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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Villa 0 - Swansea 2 Chalkboard Review

Villa might have had more Goal Attempts (11 to Swansea’s 9) and had 14 corners to none for Swansea but this was an assured performance from the Swans that helps banish the bad memories of the Wolves game and combined with the Spurs performance shows we have a team that can give anyone a run for their money. 

Only 1 of Villa’s efforts was actually on target and other than N’Zogbia’s effort deep into injury time that hit the post, Villa didn’t threaten Vorm’s goal too much.

A lot of the credit for this has to be due to the work of Williams and Caulker for clearing the huge volume of balls put in to the box by Villa.  The chalkboards below show the amount of Clearances made by Swansea during the game with 49 Successful clearances made, 15 of which were from Williams and another 10 each from Taylor and Rangel. 

Swansea Clearances overall (Left) and those of Ashley Williams (Right)
To compare those 49 successful clearances with other games, Swansea made 9 successful clearances against Spurs, 19 against QPR and 20 against Everton and the next highest this season after the 49 at Villa was the 38 successful clearances against Wolves.

Of Swansea’s goals, the second goal in particular came about as the result of an aggressive pressing game from Swansea on the Villa back line but even the first was in part due to allowing the Villa back line little space in the defensive third, allowing Dyer to capitalise on a weak pass by Warnock who defensively at least had a terrible game.

Warnock was taken to the cleaners by Dyer, especially in the first half and it’s interesting to see the difference in the areas of Villa’s open play attacks in the two halves.  In the first half 28% was down the right hand flank versus 11% on the left side but this changed in the second half to be 17% on the right and 30% on the left. 

Aston Villa's Successful Open Play passing in each half showing a huge difference in the focus in the second half
This was also reflected in Warnock’s activity who made 14 open play passes in the first half and 27 in the second.  One explanation is that Villa attacking down the right left Warnock too exposed against Dyer whenever Swansea regained possession and that attacking down the left would also require Dyer to track back.

Whatever the reason, ultimately it was a futile effort as a disciplined Swansea defence dealt with whatever Villa threw at them with little panic.  With almost a fortnight before the next league game the main priority will be counting the days down to the end of the month hoping that nobody makes an offer we can’t refuse or we end up in a situation such as Blackpool had with Charlie Adam.

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Chalkboards/Match Stats: Created using http://www.guardian.co.uk/chalkboards