Bruno, Schar & impressive xGC all feature in our three standout stats from 1-0 defeat to Chelsea

The defeat to Chelsea was tough to take considering the VAR decisions that didn’t go our way. Even ignoring the VAR decisions, it is tough to lose a game late on in that way.

That was our first defeat in 2022 and the hope is that we can now bounce back against Everton on Thursday. 

Below we detail three interesting stats from the game:

Expected goals conceded (xGC) – 0.8

This is an especially good statistic to discuss. Chelsea have been one of the best teams in the division this season and are easily the next best after the two title contenders. 

On Sunday, we only conceded an xG of 0.8 suggesting that we were difficult to break down and restricted them to few clear cut chances. In fact, the three chances Kai Havertz had in the last 15 minutes accounted for the majority of this total. This suggests it was tiredness and game state that inflated this figure.

For the majority of the match, we were very resolute and conceded very few chances. It wasn’t until late in the second half that Martin Dubravka was called into action. We have restricted our opponent to an xG of less than 1 in five of our last seven games. The defensive improvement under Howe has been incredible. 

Bruno Guimaraes – four tackles

It is going to take months for Bruno Guimaraes to adapt to the Premier League. We are not likely to see the best of him until next season. However, his last two starts have shown glimpses of his ability as a player.
Against Southampton, we saw his genius, as he scored the winning goal with an audacious flick. Against Chelsea, we saw the battling qualities that he possesses. He ran himself into the ground and although he tired in the closing stages, it was a highly impressive display.

He completed four tackles during the game, more than any other Newcastle player. The Brazilian likes to unsettle opposition players and win the ball back for his team. That was evident on Sunday.

Fabian Schar – 14 clearances

During the game, I was impressed with Dan Burn’s ability to be in the right place at the right time. He seemed a shoo in for man of the match before Chelsea’s goal.

However, it was Schar that came out on top in the stats, with a team high 14 clearances. To provide context, the player with the second most clearances was Jamaal Lascelles with five. This underlines how active Schar was in our defensive effort.

Eddie Howe likes Schar and there are hopes that he will extend his time at the club. Hopefully, that can be arranged, as he has been playing some of his best football under Howe in a back four. The previous two managers didn’t trust the Swiss international, but he is proving those doubters wrong.

Stats taken from fbref (powered by statsbomb)

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