Lamplight returns to distinguish whether a performance at ‘face value’ is a fair reflection, letting the stats decide instead.

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Our regular feature ‘Lamplight’ returns, enabling deeper insight into how a player actually performed in a game rather than taking a player’s performance at face value.

Lamplight looks at the statistics from the game, picking out statistical ‘positives’ and statistical ‘negatives’ to give the fans a better look at who deserves the plaudits.


Tom Heaton [6] is someone that can’t really face too much criticism for the opposition’s goals – although the veteran goalkeeper should have done better for Chris Wood’s equaliser as he found himself rooted to one spot. Heaton’s long ball passing improved, with only two not reaching an Aston Villa player – but his goalkeeping, in general, has to be considered poor for his standards. He faced three shots, once of which was an easy save for him and the other two found their way into the net.

Right-back Frédéric Guilbert [6] had a mixed bag of a game statistically, but at face value looked strong. The Frenchman picked up an assist, but could have probably done better for the first of Burnley’s two goals. He made four interceptions and five clearances, but was weak in his duels. Guilbert was involved in 24 duels, winning only 10 of them at a success rate of 42%.

Bjorn Engels [6] on the other hand, was exceptionally strong in his duels. Aerially, the Belgian centre-back won seven out of nine attempts, and on-the-ground duels were even better – winning 81% of them (which works out to 13 out of 16). His short passing was fairly accurate at 85% but his long passing is where Engels’ performance faltered, with only one in three finding an Aston Villa man.

Tyrone Mings [6] made nine interceptions, three clearances and one block – which showcases a strong defensive performance – but there were some issues with some of his decisions at face value. His passing should have been better against a side which Aston Villa, in essence, dominated – racking up only a 76% pass accuracy.

Left-back Matt Targett [7] did well on his first Premier League start and looked to be a more attacking option than Neil Taylor. His passing was good, with an accuracy of 83%, and he was strong in the duel – winning nine out of 11. The most impressive part of Targett’s performance though, comes in the three accurate crosses that were played into the box, with only one not finding a team-mate. The only issue is his defensive input, as the defender only made two interceptions in his time on the pitch – possibly forcing Tyrone Mings into precarious positions. Subbed for Neil Taylor (62′).


(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Marvelous Nakamba [7] is our Man of the Match and was tireless at the base of the Aston Villa midfield. The Zimbabwean notched up a 90% pass accuracy, and only one of four attempts at long balls didn’t find a team-mate. He also made seven interceptions. The only statistical negative for Nakamba is that only 64% of his forward passes were accurate, meaning that the vast majority of his other passes were medially placed.

Irish midfielder Conor Hourihane [6] found himself back in the starting eleven as Dean Smith tried a new formation – which for all intents and purposes – worked. 87% of his passes were accurate, and the midfielder made two successful dribbles past the opposition. Whilst he did come in and out of the game, the most disappointing thing about Hourihane’s performance is four shots towards the goal that all weren’t on target. This is a little unfair, however, as one was a free-kick that struck the post.

Captain Jack Grealish [7] looked like he enjoyed the freedom of a new formation. He picked up an 88% pass accuracy, but the most impressive thing about his game was that he successfully dribbled past Burnley players on seven out of eight occasions. He was also relatively strong in his duels for a player that “goes down too easily”, winning 57% of them. Like Hourihane though, the most disappointing part of his game was that he took four shots, with only one managing to be on target – which troubled Nick Pope – the other three were all skied over the bar, and one should have been played into Trezeguet who was in acres of space.

John McGinn [7] would have been Man of the Match if his first goal, disallowed by VAR, had stood. He was impressive, scoring another goal and managing to dribble past the opponent 82% of the time – only two of eleven attempts didn’t pay off. He was also strong in the duel, and judging by the fact that he was involved in thirty-seven of them shows just how much he’s trying, but this knackers the midfielder with 20 minutes to go too often. The only negative from his performance is that he lost the ball nine times.


(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Goal-scorer Anwar El Ghazi [6] did just about that. The goal was the best thing about his performance, which is a shame. The biggest positive of his game other than the goal was a 67% dribble success rate, but the winger only attempted three. Anwar made three crosses, all of which didn’t amount to anything, was successful in only eight of 22 duels, and lost the ball five times. Subbed for Trézéguet (73′).

Wesley [4] was largely ineffective. His positive was that he made one successful dribble in one attempt. The Brazilian striker didn’t take any shots, made only six passes (five of which were accurate) and was once again, incredibly weak despite his large frame. Wesley won seven of 29 duels, and one out of eight aerially. Subbed for Keinan Davis (90′).

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