Lamplight returns to look at the statistical positives and negatives in a player’s game to determine whether or not the opinion held about their performance at ‘face value’ is correct.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Lamplight is all about determining whether a player’s performance at ‘face value’, i.e what you see when watching the game, has provided the correct opinion on whether a player has performed well or not.
As Aston Villa slumped to a second-half defeat against reigning champions Manchester City thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and İlkay Gündoğan, there were a handful of players in the evergreen kit that stood out.
Tom Heaton (6) was unlucky to have conceded at least one of the goals, which is shown through the xCG (expected conceded goals) that 0.5 below the actual amount of goals. There were nine shots against Heaton, who saved six of them – with four requiring reflexed. The ‘keepers passing was up to scratch too, with 63% of his long passes reaching an Aston Villa player, and 100% of his short passes.
Fullback Frédéric Guilbert (5) was a positive in a defence riddled with mistakes on Saturday and for the most part managed to defend against Raheem Sterling fairly well. The defender made five interceptions, seven clearances and five ball recoveries. Guilbert struggled in the air, winning none of his aerial duels, and his passing should have been sharper with only 70% of his balls finding a teammate.
Bjorn Engels (4) had arguably his only bad performance in an Aston Villa shirt thus far, finding himself out of position on multiple occasions. The Belgian struggled in ground and aerial duels, winning 33% (two out of six) and 25% (one out four) of them respectively. He also lost the ball five times, and twice in his own half. On a positive note, the centreback made three blocks, six clearances, seven interceptions and seven ball recoveries (although only one in his half).
Tyrone Mings (5) was at partly at fault for the first goal as he was beaten to a header by the miniature Gabriel Jesus – but saved a ball on the line with his knee to keep the scoreline respectable. He boasted the best passing accuracy across the back four with 89% and managed 11 interceptions, eight clearances and two blocks. However, the England international also lost the ball five times in his own half.
Brighton game-winner Matt Targett, (5) like Guilbert, struggled to make accurate passes and registered an accuracy of 70% – which is relatively low for the left-back. He made six interceptions and four clearances but also lost the ball three times in his own half. A strong positive, however, was that Targett managed to win 67% of his duels against the likes of Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva.
Douglas Luiz (6) impressed in front of his former manager Pep Guardiola and could have walked away with a goal if it was not for the hastily VAR-checked sandwich of Ederson and two Manchester City defenders. The Brazilian, fresh off the back of a call-up to the National Team, managed an impressive 81% pass accuracy, with all of his long balls finding an Aston Villa player too. Defensively, the 21-year-old made seven interceptions, three recoveries and one clearance, but also lost the ball four times in his own half.
Zimbabwean Marvelous Nakamba (6) also had an OK performance. He registered a 91% pass accuracy, made two successful dribbles within three attempts, and made five interceptions, two clearances and one block. The midfielder also made four (100%) accurate passes into the opposition’s final third. Despite his smaller frame, Marvelous also won 56% of his duel against Manchester City. He also only lost the ball in his own half once.
John McGinn (5) had a pretty quiet game against the reigning champions. The Scot had two shots, one of which was on target and forced Ederson into a key save. He made fourteen passes in the entire game, with twelve of these being accurate, and attempted three dribbles – with only one paying off. The midfielder did, however, win 12 of his 17 duels, and make three interceptions.
Captain Jack Grealish (6) struggled to play in his usual style but still managed to take the game to City on a number of occasions. Whilst he only made 24 passes, he registered a 92% accuracy and both of his attempted long passes were accurate. Impressively, Grealish attempted nine dribbles and six of these were successful – as well as the midfielder managing to win 11 of 24 attempted duels. Tasked with more defensive work this game, he made four interceptions and two clearances – but lost the ball five times in his own half. Subbed for Anwar El Ghazi, 84′.
Trézéguet (6 – Man of the Match) was the brightest player on the pitch for Aston Villa. The Egyptian winger managed four shots, however, only one registered on target. He won an impressive 14 out of 27 duels and registered six successful dribbles forward out of a possible nine. Defensively, Trézéguet worked exceptionally hard too, making 10 interceptions and one block during his time on the pitch.
Wesley (4) had another poor game in an Aston Villa shirt statistically. The forward made 14 passes, registering a 79% passing accuracy, and attempted one shot and one dribble – neither of which paid off. The Brazilian’s strength was once again not visible, with Wesley winning SIX of his 22 duels, and two of five aerial duels. He also lost the ball a staggering nine times and did not make any ball recoveries.