THE DATA DAY: NEWCASTLE UNITED V CHELSEA
Saturday's defeat at St James' Park halted a run of six consecutive victories, with our failure to find the net for the first time since our last league defeat, at Goodison Park, proving costly, as the stats from the game suggest…
It was a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for the Blues on Tyneside. Of our 13 attempts, including nine inside the penalty area, only two were on target - John Terry's header cleared off the line and Willian's late effort that Tim Krul saved. Terry did hit the woodwork as well but Newcastle's defence was effective, blocking six of our efforts before they could reach Krul's goal.
Jose Mourinho said afterwards he was disappointed with his side's lack of incisiveness and penetration with the ball in the first 45 minutes. Of our 68 attempted passes in that time, we only completed 41. We attempted 62 passes in the final third after Newcastle took the lead with 68 minutes played, with 36 finding a man in blue, but we were unable to convert our possession - 61.1% over the 90 minutes - and time on the ball into goals.
Our attacking players didn't find their best form on Saturday, though Eden Hazard's dangerous running with the ball is reflected in the seven take-ons he attempted, six of which were successful. That was four more than any other player on the pitch managed.
Our six most frequent passing combinations were all between our defence and goalkeeper, perhaps reflecting Mourinho's belief that we were too slow in possession. Over 10% of all our successful passes in the match were played between David Luiz and John Terry.
Our skipper produced a good performance, not only nearly scoring twice, but completing 93% of his passes, successfully winning the ball in all five tackles he attempted, making 20 successful clearances out of 20 and blocking twice.
Despite the defeat, we remain in second place in the table.