Burn, Willock & Dubravka all feature in our three standout stats from 2-1 win vs Southampton

The incredible run of form continues. It really is a special time to be a Newcastle United supporter.

This season has quickly gone from the worst in recent history to the best. Relegation now seems a distant worry, as popular forecaster 538 rates our relegation chances as 2%. When Eddie Howe took over, this was as high as 80%.

It is an incredible job he has done and to beat Southampton away is another major result. Below we look at three interesting stats from the game:

Martin Dubravka – 1.5 goals prevented and 90% passing accuracy

This is the second successive match that Dubravka has appeared in this article, which suggests he is getting back to his best. Yesterday, he faced 2.5 post-shot expected goals. This metric rates the likelihood of each Southampton shot finding the back of the net and gives an accumulative total.

This means Dubravka played very well to restrict them to just one. The save from range to deny Stuart Armstrong was excellent. Meanwhile, the late stop to deny Mohammed Salisu was out of this world.

It wasn’t only his shot stopping that impressed. Dubravka attempted 30 passes and completed 27. His distribution is improving a lot under Howe. If he can continue this development, it may be that Howe doesn’t enter the market for a goalkeeper this summer.

A keeper capable of playing out from the back is vital for Howe. Dubravka is showing that he can be that man.

Joe Willock – Five tackles and 49 pressures

When he was signed, it was thought Joe Willock would be a goal-scoring midfielder. He has had a couple of goals recently, but it has been the tactical role he is playing out of possession that makes him integral to Howe’s system. 

He made five tackles in the game on the South Coast. No player made more in the match, showing his aggressive approach out of possession. His mobility means he can cover a lot of ground, helping the structure in both halves of the pitch. 

On a lot of average position maps, Willock is almost partnering Wood in attack. This is due to the way he presses. He is aggressive in the way he moves forward and tries to win the ball back in more advanced areas. On Thursday, he made 49 pressures. No Newcastle player made more.

Dan Burn – 10 clearances

The team was tiring towards the end of the game. Dan Burn’s positioning was excellent, as he was regularly in the right place at the right time. He was marshalling the troops on the pitch too, ensuring we retained our structure in the closing minutes. 

Southampton struggled to break through to have clear cut chances, especially in the second half. Burn was vital in that defensive effort. Although Jonjo Shelvey was wearing the armband, Burn was the most vocal leader on the pitch.

During the match, he made 10 clearances. To underline his impressive this is, no other Newcastle player made more than five. Burn is undroppable in current form. He wasn’t the centre back many wanted in January, but he is clearly the one we needed.

Stats taken from fbref (powered by statsbomb)

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