EPL

The statistics behind Aston Villa’s impressive start to the season

By Sports Desk December 01, 2023

Unai Emery takes Aston Villa to Bournemouth on Sunday looking to extend their equal best start to a Premier League season.

With 28 points from 13 games, the PA news agency looks at Villa’s form so far.

Champions League challenge

Villa’s 2-1 win over Tottenham last weekend lifted them into the top four, ahead of their opponents’ own impressive total of 26 points.

Their form means the Premier League has five teams averaging at least two points per game at this stage of the season for only the second time, following 2018-19 when Manchester City led the way with 35 points from a possible 39 and Arsenal sat fifth with 27.

Villa have only once previously had this many points from their first 13 Premier League games, in 1998-99.

John Gregory’s side were unbeaten in their first 12 games, winning eight and drawing four to top the table, before losing 4-2 to Liverpool. They went on to finish sixth in the table.

Emery’s Villa have bounced back impressively from their opening 5-1 loss to Newcastle and now have nine wins and three defeats to their name, scoring 31 goals and conceding 18 – the 1998-99 side had scored 20 at the same stage but let in only 10, even after the Liverpool match.

Emery renaissance

Villa’s resurgence under Emery dates back to last season, when he took over a team sitting a point above the relegation zone after three wins in 13 games under predecessor Steven Gerrard and lifted them to seventh place and qualification for the Europa Conference League.

He has won 30 of his 48 games in charge in all competitions, 62.5 per cent, with 13 losses and only five draws. His team have scored 94 goals and conceded 58.

Since Emery’s first game on November 1 last year, Villa rank fourth in the Premier League points table with 77 from 38 games – one match fewer than the other teams in the top five, and only two points behind third-ranked Liverpool. They are third for this calendar year, when their 22 Premier League wins are a club record.

Villa Park has become a fortress, with 13 consecutive home league wins marking their longest run of the Premier League era – they last won 13 straight home top-flight games back in 1983. They are also the league’s top scorers at home this season with 23 goals in six matches.

A high defensive line has played a role in Emery’s success, with Villa catching opponents offside 166 times since he took over. That is a remarkable 75 more than any other Premier League team, with Liverpool at 93 in that time, and more than double Fulham’s third-placed total of 82.

While seven goals are enough to make Ollie Watkins their top league goalscorer this season, Douglas Luiz is just behind with five and of their nine different scorers, all bar Jacob Ramsey have netted more than once.

Related items

  • On this day in 2012: Andre Villas-Boas sacked by Chelsea On this day in 2012: Andre Villas-Boas sacked by Chelsea

    On this day in 2012, Andre Villas-Boas left Chelsea as former midfielder Roberto Di Matteo was appointed interim manager until the end of the season.

    Villas-Boas, 34, lost the job he had held for just eight months less than 24 hours after a 1-0 defeat at West Brom which left the Blues sitting in fifth place in the Premier League table and having won just five of their previous 15 games in all competitions.

    The Portuguese had been recruited at great expense – around £13.3million – as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement by then Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in June 2011 and handed the task of overhauling an ageing squad after winning a remarkable quadruple with Porto.

    However, he quickly found himself under pressure and reports of dressing room unrest coupled with faltering form prompted the club to act ahead of an FA Cup trip to Birmingham and an impending Champions League showdown with Napoli.

    In a statement, they said: “Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.

    “The club is still competing in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts.

    “With that in mind, we felt our only option was to make a change at this time.”

    Assistant Di Matteo was placed in temporary charge and made rather a good fist of it, at least initially.

    The Italian guided Chelsea to FA Cup final victory over Liverpool and then famously at the Allianz Arena, a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final as Didier Drogba, whose late header had taken the game to extra time, converted the decisive spot-kick to complete Abramovich’s quest for European glory.

    Di Matteo’s reward was a permanent two-year contract, although his reign too proved short-lived when he was sacked after just five months at the helm.

  • Mikel Arteta has ‘no clue’ how many points Arsenal might need to win title Mikel Arteta has ‘no clue’ how many points Arsenal might need to win title

    Mikel Arteta is not setting a points total he believes will deliver the Premier League title – but the Arsenal boss has warned the rest of the season may have to be perfect if they are to do so.

    The Gunners travel to bottom club Sheffield United on Monday night knowing victory will once again see them close to within two points of Liverpool at the summit.

    Reigning champions Manchester City are also locked in the three-way tussle for the title as Arteta aims to bring the Premier League crown back to Arsenal for the first time in 20 years.

