Aston Villa’s defence was porous throughout the season, consistently shipping more than 1.5 goals per game. The Christmas period was particularly demoralising as they lost by 8, 4 and 3 goals to nothing against Chelsea, Spurs and relegation rivals Wigan.
However, in the last 15 games of the season, Villa’s attack came to life as Benteke lead from the front to maintain a moving average of goals scored per game higher than 10th-placed West Ham’s season average. The defence also improved over this period to help save the club from relegation – suggesting that if Villa can maintain this form into next season (and retain the services of Benteke) they could feasibly challenge for a place in the top half.
Conceding on average 3 goals per game against the top 5 underlines the problems Aston Villa had defensively last term and their poor points return from the top 5 confirms how much they struggled against the best teams.
Villa had a higher than average proportion of players who played fewer than 1200mins, perhaps suggesting that it took Lambert a while to test out different players before he found his strongest 11 – otherwise these charts are reasonably aligned with the league averages.
- Aston Villa had the second highest number of interceptions (768)
- Second lowest number of attempted dribbles (395)
- Least number of fouls won (344)
- Second best crossing accuracy (26%)
Delph and Lowton put in some excellent defensive performances – winning 5 team man of the match awards apiece.