Villa Analysis: Villa And Liverpool Share Points As Villa Remain In Seventh
By Alex Martinez
The points were shared at Anfield on Saturday, but it was a vital point in terms of giving Aston Villa pole position over Spurs and Brentford in terms of the Europa Conference Spot. Premier League’s 2022/23 Academy Graduate Award winner Jacob Ramsey scored on his 100th Villa appearance to underline his impressive development in the past couple of seasons for the club.
We will find out in the summer, if Ramsay will be a big part of Emery’s plans, but the 21-year-old has certainly impressed in recent months.
The game at Anfield was overshadowed by VAR and controversial calls, and an emotional goal by Roberto Firmino, who marked his last game at Anfield with a last minute goal to salvage a point for Liverpool.
There was a massive appeal for Tyrone Mings to be sent off, as his follow through on Cody Gakpo left long lasting scratches on his chest/stomach area. Liverpool thought they got an equaliser early on when Cody Gakpo tapped in, but VAR intervened and ruled it was Emery’s high line that yet again worked wonders.
Attacking Momentum Chart
In the first half, while the stats had Liverpool having 62% of the possession, it was very much Villa that carried the greatest threat. A good sign for the foreseeable future, when you consider Liverpool have the second best home record in the league.
Back Line Holds Up Well
There’s a reason that Villa have only conceded four goals in their last 14 matches from open play, and it’s Unai Emery’s defensive structure. Ever since Unai joined, Villa have operated with a 4-4-2 in possession, and a tight 6-2-2 or 5-3-2 off the ball.
The defence and midfield have adjusted well to this, and Mings and Konsa have been immense at the back since Emery joined. Their ability to now play out from the back has also improved vastly, and with Diego Carlos now coming back from injury, Villa will consider themselves in a good place in terms of centre-backs.
Emery Ball In Full Flow
In the clash at Anfield we saw a sequence of play that fully envisioned how we play under Emery. Luiz wins the ball back in Villa’s half, plays it to Kamara, who on the volley distributes it to JJ on the wing, who plays a one-two with Luiz and drives up the field. He plays it into the middle, Watkins leaves it and runs, creating space and allowing Buendia to find the running Watkins, who dribbles it into the D, plays it to Mcginn who looks up and gets a shot on target.
Mings the Mighty
It was either Mings or Luiz, for Man of the Match, but Tyrone’s important blocks and challenges probably edged it.
42 touches, 10 clearances (5 headed clearances), 4 recoveries, 3 ground duels won, 5 interceptions, 5 passes into the final third.
He was immense at Anfield, providing another outlet and making little to no mistakes. It’s great to see him flourish in a Villa shirt after being previously being guilty of lapses in concentration.
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