    Asked how many points might be required to win the league this season, the Spaniard replied: “You always ask me this question and I never get it right.

    “The demands, you might have to win every game. I don’t know. I have no clue.

    “There are a lot of games and we are all going to have crazy schedules and this league might be different to last season. Anything under 90 points I think it (winning the league) would be very difficult.

    “We have to improve in every aspect, that is all, all managers try to be better in what we do.”

    Arsenal were top of the table at this stage last season and led the pack for a total of 248 days before ultimately slipping behind City in the run-in.

    “I think we are where we deserve to be,” Arteta said on Arsenal’s current standing.

    “We could probably be a little bit better in terms of the points that we have deserved in the league

    “Being (back) in the Champions League is another step – that makes obviously the challenge more difficult and the amount of injuries that we had I think we are going good but we want to do better.

    “The target is clear. It’s to be better every day so that when it comes to the weekend, earn the right to win and do everything you possibly can to win the game.

    “This is the focus and the way I see them training every day gives me  more confidence and more reasons to believe that we have a good chance because they really want it.”

  • Now he is winning games – Pep Guardiola talks up Phil Foden’s impact on Man City Now he is winning games – Pep Guardiola talks up Phil Foden’s impact on Man City

    Pep Guardiola praised fantastic Phil Foden and said the Manchester City midfielder is developing into a world-class player after his wonderful, derby-winning display against Manchester United.

    Nobody expected anything other than embarrassment at the Etihad Stadium for Erik ten Hag’s stumbling Red Devils, yet Marcus Rashford’s scorcher gave them a shock half-time lead.

    United were under the cosh for large periods before and after the break, finally buckling as 23-year-old Foden scored a superb leveller in the 56th minute before then firing City ahead 10 minutes from time.

    Erling Haaland added gloss in stoppage time but there was no doubt who the star of the show was in Sunday’s important 3-1 victory for Guardiola’s title-chasing team.

    “He is right now this season (one of the best players in the Premier League),” the City boss said of man-of-the-match Foden.

    “He’s been the best so far. I always had the feeling he would score goals, in training sessions, always I had the feeling but now he is winning games.

    “To become a world-class player at that age you have to win games and he always played good, always had an incredible work ethic. Doesn’t matter what position, he doesn’t complain.

    “He lives to play football but now he is winning games. He played a false nine at Bournemouth and was unbelievable. Today after he missed the first chance against (Andre) Onana he became a little bit anxious. That is for his age, he will learn on that.

    “But Rashford scored an unbelievable goal and Phil scored an unbelievable goal too.”

    Foden helped the treble winners get out of a hole on Sunday after City fell behind for the 12th time in the league this season.

    It was their first-ever Premier League comeback win against United and means they have recovered 21 points from losing positions this term.

    The result put them back within one point of leaders Liverpool ahead of next weekend’s mouth-watering battle between the sides at Anfield.

    “We have Copenhagen on our mind and we will have time after to talk about Liverpool,” Guardiola said ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

    “We have a lot of points still to play for and different places to go.”

    United bowed out of Europe before Christmas so there are no distractions before Saturday lunchtime’s return to Premier League action at home to embattled Everton.

    The injury-hit Red Devils have regressed during Ten Hag’s second season and sit an eye-watering 19 points behind leaders Liverpool, who they face in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

    Similarly concerning is the fact that sixth-placed United are 11 points off Aston Villa in fourth and six behind fifth-placed Tottenham, which could yet be enough for Champions League qualification.

    But Ten Hag does not believe United are that far behind City when not beset by injuries and felt key decisions hurt his battling side on Sunday.

    “On defining moments, we didn’t have it on our side because just before the 1-1, I think Rashford was on another break,” Ten Hag said.

    “And just before 2-1, there was (Alejandro) Garnacho in a breakthrough. I think we were really close to win or at least get a draw here.

    “I will not say it was a tackle (on Rashford) from Kyle Walker. They both run, but Rashy confirmed to me it was contact.

    “I saw it back, it was very soft, but you will understand when you are on a full-speed run, if you get a little touch then you are out of control and I think that is what happened.”

    Asked if this match highlighted a chasm between the teams, under-fire Ten Hag said: “No, I don’t think so. Absolutely not. We have many problems in injuries and, still, we had an opportunity because it was really small margins.

    “We could have scored a second goal in a debatable moment and in the second debatable moment, so you see it’s not that big. Especially when we have everyone on board we can be competitive.

    “I think also we showed, for instance, in the cup final against them when it’s really close but don’t forget City, in this moment, are the best team in the world.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.