It was all smiles in the Toffees dugout as Everton defeated Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park to leapfrog the Birmingham outfit.

Nathalie Bjorn's penalty secured all three points for Brian Sorensen's side after an Anna Patten own goal was cancelled out by Rachel Daly's strike two minutes later.

Bjorn winner! (Photo by Catherine Ivill via Getty Images)
Bjorn winner! (Photo by Catherine Ivill via Getty Images)

Sorensen said: "It was a tough challenge. I think Villa are a really good team, excellent players. We knew that we needed to stick together and work hard, I think we did that, we kept them to minimum chances. Of course, it was scrappy at the end, but still they were not creating big chances. I am really happy for the win of course and the performance that we put behind it."

The result moves Everton up to eighth, with the valuable three points seeing Sorensen's side head into the upcoming international break in high spirits.

He added: "When we are in the lead we can rest a bit with the ball and today we saw we can do it off the ball if we work hard. Everybody wants a good start, but I think it was the good character and mentality that they scored so fast and then we still get back into the game. You could have said with the start to the season that we have had: “will they bottle it”, but they didn’t and they really stuck together so yeah, (I am) really proud of the team.

"It is about being clinical at both ends of the pitch and that is what we have been struggling with. I think we were really clinical today. Focus on performance and then results will come, we got a result today so that is good."

  • Italian absence

The Blues were without striker, Martina Piemonte and midfielder, Aurora Galli for the clash in the second city.

The former was suspended for three games after an off-the-ball incident in the stalemate with Bristol City. Her Italian compatriot was side-lined for Sunday's fixture after picking up a knock in training on Thursday.

On Piemonte's suspension, the Dane commented: "the photos we saw, that was fair. They made the right decision and Martina said sorry to the team because she let them down. It is football, it was a reaction, so she takes the penalty and she refocuses."

Regarding Galli's injury, he added: "It is a ligament (Injury) in her foot that got a little sprain/tear. She has flown back to Italy to get a reassessment of it but hopefully she should be ready for West Ham."

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