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Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Proof that the statistics can lie

5 months ago

Watching Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 reminded me of that saying about ‘The statistics don’t lie’…

Well they did on Wednesday night at the Vitality Stadium.

Football has become an increasingly stats based sport for many people for any number of reasons. The way it is presented on TV with so many hours to fill they use so many stats comparisons, fans playing games such as FIFA and Football Manager, as well as the American influence on our sport and culture.

Most American sports do lend themselves to a statistics approach but football (proper football that is, not the rugby in helmets across the Atlantic) is very different. A sport where one team can completely dominate the match and statistics but still lose.

Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 wasn’t one of those extremes of course but it was a perfect case study in terms of football being a sport where you are better off relying on your eyes than the stats.

Bournemouth had more possession (55% v 45%), more corners (6 v 3), they even hit the woodwork more (2 v 1), even taking shots they were level (12 v 12).

However, the most important stat (Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4) did tell the real story of the game, as did the other key stat, Bournemouth only one shot on target to Newcastle’s seven and it took the hosts 94 minutes for Gosling to force home that one effort on target.

Using your eyes you could see that Newcastle’s 12 shots were very different overall to Bournemouth’s 12.

In fact it was a bit similar to a number of NUFC games earlier this season, although then it was the number of shots statistic that flattered Steve Bruce’s team. Often in the matches where Newcastle did register a relatively high number of shots, frequently it was a case of them being from distance and / or non-threatening to the opposition goal.

Last night though, it was a case of almost all of Bournemouth’s attempts to score being from distance and more hopeful / desperate, than ever thinking they would score.

In contrast, Newcastle repeatedly opened up a poor home side who looked more and more ragged as the game went on. The bare stats don’t tell you things such as one of the shots off target was Hayden missing an open goal from six yards out.

Possession is a strange stat in many matches, as unlike other sports (rugby, basketball etc) a dominance of the ball doesn’t automatically translate into dominance of winning games.

However, when Newcastle were averaging as feeble as low 30 per cents for so much of the season and playing so negatively, that is far too low to keep getting away with it on a regular basis.

So Bournemouth did still have more (55%) possession but Newcastle’s 45% is very much in the comfort range in terms of still being effectively able to dominate the match and the chances.

Interesting to see what Steve Bruce does in the remaining games because NUFC still have three of the bottom six (Watford, Brighton, West Ham) to play, as well as Man City, Spurs and Liverpool.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Wednesday 1 July 6pm


Newcastle United:

Gayle 5 Sean Longstaff 30, Almiron 57, Lazaro 77


Gosling 90+4

Possession was Bournemouth 55% Newcastle 45%

Total shots were Bournemouth 12 Newcastle 12

Shots on target were Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 7

Corners were Bournemouth 6 Newcastle 3

Referee: Kevin Friend

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Krafth, Fernandez, Lascelles, Manquillo (Yedlin 73), Shelvey, Bentaleb, Sean Longstaff (Almiron 33), Joelinton (Hayden 72), Gayle (Carroll 62), Saint-Maximin (Lazaro 62)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Schar, Ritchie, Rose

Crowd: 00,000

(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 : The match report – Quite what this win proves, I don’t know – Read HERE)

(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Match ratings and comments on all NUFC players – Read HERE)

(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Wednesday’s rout – Read HERE)

(Eddie Howe says Bournemouth brought it on themselves after Newcastle hand out a hammering – Read HERE)

(Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 4 – Watch official match highlights HERE including all 5 goals)


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