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Birmingham, United Kingdom – Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert suffered a nightmare home debut as his team went down 3-1 against Everton at Villa Park on Saturday.
Goals from Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic made it a 100 percent start to the season for Everton, while Villa, who played most of the second-half with 10 men after Ciaran Clark's red card, have lost both games under former Norwich boss Lambert.
The Villa fans applauded their new manager as he made his way to the dugout but Everton were in no mood to make Lambert feel at home and stunned the hosts with a superb goal after just three minutes.
South Africa midfielder Pienaar received the ball from Fellaini's pass before cutting inside and firing an unstoppable curling shot past Shay Given into the top corner of the goal.
The visitors came close to doubling their advantage on 16 minutes when Jelavic rose to meet Leighton Baines' inswinging corner, but his header went over the crossbar.
Everton continued to pile on the pressure and Given was relieved in the 21st minute when Darron Gibson's long-range shot fizzed wide of the target.
The inevitable second goal finally arrived on the half-hour mark thanks to in-form Fellaini.
The Belgian midfielder, who scored against Manchester United on Monday, strode onto a right-wing cross, but Given should have done better with his header.
The match was almost over as a contest before half-time when Jelavic made it 3-0.
The former Rangers striker anticipated another dangerous centre from Baines and finished expertly on the turn past Given.
Any slim hopes Lambert had of inspiring his team to a stirring second-half comeback were extinguished when defender Clark was sent off for hauling down Jelavic as he ran through on goal.
Everton defender Sylvain Distin almost added insult to injury on 63 minutes but his header thumped against the crossbar.
Moroccan midfielder Karim El Ahmadi earned Villa a consolation with a 25-yard strike, and although Andreas Weimann later hit the post, Everton held out to claim their first win at Villa Park for seven years. – Sapa-AFP