By Sam Stone

5th Feb, 2023 | 1:59pm

View: Three mistakes Aston Villa made in 4-2 defeat v Leicester City

Aston Villa suffered their first Premier League defeat since Boxing Day as Leicester produced a fine display to dismantle Unai Emery’s side 4-2 at Villa Park.

It was a chaotic defeat for Villa, who had taken the lead through Ollie Watkins in the first half. However, three first-half goals from the Foxes gave Brendan Rodgers’ side the impetus to go on and secure an impressive away victory.

Here Villa News takes a look at three things that went wrong for the Villans on Saturday afternoon (4 February).

Clinical lesson

Villa were taught a lesson in how to be clinical by Leicester. The Villans amassed an expected goals of 2.22 compared to Leicester’s 1.52 (Wyscout). However, the Foxes were far more effective when it came to getting their shots on target, and ultimately, getting the ball in the back of the net.

Aston Villa registered 18 shots on Saturday, with only four of them testing Danny Ward. A 22 per cent shot accuracy is simply not good enough and will have to be improved to avoid results like this happening again in the future.

Leicester converted four of their five shots on target. When a side has such an impressive conversion rate in front of goal, the importance of the number of chances created lessens. Individual players need to start standing up and being counted for Emery’s side in an attacking sense.

Watkins got on the scoresheet but was yet again wasteful in front of goal, with just one of his four shots ending up on target. It was a similar story for Leon Bailey, who failed to convert with his four shots. Emi Buendia was a standout performer, but yet again amassed a 20 per cent shot accuracy when it came to his five efforts on goal.

Villa’s failure to put the ball in the back of the net was always going to come back and bite them, and against the Foxes, they learnt a harsh lesson.

Do the basics

One standout statistic which doesn’t look good is Villa’s duel success rate. Winning personal battles is fundamental and Leicester showed Emery’s side how to do the basics correctly. Leicester won 10 per cent more of their duels compared to Aston Villa, which will disappoint the former Villarreal boss.

Particularly in an attacking sense, Villa were dominated by Leicester’s defenders, who were far more tenacious and eager to ensure their personal battles were won. Leicester won 60 per cent of their defensive duels during the match. Even though the goals were flowing for both sides, their relatively solid base made life hard for Villa’s forwards.

Defensively, Emery’s side weren’t much better, with only 36 per cent of their duels won. No matter what tactics are laid down, it’s absolutely essential for players to win their battles and unfortunately, Villa diverged from doing the very basics.

Plan B

A theme is beginning to emerge for Villa under Emery. Teams who liked to sit deep and set up in a low block are proving stubborn opponents. Villa’s average shot distance against Leicester was 23.29 meters. which is their highest since the FA Cup defeat to Stevenage.

In the wins over Leeds and Southampton, Emery’s side were able to get far closer to the goal creating a higher quality of chance. Stevenage and Leicester both pressed to a similar level (PPDA) and restricted Villa.

Southampton and Leeds both looked to press and this somewhat fell into Aston Villa’s hands, allowing them to exploit gaps and counterattack effectively. It’s certainly an area Emery will be concerned about, particularly at home.

In other Aston Villa news, Unai Emery must end Matty Cash’s exile in defence and bring him back into the side for Ashley Young.