The statistics were massively in favour of Swansea but they still lost 2-0 to Newcastle on Good Friday. Here are some of the stats that stand out:
Attempted shots – Swansea 19; Newcastle 5
Passes (successful/attempted) – Swansea 835/914; Newcastle 181/271
Completed % – Swansea 91%; Newcastle 67%
Possession – Swansea 77%; Newcastle 23%
Corners – Swansea 7; Newcastle 0
In amongst the numbers were some key things Newcastle did right that Swansea did not have an answer for.
Papiss Demba Cisse was quite lethal in putting away two of the three chances that came his way. The other fell to Hatem Ben Arfa.
Compare Newcastle’s chance-taking to just one player from Swansea – Gylfi Sigurdsson. Since he arrived on loan from Hoffenheim the attacking midfielder has impressed. But he alone had seven chances and of his three on target all were long-range efforts. With three chances from inside the penalty area Sigurdsson missed the target with one and had two others blocked.
Swansea decided to leave leading scorers Danny Graham and Scott Sinclair on the bench. Luke Moore started through the centre with Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer operating wide. Dyer and Moore made way for Graham and Sinclair in the 66th minute but within 3 minutes Newcastle had gone two up. The starting front three made very little impact on a Newcastle midfield and defence that sat deep and remained compact.
Dyer was pushed deep and more times than not there was too much real estate between Dyer and the Newcastle danger area. Only two successful take-ons from 49 passes clearly indicates that the tactic of opening up the Newcastle defence by attacking the full backs with pace just did not work.
The same applies to Wayne Routledge.
Although the Newcastle defence sat deep Luke Moore could not offer the Swansea midfield an option for a ball forward into and around the penalty area. Instead he dropped deep too often and simply collected the ball in positions where two banks of defenders stood between him and a goal scoring chance.
His one attempt on goal was not surprisingly from distance.
With two goals you might have expected Papiss Demba Cisse to have played the conventional lone striker role. The reality was different – particularly in the first half. Working together with Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba the trio would rotate with Ben Arfa popping up in a number of different areas (even as the lone striker on occasion); Demba Ba moving between the left side of midfield and striker; Cisse sometimes dropping back to midfield while others took his place in attack.
Cisse’s first goal came after he dropped deeper.
Any thoughts on Newcastle’s 2-0 win against Swansea?
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