The season is coming to a close and incredibly, Newcastle have climbed into the top half. It seemed a tough ask to stay up prior to the new year, but we are now one of the in-form teams in Europe.
On Saturday, Eddie Howe was able to rotate his team and they still managed to deliver a dominant performance.
Below, we discuss three interesting stats from the game.
Bruno Guimaraes – 6 progressive passes
It has been an excellent few weeks for Bruno Guimaraes, as he has established himself as a first team regular at St James’ Park. It was only a matter of time and he has now played himself into being a key player for Eddie Howe.
When he was signed, he was spoken about as one of the best progressive passers in Europe. There have been signs of it on Tyneside, but on Saturday, he was at his best in the absence of Jonjo Shelvey. He created several promising situations for the team, including in the lead up to the first two goals.
He made six progressive passes during the game, which was more than any other Newcastle player. His vision and ability to put the perfect weight on a forward pass makes him difficult to defend against.
Jacob Murphy – 0.6 expected goals (xG) and 0.2 expected assists (xA)
It was a surprise to see Jacob Murphy on the team sheet, but the £12m man who arrived from Norwich back in 2017 delivered a good performance on the right flank against his former club.
Although he was substituted in the second half, he managed to have a big impact on the game.
During the game, he had a total of 0.6 xG and 0.2 xA. He played second for each metric within the Newcastle team, which is impressive considering he was withdrawn early.
There are still some concerns about his end product, as he should have got more than a single assist on Saturday. However, he is a valuable squad player and someone that could have a part to play in the short term.
Dan Burn – Eight tackles and interceptions
It was another excellent defensive performance from Dan Burn. The defender could have been unsettled by the changes made to the starting eleven, but he stepped up and ensured standards didn’t drop at the back.
No player made more tackles and interceptions combined than Dan Burn, showing his impressive reading of the game. He was always in the right place at the right time and helped organise the defensive shape next to Jamaal Lascelles.
Burn has been a consistent player since arriving in January and he is regularly coming out well in the stats. His aggressive style helps him catch the eye.