Beesotted contributors The Gowler and Paul Kowalczyk (@BeesBreakdown) give us the tactical and statistical lowdown of Brentford’s loss against Newcastle
Thomas Frank stuck with the 5-3-2 deployed in the last two matches against Brighton and Manchester United. Brentford were looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Manchester United on Wednesday. The Bees showed they have the quality to go head-to-head with the biggest clubs in the Premier League and this was another chance to showcase their talent.
An unchanged back three of Jansson, Pinnock, and Ben Mee was accompanied by Rico Henry and Aaron Hickey. Jensen and Nørgaard were joined by Dasilva in the midfield, while Janelt was back from injury on the bench. Toney was paired with new signing Kevin Schade, giving Mbeumo some much needed rest.
Newcastle United came out in a 4-3-3 with Isak leading the line. Joelinton and Murphy the wingers and Bruno behind in the “quarterback” role. Newcastle’s back four consisted of Burn, Botman, Schar, and specialist Trippier.
Possession: Brentford 42% – 58% Newcastle United
xG: Brentford 2.6 – 1.3 Newcastle United
Non Penalty xG: Brentford 1.0 – 1.3 Newcastle United
Shots: Brentford 12 – 10 Newcastle United
Clearances: Brentford 15 – 27 Newcastle United
Other Brentford stats:
Aerial duels won: 24 (53%)
Brentford fans will be a bit disappointed to let another game slip away from them. Brentford created good chances, with 2.6 xG, but only 1.0 non penalty xG. Even with a penalty saved, Toney had a good outing winning 11 out of 15 aerial duels. Toney was inches away from having another goal, but VAR overturned it. This was Toney’s first penalty miss since October 2018, but his post shot xG was 0.96.
Jensen had a good outing, creating 0.7 xA, 5 key passes, 4 progressive passes, and 2 completed crosses into the penalty area. Brentford looked comfortable in possession and easily able to play out of pressure. Brentford created some easy chances by inviting Newcastle’s press and sending balls in-behind.
Brentford had more shots than Newcastle and almost half the amount of clearances, but Newcastle still had their chances. The Bees looked a bit better defending corners and Newcastle failed to attacked their weaknesses on cornerkicks. Pinnock ended with 4 tackles, 1 interception, and 4 clearances. Pinnock was able to organize the line and the backline seamlessly transitioned even with an unfortunate early substitution for Jansson off to injury.
Ben Mee only had two interceptions, but they were crucial based on Newcastle’s tactics. Newcastle tried to play balls into the penalty area in the half space, but Ben Mee’s positioning helped cut out those chances. Schade with 3 tackles and interceptions as he had a crucial role on defence. Schade helped prevent
Callum Wilson was a smart substitution as he had 4 shot creating actions in only 45 minutes, racking up the most xAG in the squad (0.5 xAG).
Newcastle change from 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 allowing Isak to drop a bit deeper with Callum Wilson getting in-behind. Anthony Gordon also troubled Brentford on their right side. Isak dropping more into midfield and coming to get the ball helped Newcastle pull their centerbacks out of position.
The change in formation also allowed Newcastle’s fullbacks push higher up the pitch. Similar to the Manchester United match, Newcastle were able to start to create some numerical advantages going forward. Bruno and Joelinton’s double pivot in the second half also helped Newcastle start to win the midfield battle and especially take advantage of second balls.
Pressing Intensity data showed us Brentford made some adjustments after Newcastle’s second goal. Brentford tried to disrupt Newcastle, and while it resulted in more possession for Brentford, it only created one shot.
Brentford went for it at the end with Wissa, Mbeumo, Toney, and Schade all attacking. Brentford tried to overload the right wing, but were unable to finish their chances. Zanka on Janelt did well in their wide roles, with Janelt still able to make runs forward.