Fellaini's double frustrates careless Villa
LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Feb 2, 2013 (AFP) - Aston Villa blew a chance to boost their fight to avoid relegation as Everton came from two goals down to draw 3-3 thanks to Marouane Fellaini's double at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Paul Lambert's Villa were on course for just their fifth Premier League win of the season when they led 3-1 with 68 minutes gone.
Christian Benteke had given Villa the early lead and although Victor Anichebe equalised, it was the visitors who regained control through Gabriel Agbonlahor and Benteke.
But Belgium international Fellaini underlined his reputation as one of the division's most dangerous midfielders with a brace including the equaliser three minutes into stoppage-time.
It was a huge blow to second bottom Villa, who since their last league win at Liverpool seven weeks ago have now picked up just three points, and they lie six points from safety.
Villa made the perfect start in the second minute Benteke went past John Heitinga to slide a shot across Tim Howard from Charles N'Zogbia's pass.
Anichebe was again preferred up front to Nikica Jelavic and he repaid manager David Moyes' faith with a 21st minute equaliser.
Having held up Kevin Mirallas' pass by using his superior upper body strength, he then turned Ciaran Clark to fire a left-footed shot past Brad Guzan for his fifth goal in eight league starts.
Both sides looked weak defensively and Heitinga, who has not enjoyed the best of seasons, was again involved in Villa's second three minutes later.
A corner was only partially cleared and Ashley Westwood's right-wing cross saw Agbonlahor lose Heitinga and outjump Fellaini to head in at the far post.
Andreas Weimann exchanged passes with Matthew Lowton, allowing the right-back to curl in an inviting cross to which Benteke beat Heitinga to nod in at the near post in the 61st minute.
Yet Everton wouldn't surrender and Fellaini cut in from the left and again utilised Anichebe's strength to hold up the ball before taking the return pass to shoot past Guzan in the 69th minute.
David Moyes' side kept pressing for an equaliser and Fellaini got it with a header in the third of six added minutes.