When Newcastle United visited the Etihad on Saturday, it went pretty much as expected.

Rafa’s team forced to defend for large periods but going in only one down at the break, then having a bit of a go in the final 25 minutes.

The Newcastle boss making more attacking substitutions to produce a more open game and Jacob Murphy giving hope with an excellent goal to pull the score back to 2-1.

Sergio Aguero then completing his hat-trick late on to ensure no chance of a point for Newcastle.

Not quite as much was said about the Rafa Benitez tactics as was the case in December at St James Park but actually Newcastle did set a new season record.

These are the games that have seen the lowest shares of possession in Premier League games this season.

19.46% Man City 3 Newcastle 1

20.46% Huddersfield 1 Man City 2

20.61% Liverpool 1 Everton 1

20.71% Man City 7 Stoke 2

21.18% Man City 4 Bournemouth 0

It is Martin Tyler who has put together the stats for Sky Sports and of course four out of the five matches feature when teams were playing Man City.

The exception being Sam Allardyce and despite Everton having spent over £140m in the Summer, Fat Sam managed to produce his own ultra-defensive performance.

Newcastle however have missed out on another accolade.

Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at the Etihad saw Rafa’s team complete only 114 passes but this is only the third lowest in the Premier League this season.

Huddersfield completed just 94 passes in their 2-1 home loss to Man City and actually took the lead that day, then were only six minutes from full-time when Guardiola’s team scored the winner.

In that derby, Allardyce’s Everton had only 99 completed passes to give them second lowest, ahead of Newcastle.

Interesting that the fourth lowest (116 completed passes) actually saw Huddersfield beat Manchester United 2-1!

Fewest successful passes in a Premier League match – 2017/18

94 Huddersfield 1 Man City 2

99 Liverpool 1 Everton 1

114 Man City 3 Newcastle 1

116 Huddersfield 2 Man Utd 1



  • Mack Edwards

    Pointless exercise, we know we have a poor squad especially compared to citee’s ridiculous spending power(fat lot of good ffp does -easily got round as shown). Footy has just been going down and down through stupid money involved.

    • nufcslf

      Football is the least of any greedy owner’s worry, especially ours. ‘Something Better Change’

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    we`d have a few more passes if you count the one`s the Hoss passed to Citee

  • Rich Lawson

    So what ? Look at Swansea’s possesion against Liverpool. What was it,23% but they beat them and got 3 points.It’s tough at the bottom.

  • ghostrider

    Trying to justify playing 19% possession in order to have a go at Man City by using other clubs being a few % better to just a % better, is pointless.

    We lost 3-1 because Man City were bored out of their skulls attempting to break us down.
    I wanted to cry and spew up and scream and everything else at our team for having to endure being toyed with and literally taken the pee out of because Rafa Benitez thought it was good enough in his book.

    Stoke got beat 7-2 by having 20%.
    If Man City wanted to expend more energy with more enthusiasm they could literally do what they want against teams that simply just turn up and let them humiliate them.

    There’s a very good reason why Man City are storming this league. It’s because they’re being allowed to by weak whimpering teams that look on their games as one to cross off the list and get over with ready for the next game.

    And to think we actually pay footballers money to do that. Good money. NOOOOOO, extremely sickeningly good money and also a manager on sickeningly obscene money.

    And yet we accept it with excuses that we’re garbage or a championship team .

    Spineless is the word, for the fight.
    The team/squad can take the least of the blame. rafa takes the lions share and he needs to be told by the fans that we are not putting up with it.
    the reality most probably will be, hail Rafa.

    Ahhhh wellll….never mind.

    • Wor Lass

      Stoke have a goal difference of -25 which is just over double what ours is. Huddersfield`s is -22 and Swansea`s -20. That could be worth an extra point at the end of the day and could keep us up. That`s rafa`s job this season – keep us up despite the bloated dipstick`s interference and lack of support!

      • ghostrider

        Yeah there’s a very distinct possibility that goal difference might help us. There’s also a very distinct possibility that goal difference won’t help us if Rafa keeps parking the bus for mammoth amounts of most games, home or away, because sooner or later we’re going to come a cropper.

        Let’s hope we don’t have to worry and we get in a striker who Rafa intends to use as he should be used.

        • nufcslf

          Cashley to supply money for a striker. Not in a million years. The one and only…not the beer…loanee player has already arrived. Time to worry if you take this shambles of a club seriously. I don’t.

      • hetonmag

        You can guarantee at least one club will go down on goal difference because the league is too compact at the bottom.

    • hetonmag

      Did you jump up when we scored. ??

      • ghostrider

        No I didn’t.

        • hetonmag

          That just about wipes every post you’ve ever put on this message board now go away.

    • Cockneytrev

      You know nothing about football,,
      I think you should start trolling some netball sites,,
      Ashley hoop licker👅

  • Ram Kishore

    Don’t Forget Everton lost Lukaku.. their main focal point the attack

  • Scottie Chugger Dearden

    Who gives a s#[email protected], no one remembers how many chances, shots and possession we had against Man U at home in 95/96 season, I might, not that I’m bitter!

  • ghostrider

    The game’s turned into scientific nonsense.
    The simple game turned into analytic claptrap from the first whistle to the next few days of sky sports dissection by paid scientists who were once mistake laden footballers.
    Great stuff.
    Turn kicking a leather football about a field with the ultimate end product of hopefully putting it past a goalkeeper into the net, into a nice big game of chess.

    5/4/1….4/4/2…..4/5/1….3/4/3….4/3/3… 4/4/1/1…Add as many as you want to.
    We’ve all bought into the science.
    Christmas trees and diamonds.

    I’m going to set up the ruby slipper set up and have the players click their heels together.

    Yeah but the games changed man, can’t you see?
    Aye I can….but guess what. It’s still one football with 22 men in football strips.
    It makes you wonder why we get so many injured players out for weeks, months, seasons in the day and age where passing wind is blown up as a foul.

    Exaggeration:
    Back in the day of footballers wearing their hobnail boots straight after work and kicking a big rain soaked 27lb leather ball made of Buffalo skin with flesh let overs and ribs for inner bladder strength.
    Goalkeepers wearing nothing more than the remnants of brylcreem on their hands,catching balls from the air after being trampled by foraging players, then dusting themselves down after replacing the dislocated shoulder on the goalpost with a sharp whack, then filling in the hobnail indentations in their heads with goal line wet mud.

    Bring back football. lol

  • nufcslf

    Statistics are a waste of bloody time. The complete joke of a match spoke for itself both home and away, just the same way a good match speaks for itself. Rather just listen to games and make up my own mind. Not difficult to tell who is involved and who isn’t on the radio.