Aston Villa 1-2 Everton: Dominic Calvert-Lewin looking sharp, says Sean Dyche

27 September 2023 0 By Total Football News

Dominic Calvert-Lewin celebrates scoring at Villa ParkWith two goals, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has equalled his entire tally from last season

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was booed off by his own supporters the last time he played at Villa Park – this time he was the hero.

Toffees supporters have had little to cheer about this season but were in fine voice in the Midlands, with Calvert-Lewin’s name echoing around the stadium at full-time.

“I am very pleased for him – he has been through a lot,” said Everton manager Sean Dyche. “It is not easy when you have been through that many ups and downs in the last couple of seasons.

“He got an unfortunate injury here last time, but his all-round performance was good today and tactically he was good too.

“He looks sharp and will get sharper, he will get more match fit. We still have to be a little careful with him, that is why he came off to get the fitness without breaking them.”

‘It killed him’ when Calvert-Lewin broke down

Calvert-Lewin has won 11 England caps but the last of those came in 2021 as a series of injuries stalled his career.

The 26-year-old managed to get fit in pre-season but lasted only 36 minutes against Villa last month, having to come off after a suffering a facial injury in a collision with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

As he was walking off the pitch in that 4-0 thrashing, Calvert-Lewin was jeered by his own fans and reacted by raising a sarcastic thumb in their direction.

But it was a very different story on Wednesday night.

Calvert-Lewin coolly rolled in Everton’s second goal following James Garner’s opener, and although Boubacar Kamara’s deflected effort made it a nervy finish, Everton edged through to a fourth-round home tie against Dyche’s former club Burnley.

At the end, he was slapping the hands of his team-mates and headed down the tunnel with chants of “ohhh Calvert-Lewin” ringing in his ears.

It was his second goal of the season, after scoring in the 3-1 win at Brentford on Saturday, and levelling his total from the entirety of the last campaign.

“Dominic has never been an injury-prone player,” former Everton winger Andros Townsend said on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.

“For Dominic it was not about pressure to come back and save Everton, it was for his own sake. He needed to get back fit.

“Every time he broke down injured it killed him because he is not a player who doesn’t care about football. He doesn’t lead a lifestyle he shouldn’t.

“He does everything he can to make sure he is the best he can be, in terms of nutrition, gym, physio – he invests so much money. Every time he does break down, it kills him.

“The last time, at the end of last season, he was in tears because every time he got going something else went.”

‘Beto seems to good business’

Calvert-Lewin seemed to be shouldering the burden of the whole football club at times in the past, but this looks to have been lifted by the arrival of striker Beto.

The two can now interchange with each other from the bench, with Calvert-Lewin afforded a rest after being replaced by the Portuguese forward on 72 minutes.

At the weekend, Calvert-Lewin came on for the industrious Beto to score Everton’s third goal in their 3-1 win over the Bees.

Former Premier League striker Chris Sutton said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “Beto seems to be a really good piece of business. As an Everton fan, now you have a more than solid replacement for Calvert-Lewin and maybe they could play together.

“Calvert-Lewin just hasn’t been able to string enough games together. He was key at the end of last season and carried a real attacking threat.

“Look at what Beto did at Udinese and his goals-to-game ratio was good – he is a good leader of the line.”

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