from time moved Everton up to fifth in the Premier League table.

Everton and Martinez record landmark win

  • Beating Aston Villa earned Everton their 300th Premier League win
  • It was also a 100th victory for Roberto Martinez in English football and his 50th in the Premier League

Prior to this result, Villa had only lost three times away all season and their 3-5-2 formation, along with some brave defending, made it look like they would pinch victory.

But Roberto Martinez's decision to push up Leon Osman in support of lone striker Mirallas and introduce Naismith in the second half proved the difference.

With Tottenham drawing at Hull, Everton leapfrogged the north London side, whom they face a week on Sunday, and moved a point behind their Merseyside rivals as they continue their chase for a place in next season's Champions League.

And the manner in which Martinez continued to push for victory, despite lacking top scorer Romelu Lukaku, suggests they will press their challengers for the rest of the season.

Villa were happy to yield possession for long periods and, once they scored against the run of play, looked intent on simply defending their lead.

However, once Naismith had scored after 74 minutes, Villa boss Paul Lambert did try to go for a winner.

His side missed a chance to pull further away from the relegation zone but they stay 10th in the Premier League and are five points above the drop zone.

The visitors were close to going behind early on when Aiden McGeady, making his first Premier League start since signing from Spartak Moscow, cut in from the right and hit the far post with a curling shot.

Mirallas a star player - Martinez

But for the rest of the first half, Everton failed to test Brad Guzan in the Villa goal, and Lambert's side easily absorbed the pressure before scoring from their first decent break.

Fabian Delph, who was impressive throughout, timed his tackle on Ross Barkley to perfection with Christian Benteke picking up the loose ball and feeding Bacuna, who nutmegged Tim Howard.

Everton, who lost 4-0 at Liverpool on Tuesday, improved after the break as Osman was shifted infield to support Mirallas. England international Osman had two good opportunities but did not trouble Guzan, while substitute Steven Pienaar shot straight at the American goalkeeper.

Villa excellent despite defeat - Lambert

By the hour mark, Villa barely ventured out of their own half although Benteke almost headed into his own net. It was arguably as close as Everton had come to scoring.

Martinez then opted to replace defender John Stones with Naismith, and the game changed as the Scot picked up Pienaar's clever pass and found the bottom corner from 16 yards.

It looked like the game would remain level, until Mirallas ensured Everton fans ended the week in a better mood.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez: "I think it's without the doubt the most satisfying win of the season. You come in on the back of a disappointing result and you want to get it right straight away. But in the first half we were too responsible, the players were thinking too much, and we were too concerned with the outcome rather than enjoying it.

"We hit the post and we concede a goal, so it becomes a real moment of adversity, but the way we reacted was an incredible example. After that test we are ready to finish the season as strong as we can."

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert: "We were excellent up until that first Everton goal, then for the second it's a world class free kick. You cannot do anything about that but I'm not so sure we deserved to lose the game.

"I'm not happy to lose but we had a really gruelling match on Wednesday night [against West Brom] and we had only two days to recover from it but if we keep that level of performance we will be all right."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Everton

  • 24 Howard
  • 26 Stones (Naismith - 70' )
  • 03 Baines Booked
  • 18 Barry
  • 06 Jagielka
  • 15 Distin
  • 07 McGeady (Hibbert - 87' )
  • 16 McCarthy
  • 11 Mirallas
  • 20 Barkley (Pienaar - 45' )
  • 21 Osman

Substitutes

  • 01 Robles
  • 02 Hibbert
  • 14 Naismith
  • 22 Pienaar
  • 23 Coleman
  • 27 Vellios
  • 29 Garbutt

Aston Villa

  • 01 Guzan
  • 07 Bacuna
  • 23 Bertrand
  • 06 Clark
  • 02 Baker
  • 04 Vlaar (Albrighton - 80' )
  • 10 Weimann (Tonev - 87' )
  • 15 Westwood
  • 20 Benteke
  • 29 Holt (El Ahmadi - 61' )
  • 16 Delph

Substitutes

  • 08 El Ahmadi
  • 09 Helenius
  • 12 Albrighton
  • 13 Steer
  • 18 Sylla
  • 24 Tonev
  • 34 Lowton
Ref: Robert Madley
Att: 39,469

Match Stats

Shots

13 4

On target

6 1

Corners

13 1

Fouls

4 18

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Everton 2, Aston Villa 1.

90:00 +4:16 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Everton 2, Aston Villa 1.

90:00 +2:36

Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by Leon Osman.

90:00 +2:34

Attempt blocked. Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand.

90:00 +1:25

Leon Osman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +1:25

Dangerous play by Karim El Ahmadi (Aston Villa).

89:53

Phil Jagielka (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

89:53

Foul by Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa).

