In a new post-game feature, we’ll be looking into one positive and one negative from each player during the game. This week, we take a look at the players who played against Tottenham Hotspur.

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We’re introducing a new post-game feature called Lamplight – an in-depth analysis, or look into one positive and one negative from the game. Whilst at face value it may look like somebody had a strong, or poor game – but the statistics might tell a different story.

We chose the name Lamplight, because it’s as close to spotlight as we could get whilst still retaining some of our identity. Anyway, let’s delve into it.

Tom Heaton

Tom Heaton had a strong game, all things considered – even though the scoreline may tell a different story. The scoreline could have been a lot worse, in fact, if it wasn’t for the veteran goalkeeper.

Statistical Positive: Heaton made five saves in the game, three of which required the goalkeeper to delve into his tank and pull out some fine reflexes. A good example of this is his save against Christian Eriksen’s free-kick. The England international kept the scoreline respectable.

Statistical Negative: Tottenham Hotspur were able to get 24 crosses into the Aston Villa box during the game, only two of which Heaton was able to claim. 15 of the crosses made it to a Spurs player, and nine were dealt with by Aston Villa’s defence. If Heaton had claimed more balls, the wasting of possession by Aston Villa may have been a little bit more unlikely.

Ahmed Elmohamady

Ahmed Elmohamady is another veteran who’s relatively experienced within the Premier League. He didn’t have a bad game by eye – but what do the statistics say?

Statistical Positive: Throughout the full ninety minutes, Ahmed Elmohamady was pretty adept at passing. Only two times in 29 attempts did his passes not reach an Aston Villa player – the right-back managed to register a 93% passing accuracy against a Champions League team.

Statistical Negative: Ahmed Elmohamady was shy in the challenge and didn’t often come away from challenges with the ball. In 10 challenges, Elmohamady only properly won the ball once – and gave the ball away seven times – in some dangerous positions. The worst of these was right in front of the Aston Villa goal.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Björn Engels

Björn received a number of plaudits for his strong defensive display alongside Tyrone Mings.

Statistical Positive: Björn Engels was strong in the defensive duel – a positive against the strength of the likes of Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele. In thirteen duals throughout the game, Björn came away with the ball eight times.

Statistical Negative: Engels seemingly isn’t running at full confidence as of yet, as most of his passes were laterally across the pitch to either Tyrone Mings or Ahmed Elmohamady. He only attempted to get two balls into the opposition half in the entire game – but at least they were successful.

Tyrone Mings

The odds were slashed on Tyrone Mings receiving an international call-up after a strong display of defensive leadership at the heart of the Aston Villa defence.

Statistical Positive: This one will be pretty obvious for anybody who watched the game. Tyrone Mings was dominant in the Aston Villa box throughout the game, and made 17 clearances throughout the game to stop potential goalscoring opportunities.

Statistical Negative: This unfortunately links in with his clearances. Though he made 17 clearances, only six of them actually paid off and didn’t land at the feet of a Tottenham Hotspur player – meaning that the ongoing pressure continued.

Neil Taylor

It seems there might have been a reason that Neil Taylor and Ahmed Elmohamady were picked, judging by their statistical positives and negatives.

Statistical Positive: Like Elmohamady, Neil Taylor was impressive in his passing ability throughout the game at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. He attempted 29 of them throughout the game, and only two of them didn’t find an Aston Villa player.

Statistical Negative: Also like Elmohamady, the left-sided full-back lost a number of challenges throughout the game – albeit in less dangerous positions. Moussa Sissoko and Lucas Moura proved to be a thorn in Taylor’s side as they dispossessed him three times a piece.

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Conor Hourihane (Subbed, 82′)

Conor Hourihane gave a good account of himself on his Premier League debut for a player that has risen through the ranks of the English Football League.

Statistical Positive: For a player who ‘goes missing’ according to some, he didn’t go missing in this game. The Irish midfielder made 10 pass interceptions throughout the game, and attempted to win 16 duels, being successful on nine occasions.

Statistical Negative: For a midfielder, Conor made an unfortunately low number of passes – registering only 22 throughout his time on the pitch – and three of those weren’t accurate.

Trézéguet (Subbed, 59′)

Trézéguet had a good showing, and was undeservedly subbed off to try and get a hold of more possession in the game, with Jota taking on the right-wing role.

Statistical Positive: Trézéguet got in the rough and tumble of the Premier League on his first outing in it. He was involved in 18 duels (six offensive and eight defensive, two aerial, two loose ball), and was successful 83% of the time with his offensive duels. This is a good look for teams with a weaker defence than Spurs.

Statistical Negative: The crosses from the Egyptian were anything but accurate. Trézéguet attempted four crosses, and only one found a man in claret and blue. Still, one in four isn’t that bad, but it’s an area to work on for the winger.

John McGinn

John McGinn was his usual self upon his first start in the Premier League – scoring goals and getting involved in the rough and tumble. It was almost like he was trying to give the Spurs players a taste of the Sky Bet Championship.

Statistical Positive: John McGinn was involved in 29 duels throughout the game, and whilst less than half of these came off at 45%, he made himself a real nuisance in the Aston Villa midfield.

Statistical Negative: We mentioned the lack of passing for Conor Hourihane, so it would be wrong of us to not do the same for John McGinn. The Scotsman made a paltry eight passes throughout the game, with only six successful.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Jack Grealish (C)

Jack Grealish captained his boyhood club in the Premier League for the first time – and whilst he was at fault for one of the Tottenham Hotspur goals, didn’t have much of an issue with the step up in level.

Statistical Positive: Jack made the most passes within the Aston Villa midfield, making more passes than Hourihane and McGinn combined. He registered 34 within the game, and 30 of these were accurate – an 88% accuracy.

Statistical Negative: Tottenham Hotspur’s high press kept Jack pinned into his own half for much of the game, and this stopped his usual style of play. The usually energetic midfielder only attempted one dribble (which was successful).

Anwar El Ghazi

Anwar El Ghazi struggled after an exceptionally impressive pre-season, and really never got going throughout the game.

Statistical Positive: This one was a little hard. The only real statistical positive for Anwar El Ghazi was that he attempted to push the game forward. The winger attempted seven forward passes, five of which were successful. That, and all of his passes back to Neil Taylor were successful.

Statistical Negative: El Ghazi struggled with duels throughout the game, with 21 duels only going his way four times. He was not successful in six attempted defensive duels, something he needed to be against such an attacking side.

Wesley Moraes (Subbed, 74′)

Wesley found himself in his own half more often than not yesterday. He was also fouled a number of times – receiving somewhat of a baptism of fire at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Statistical Positive: Wesley managed an 80% pass accuracy during the game. The forward only made 10 passes, but at least he wasn’t conceding possession regularly.

Statistical Negative: Considering the Brazilian forward was brought in for his size and strength, he was unable to win much of anything against Spurs. In 26 duels, whether these were offensive, defensive or aerially, he was only successful seven times. That, and he only attempted one shot throughout his 74 minutes – but at least that was on target.


The substitutions were unable to have enough of an impact on the game to provide them with a fair positive or negative for this game unfortunately. Douglas Luiz did however manage two positives during his 10 or so minutes on the pitch. 100% pass accuracy and 75% duel winning ratio? Not bad.

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