Chelsea set a club record number of passes in a single Premier League game in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Newcastle.
It took a late own goal from DeAndre Yedlin to seal three points for Maurizio Sarri’s side, who had seen Eden Hazard’s strike from a penalty cancelled out by Joselu.
Although the three goals all came in the last 15 minutes of the game Chelsea were dominant throughout, enjoying 81 per cent possession and having 15 shots to the home side’s six.
The Blues are still adapting to their new coach’s playing style, but Sarri’s influence can already be seen in their constant movement of the ball.
New signing and Sarri’s former Napoli star Jorginho was pivotal once again and showed himself as Chelsea’s metronome, making 173 passes (158 successful). Had he made one more, he would have equalled the Premier League record, which Ilkay Gundogan set in March.
But Sarri’s style is evident throughout the rest of the team, too. Chelsea made 913 passes against Rafael Benitez’s team, with 838 reaching their target.
Newcastle, on the other hand, made just 200 passes and completed 182. Under Antonio Conte last season, the most they attempted in one game was 832, against Huddersfield.
86 – Jorginho completed 86 passes out of a possible 92 in the first half (93.5%), 19 more than the whole Newcastle side combined (67). Circles. pic.twitter.com/3SxjTyVTxE
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 26 de agosto de 2018
The visitors’ big tally is a new high for the club since Opta began recording in 2003-04, but it is not a new best for the Premier League.
Unsurprisingly, Manchester City are the Premier League’s pass masters and have been breaking their own records since 2017.
Pep Guardiola’s team’s 1015 passes against Swansea in April this year is top of the chart, which overtook the record of 976 they had set and then levelled in March against Chelsea and Everton.
The fourth best on record is again City – 929 against West Brom in October 2017, which beat the 2011 tally set against Stoke in 2011 under Roberto Mancini.