Football News

Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s barren run continues as Unai Emery oversees first 0-0 draw in the Premier League

By James Amey

Published: 16:09, 14 January 2024

Unai Emery has finally been involved in a 0-0 draw in the Premier League.

In his 97th game in charge in the competition across spells with both Arsenal and Aston Villa, Unai Emery has been involved in a goalless draw.

His Villa side, who extended their unbeaten run at Goodison Park to 10 games in the Premier League (W7 D3) and closed the gap to Liverpool to just two points, left with a point as neither side could make the most of the chances that they were presented. Alex Moreno thought he had had opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, but after a long drawn out VAR review, saw his strike ruled out for an offside in the build up.

Lots of chances then come and went, with Abdoulaye Doucoure also having a goal ruled out late on, but the best chance of the game fell to Dominic Calvert-Lewin just before the HT break. He raced clear of the Aston Villa high line, gliding past the last defender and with just Emi Martinez to beat looked set to score, but instead of finding the bottom corner, he shot straight at the goalkeeper as his barren run in front of goal continued.

Everton’s number nine has now gone 13 appearances and over 16 hours without finding the back of the net across all competitions, with his last goal for the club coming way back on the 29th October against West Ham.

In the time since his last goal, DCL has had 20 shots, 10 shots on target and recorded an xG of 4.78, which is the fifth highest in the Premier League during that period, behind only Dominic Solanke, Mohamed Salah, Nicolas Jackson and Cole Palmer. When looking at the whole season, things don’t get any better for Calvert-Lewin, as despite scoring three goals the Everton forward has under performed his xG by 4.58, which the biggest difference by any player in the competition so far this season, just ahead of Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez (-3.68), who has scored five goals from an xG of 8.66.

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Here’s the top five players that have under performed their xG by the most this season:

Dominic Calvert-Lewin 7.58 3 -4.58
Darwin Nunez 8.66 5 -3.66
Nicolas Jackson 10.59 7 -3.59
Neal Maupay 5.22 2 -3.22
Enzo Fernandez 4.93 2 -2.93

Despite his goalscoring troubles, manager Sean Dyche is confident his striker will come good for the club, putting his troubles down to the amount of time he spent injured.

“Dom’s getting his true fitness, I’ve spoken about it he’s been up and down for a long time.” he told Sky Sports before the game.

“It’s not just getting a few games under your belt, it’s getting back into the rhythm of the Premier League, the pace of the Premier League, it can take a bit of time and he’s working very hard to do so. Goals will come his way. They have done before and they will do again.”

At the other end of the pitch, Sean Dyche will be proud as Everton kept their seventh clean sheet of the season, meaning Jordan Pickford has now kept more shutouts than any other goalkeeper in the competition in 2023/24. He will also have James Tarkowski to thank after his monstrous performance saw him win 13 of his 16duels, including nine of his 10 in the air, make a game high six clearances  and win 100% of his three tackles.