Just gathered a few Opta stats detailing Villa’s successes and downfalls with regards to the situations from which they scored their goals and their passing patterns from the previous season under Gerard Houllier.
The results in terms of goal types show that Villa scored a fairly low amount of goals from open play, ranking joint 11th in the Premier League with 28, compared to unsurprising leaders Arsenal and Manchester United (54). Good to see that bottom of the pile in that regard was Birmingham who only managed 18.
Villa’s speed on the break was again a feature which put them up their with the league’s best in terms of striking on the counter attack, ranking joint second in the league with 4, just one behind leaders Manchester United and perhaps more surprisingly, Wigan (5).
The side were extremely poor from set pieces this term under Houllier having used corners and free-kicks to their advantage in the past under Martin O’Neill. Villa netted 9, just one more than bottom club in this regard, Sunderland, while their northern rivals Newcastle topped the ranks with as many as 20 goals from set plays.
4 of Villa’s goals came from the penalty spot, ranking them joint 8th, with Manchester City reaping the most rewards from the spot with 8 while Blackburn converted just one penalty all campaign. Villa’s remaining 3 goals came from own goals from their opponents.
When it came to passing, Villa exploited the talent they hold on the wings a fair amount, making an average of 26 crosses per game, joint 5th with Chelsea. Midland rivals Wolves averaged the most crosses in the league per game with 29, while Wigan attempted the least, 16.
A fairly promising stat under the Frenchman saw his side resist attempting the long ball too often in matches, 62, with the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea the only clubs below them in that regard. In contrast, fierce rival Birmingham attempted the most on average per game with 82.
Houllier’s men made an average of 336 short passes per game, placing them 9th in a regard in which shock, horror, Arsenal dominated with 493, ahead of Chelsea and Manchester United in 2nd and 3rd. Stoke, Blackburn and Bolton did little to refute their stereotypes as long ball teams, finishing 20th, 29th and 18th respectively.
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