Soccer-Everton Champions League hopes fade after Villa stalemate

Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v Everton - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - May 13, 2021 Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez and Tyrone Mings react after sustaining an injury Pool via REUTERS/Alex Livesey

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) -Everton's faint hopes of a top-four Premier League finish were all but extinguished following a goalless draw with Aston Villa at Villa Park on Thursday.

The result left Everton eighth on 56 points from 35 games, eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea who have played a game more.

Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saved a Dominic Calvert- Lewin shot in the 15th minute before Tyrone Mings headed just wide at the other end as the home side dominated the first half without creating much up front.

Everton improved after the break with Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez drawing a fine save from Ben Godfrey while the home side struggled to create any clear-cut chances at the other end.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was unhappy with the result which dented his team's hopes of playing in European competition next season.

"It is a point," the Italian told the BBC. "What can I say? Not satisfied for the result, satisfied for the performance. We could win but we have to take this point and try to win the next game.

"I am really positive. We have a great opportunity and we have to try to do our best. I said at the start of the season the European positions will be decided by the last game."

Villa stayed 11th on 49 points and their manager Dean Smith rued the lack of chances.

"At the end of the game we were hanging on a bit. I thought we had good control of the game in the first half. I think what will annoy myself and Carlo (Ancelotti) is that there were not too many good chances in the game."

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru and Zoran Milosaljevic in Belgrade;, editing by Ed Osmond)

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