Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s defeat at Villa Park.
Brentford lined up in their 3-5-2 formation, keeping the same midfielder from the previous match. Ajer came back into the squad to give Ben Mee a rest. The Bees stuck with their new tactics to play through the middle of the pitch. Onyeka got forward, occasionally sliding into a front 3 alongside Mbeumo and Toney. Jensen played in the center of the pitch instead of out wide, while Janelt filled in Nørgaard’s defensive midfield role.
Roerslev was given freedom to get forward, while Ajer could provide cover as a right back. At times, this tactic of moving into a 4-3-3 going forward caused trouble for the Bee’s transition defence. Ajer and Roerslev had difficulty with positioning on defence and were frequently out of position.
Aston Villa set up in a mid/low block on defence and planned to make it difficult for the Bee’s counter quickly. Brentford forced unnecessary passes and had difficulty breaking the Villa defence down.
Even after a dreadful start, Brentford still created attacking chances but failed to convert. Simple mistakes, giving the ball away, poor defending from set pieces, and poor positioning led to a painful defeat at Villa Park.
Possession: Aston Villa 45% – 55% Brentford
xG: Aston Villa 2.7 – 1.1 Brentford
Big Chances: Aston Villa 6 – 2 Brentford
Other Brentford stats:
Total Shots: 12
Aerial duels won: 21 (58%)
Brentford held 55% possession but failed to take advantage. The Bees ended the match with 10 passes out of bounds, 17 passes intercepted, and 16 passes blocked. This is the highest combined total for those statistics in a match this season. Brentford attempted a season high number of short passes (205) against Aston Villa. Brentford tried to build up out of the back, but so much possession was wasted due to simple mistakes. Players not on the same page and misplaced passes plagued this Brentford squad on Sunday.
Brentford racked up 1.1 xG but failed to convert any of their chances. Aston Villa amassed 2.7 xG, which was the most for a Brentford opponent this season. Brentford only pressured Aston Villa 77 times, which is the fewest this season.
Brentford’s recent away form is a bit worrying, but this match felt similar to the Newcastle match. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The good news is these are simple mistakes that are leading to goals. Brentford needs to continue to clean this up and stay consistent going forward.
Brentford look to get back on track with a match at home against Wolves Saturday. Look out for our pre match twitter thread to stay informed on what to look for during the match.