How Aston Villa Took Care of Spurs
By Alex Martinez
Aston Villa provided their best showing at Villa Park since the 3-0 demolition of Newcastle, back in April. The Villains were a class above, and goals from Jacob “JJ” Ramsey and a stunning freekick by Douglas Luiz, helped seal a dominant and controlled showing over Tottenham Hotspur.
Villa are now level on points with Spurs, and the fight for Europe is definitely still on for Unai Emery’s side, who are now won six consecutive games at home for the first time in 30 years.
The key to Villa’s success against spurs was essentially shutting down their opponents chances. In the first half, Spurs generated a grand total of 0.00 xG, which goes to prove how much of a good job the Villa midfield and defence did.
A main reason Spurs couldn’t create chances was because of Villa’s high line. Spurs were caught offside nine (yes 9!) times, further proving just how effective our high line has been under Emery. Son was hit with the main offside decisions, although Richarlison seemed to be a serial victim too. Konsa and Mings executed the high line to perfection, and it was a joy to watch.
Since November 5th, Villa have caught their opponents offside the most in the whole Premier League, with Villa catching opponents out 92 times, 27 ahead of second place Liverpool, with 65.
Spurs certainly made a pig's ear of the Emery high line today.#AVFC pic.twitter.com/SKNsyVEhCu— My Old Man Said (@myoldmansaid) May 13, 2023
Super John McGinn
There are no words to describe how good John McGinn played. Emery’s decision to play him more centrally alongside Douglas Luiz to disrupt Spurs, paid big dividends. He was everywhere, frustrating opposition attackers, and creating chances for players to run on to. This was easily one of his best games of the season.
Stats: 89% successful pass accuracy, 4 interceptions, 3 successful dribbles, 58 touches, 6 passes into the final third, 8 ground duels won (most in match), 12 ball recoveries.
These stats back up how good he played, and he has reached a new level ever since Don Unai took over, and it’s great to see all the players reach a new level.
Even Leon Bailey, who is normally mistake prone, completed more dribbles (five) and created more chances (three) than any other player. He also got the assist for Jacob Ramsey’s opening goal. There’s definitely a good match day squad option there in the Jamaican, if he can be consistent in his contribution.
With Spurs putting in the kind of disinterested performance to suggest they could drop points against Brentford (h) and Leeds (a), things were looking up for Villa, until Brighton got a win at the Emirates to make them clear favourites now for the remaining Europa League spot.
Are Villa simply battling for a Europa Conference spot now?
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