Nobody won more tackles than these two Newcastle players this weekend
The result of course was everything at Anfield and the focus was predictably very much on those Newcastle players who scored and created the goals.
Vurnon Anita crossing for Papiss Cisse, then Andros Townsend doing the same for Jack Colback’s equaliser.
However, two other Newcastle players made just as telling contributions according to stats put together by Opta.
These are the Premier League players who put in most tackles in the games this weekend:
6 Cheick Tiote (Newcastle)
5 Chancel Mbemba (Newcastle)
5 Cedric Soares (Southampton)
4 Oriol Romeu (Southampton)
Cheick Tiote was recalled for the Norwich match after injury and clearly not 100% he still did enough to convince Rafa Benitez that he was one of the players he should rely on in the relegation run-in.
The following three games have seen Tiote back performing at a level we thought was very much left in his past.
His mobility isn’t what it was and whether that is permanent or due to lack of regular football is open to discussion – but what isn’t, is that he has massively helped in his role protecting the back four in recent matches.
Another major improvement since we last saw him playing regularly, is that he must have had a word with himself about the daft ways that he used to find to get himself into trouble, retaining the ball in tight situations and getting caught in possession.
He is still prone to picking up yellow cards but if you put in a lot of tackles then they come with the territory, though I have to admit he may have got away with one tackle on Saturday when Sturridge was wanting a penalty.
However, with his six tackles and all round play, Cheick Tiote was a key player in the fightback and result against Liverpool.
As for Chancel Mbemba who with five tackles was next best at the weekend, he is once again proving that clearly he is by far Newcastle’s best and most reliable defender.
Jamaal Lascelles has done pretty well and certainly off the pitch been a major factor in stirring the players up – but against Swansea, Manchester City and then again against Liverpool, he showed why he was easily Newcastle’s best signing last summer.
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