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5 Telling Stats from Everton’s Setback Against Aston Villa

Everton fell back into the bottom three thanks to a gut-punch home loss to Unai Emery’s side

Everton FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Sean Dyche suffered his first loss at Goodison Park as Everton manager on Saturday when Unai Emery’s Aston Villa came to town. The defeat marked the end of a three-game losing streak for the Villans, as well as a return to the relegation zone for the Toffees.

The home side had the best of the first hour of play, but could not find a way through despite fashioning numerous chances. Just minutes after Tyrone Mings’ goal-line clearance, impact substitute Emi Buendia played in John McGinn who was then taken down by Idrissa Gueye in the box for a penalty which Ollie Watkins converted without issue. Everton’s threat dropped along with their heads after that, and a Buendia finish in the 83rd minute secured all three points for Villa.

1. Villa Voodoo

Defeat to Aston Villa is nothing new for Everton as of late, as the Toffees have failed to taste victory against the Birmingham club since March 2016. In fact, Villa have won each of the last 4 meetings with Everton, scoring 8 goals while only conceding once in those games.

2. Undone by Underperformance

Everton outcreated Aston Villa by nearly every metric, including xG. Aston Villa registered 0.91 non-penalty xG, while Everton created 1.74. The Toffees took 15 shots to Villa’s 9, with both teams putting 5 on target. Everton took a staggering 13 shots inside the box without scoring, highlighting the glaring lack of a goal-scoring striker in the side.

Entering Saturday’s game, Everton had scored 7.8 goals fewer than xG would suggest and that stat will now rise to roughly 9.5, making Everton the worst finishing team in the Premier League.

3. Danger Deficiency

This next stat refers to the most basic concept in football; you must outscore your opponent in order to win. Well, Everton are not very good at that, as they have scored the fewest goals in the league at 17 (0.70 per match) while conceding 32 (1.33 goals per match). I’m fully aware that I’m occupying the role of Captain Obvious with this one, but it really is that simple sometimes: If we don’t score and we do concede, we lose. This really speaks for itself.

4. Sizzling Striker

As the Royal Blue Mersey Twitter account put so adeptly, the difference between the two sides today was the availability of the first-choice striker, and Villa’s is in some fine form at the moment. After nearly scoring in the first half, Ollie Watkins continued his red-hot run in front of goal by smashing in the opener from the penalty spot. It’s hard not to think about how the game may have been different with a fully-fit Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the pitch as the Blues peppered the Villa box with crosses, but the wait will continue as it seems the English international won’t be fit for Wednesday’s trip to the Emirates either.

5. Deadball Dependent

Without any attackers who are capable of regularly converting open-play chances, Everton have become unbelievably reliant on corners and free-kicks to create scoring chances, let alone score them. In both the victory over Leeds and the defeat to Villa, Everton registered a higher xG from set-pieces than from open play. Everton have only scored six league goals since October, and two thirds of them came from set-piece situations. The most frightening stat of all, however, is that Everton have registered 6.69 open-play xG in that time-span, yet have only scored twice as referenced below.