Villa Analysis: Organised Brentford Slow Villa’s European Push

Villa Find Brentford Tough to Crack

By Alex Martinez

Aston Villa remained in sixth place in the Premier League after a hard earned 1-1 draw against Brentford, after a goal from Douglas Luiz in the 87th minute cancelled out Ivan Toney’s 65th minute finish. Emiliano Martinez went off after the first half, due to a sickness bug, with Robin Olsen replacing him.

Villa are now nine unbeaten in the Premier League for the first time since October 2011, and only Arsenal (10) have a longer unbeaten run in the league. They have now scored in all 19 of their Premier League matches under Unai Emery, a Premier League era record. 

Statistical Analysis

With possession and passing, Villa saw more of the ball, with Villa having 57% possession, and 422 passes to Brentfords 308. 

The Villans also had a better pass accuracy (79% to 68%), with Alex Moreno having a 100% pass accuracy (14/14 passes completed). Aston Villa had nine players with more than an 80% pass accuracy, and seven with more than 85% accuracy. 

Normally, fast starters, this time Aston Villa fired up towards the last 10 minutes of the match, with 43% of shots coming after the 80th minute, including their goal. 

Luiz And Buendia

There were perhaps two standout performers in Douglas Luiz and Emi Buendia. 


Douglas Luiz ‘ late goal secured the draw, which was also his 10th goal for Aston Villa. 

His 84% passing accuracy kept the game ticking smoothly. One chance made, 10 passes into the final third, seven ground duels won, six ball recoveries and three accurate long balls, backed up his standout performance. 

His fourth goal this season is a new career high in the league, and seven of Douglas Luiz’ nine goal involvements in the league this season have come under Unai Emery. 

Check out the further statistical analysis below [on Alex’s Twitter]:


Emi Buendia created eight shot creating actions, which is more than any other Villa player in a Premier League game this season. He also created two big chances, which brings his total season tally to seven, which is also more than any other Villa player in the Premier League this season. 

Buendia also hit his eighth assist for Villa, which is also his 15th Premier League assist in total.

Brentford’s Tight Structure

A key difference in what went down against Brentford compared to the last game against Newcastle, was Brentford’s constructiveness and effectiveness in their chance creation. Brentford created four big chances to Villas three, and had over double the shots on target then Villa (five to two).

79% of Villa’s shots were off target, compared to Brentford’s 35%. Brentford also had 10 shots inside of the box, compared to Villa’s eight.

Another key factor to Brentford’s attacking prowess, was their ability to get into positions like this:

As you can see in the image, often Mings or Konsa were left exposed with a 1-on-1 against a forward. Also, there are three players rushing into the box, which provides multiple targets for the wide player to deliver to.

Last week against Newcastle, Villa were rarely troubled like this, mainly due to Bruno G’s lack of individual press.

This week, Brentford were far more organised, and pressed as a midfield and attack six. Villa largely switched their approach once Emi Martinez was replaced with Robin Olsen, in the second half. Mainly out of necessity, due to Olsen’s limitations with his feet, but it also made Brentford drop deeper, once they had their opener, which helped Villa exert some late pressure.


Unlike against Newcastle, Villa failed to impose their will on a very well organised Brentford side. Despite losing Martinez at half-time, Villa did show welcome resolve to comeback from behind to get the point. If they go onto beat Fulham in mid-week, it will be seen as a very useful point in hindisight, especially considering Villa have lost the lost four encounters away to Brentford.


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