88:28

Attempt saved. Steven Naismith (Everton) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Pienaar with a cross.

88:07

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

87:58

Gareth Barry (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

87:58

Foul by Aleksandar Tonev (Aston Villa).

87:11

Steven Naismith (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:11

Foul by Nathan Baker (Aston Villa).

86:55 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Aleksandar Tonev replaces Andreas Weimann.

86:31 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Tony Hibbert replaces Aiden McGeady.

85:51 Booking

Booking Leighton Baines (Everton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

85:48

Foul by Leighton Baines (Everton).

85:48

Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:36 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Everton 2, Aston Villa 1. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

83:41

Kevin Mirallas (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

83:41

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

82:50

Attempt missed. Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

79:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Marc Albrighton replaces Ron Vlaar.

76:41

Sylvain Distin (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:41

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

75:13

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Karim El Ahmadi.

73:35 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Everton 1, Aston Villa 1. Steven Naismith (Everton) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Steven Pienaar with a through ball.

69:59

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Christian Benteke.

69:41 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Steven Naismith replaces John Stones.

68:45

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

68:45

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

67:46

Offside, Everton. Leighton Baines tries a through ball, but Kevin Mirallas is caught offside.

67:04

Foul by James McCarthy (Everton).

67:04

Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:27

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

66:27

Foul by Christian Benteke (Aston Villa).

65:51

Offside, Everton. Sylvain Distin tries a through ball, but Steven Pienaar is caught offside.

64:24

Attempt saved. Steven Pienaar (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner.

63:57

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.

63:16

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Fabian Delph.

61:54

Attempt saved. Leon Osman (Everton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by John Stones.

61:11

James McCarthy (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:11

Foul by Fabian Delph (Aston Villa).

60:14 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Aston Villa. Karim El Ahmadi replaces Grant Holt.

59:54

Foul by Kevin Mirallas (Everton).

59:54

Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:47

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:47

Foul by Grant Holt (Aston Villa).

57:51

Offside, Everton. Steven Pienaar tries a through ball, but Leighton Baines is caught offside.

57:31

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Nathan Baker.

57:06

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ron Vlaar.

57:03

Attempt blocked. Leon Osman (Everton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Pienaar.

56:34

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.

54:47

Attempt missed. Leon Osman (Everton) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.

50:43

Attempt blocked. James McCarthy (Everton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

50:21

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

48:37

Offside, Everton. James McCarthy tries a through ball, but Kevin Mirallas is caught offside.

45:00

Second Half begins Everton 0, Aston Villa 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Everton. Steven Pienaar replaces Ross Barkley.

45:00 +1:09 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Everton 0, Aston Villa 1.

44:21

Offside, Everton. Leon Osman tries a through ball, but Kevin Mirallas is caught offside.

39:32

John Stones (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:32

Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa).

37:58

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ciaran Clark.

36:29

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ron Vlaar.

34:16

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Ryan Bertrand.

34:15

Attempt blocked. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

33:15 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Everton 0, Aston Villa 1. Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Christian Benteke.

32:13

Offside, Everton. Gareth Barry tries a through ball, but Leighton Baines is caught offside.

31:34

Offside, Aston Villa. Nathan Baker tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

30:57

Offside, Aston Villa. Brad Guzan tries a through ball, but Christian Benteke is caught offside.

28:34

Attempt missed. Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

27:21

Offside, Everton. Leon Osman tries a through ball, but Kevin Mirallas is caught offside.

26:39

Attempt saved. Aiden McGeady (Everton) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ross Barkley.

22:54

Corner, Everton. Conceded by Leandro Bacuna.

22:10

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:10

Foul by Grant Holt (Aston Villa).

21:27

Offside, Everton. Ross Barkley tries a through ball, but Leighton Baines is caught offside.

20:05

Foul by John Stones (Everton).

20:05

Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

19:26

Kevin Mirallas (Everton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:26

Foul by Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa).

12:27

Ross Barkley (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

12:27

Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Aston Villa).

11:36

Attempt blocked. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Leon Osman.

9:08

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

9:08

Foul by Grant Holt (Aston Villa).

7:16

Offside, Aston Villa. Fabian Delph tries a through ball, but Ryan Bertrand is caught offside.

5:09

John Stones (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:09

Foul by Andreas Weimann (Aston Villa).

3:52

Leon Osman (Everton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

3:52

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

3:14

Offside, Everton. Sylvain Distin tries a through ball, but Aiden McGeady is caught offside.

2:54

Aiden McGeady (Everton) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the right side of the box following a corner.

2:07

Leighton Baines (Everton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

2:07

Foul by Leandro Bacuna (Aston Villa).

1:50

Attempt blocked. Ross Barkley (Everton) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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