Watching Aston Villa convincingly beat the Bristol Rovers in the Third Round of the FA Cup today got me thinking about something. It was their second 1-3 win in three matches. While this was a small sample, I noticed an interesting pattern here. When Villa score three goals, they win.
But I was not content to merely take supposition and conjecture for fact. Instead, I dove into the numbers to see what Aston Villa tends to do when they score three or more goals. Below, I present my findings.
What data did you look at?
I examined Aston Villa matches from the beginning of the 2009-10 season up until today's.
What did the numbers say?
Nothing. Numbers cannot speak.
/Sigh. How many matches were there in which Villa scored three or more goals?
And what was the record of Aston Villa in those matches?
I am sure it will shock you to know that Villa had 20 wins and 1 draw.
Good heavens! That's zero losses!
It is indeed! It appears that when they score three or more goals, Villa are unbeatable.
Were there any other interesting tidbits buried in the data?
I'm glad you asked, voice from nowhere. While examining the data, I noticed that one team in particular seemed to be on the wrong end of x-3+ defeats. Care to guess who that was?
Certainly, but I will only do so after the jump.
You're so persnickety, voice from nowhere. But, as you wish.
Ha ha. Very funny. Nope, it was Blackburn! They accounted for six of Villa's wins when scoring three or more goals. Six! That's 30%! If we expand our look to all "Rovers" it becomes 35% thanks to today's win over Bristol.
So what can we take from these numbers?
Well, it seems that Alex McLeish should encourage the team to score three goals in every match. If we extrapolate the numbers above, Aston Villa could expect to collect ~110 points in the Premier League if they could just score 3 or more goals every match. (20 wins and 1 draw = 61 points. Divided by 21 matches yields ~2.9 points/match.)
110 points would be, on average, enough to secure admittance to the Champions League.
Could there be any problems with your research?
Absolutely not. I am a flawless statistician.
What other avenues of research would you like to pursue?
I think it could be interesting to see what Villa's record is when they score more goals than the other team.
Surely this is a joke, right?
Oh yes. Without question. Thank you for indulging me.