An interesting statistic has emerged in the aftermath of the Newcastle-Manchester City game on Wednesday, and it can certainly be interpreted in more than one way.
The Citizens recorded their 18th straight Premier League win by defeating the Magpies at St. James' Park, and the 0-1 scoreline was particularly reflective of their performance.
Passes completed in Newcastle 0-1 Man City:— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) 27 December 2017
Newcastle's 13 outfield players: 115
Nicolas Otamendi: 122.
Close win for Otamendi.
City, as expected had most of the possession in the game, with Newcastle sitting deep to try and defend against the visitors' passing game.
Newcastle only recorded 115 passes over the 90 minutes, which was actually less than City centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, who managed 122.
The Argentine saw a lot of the ball, and assumed a 'John Stones' role which helped the team to keep ticking. And keep ticking they did, with the team as a collective recording an impressive 90% of an attempted 449 passes in the first half alone.
Otamendi had a particularly good game, clearing a rare Newcastle chance off the line as well as recycling the ball well.
'The General' has been in fine form so far this season, and has been very consistent where Vincent Kompany and John Stones have been hit by injury.