Better than Hazard and Fabregas – Barton leads in this key area

Joey Barton Marseille

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has played more key passes than anyone else so far in the Premier League, one more than Chelsea winger Eden Hazard.

Not many will include Joey Barton among the world’s best players, but as things stand, the Queens Park Rangers midfielder is performing better than Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas in one key area.

The former Manchester City and Newcastle United star has played 10 key passes in QPR’s opening two Premier League games of the 2014-15 season - one more than Hazard and four more than Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, and maintains his lead at the top of this category.

  TeamPosTotal Att AssistAppsMins
Joey Barton QPR MF 10 2 180
Eden Hazard Chelsea MF 9 2 174
Rémy Cabella Newcastle MF 7 2 180
Cesc Fàbregas Chelsea MF 7 2 180
Stewart Downing West Ham MF 6 2 179
Alexis Sánchez Arsenal FW 6 2 135

Disappointingly for Barton, QPR have failed to win either of their league fixtures. In their opening match against Hull City, the 31-year-old created no fewer than six chances, but the London outfit went down 1-0 to the Tigers at Loftus Road.

Then on Sunday, Barton created four chances, but his teammates could not take them as they slumped to a 4-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Of course, playing key passes is just one part of the game, so how does Barton compare to his rivals when it comes to other areas, such as possession and pass accuracy?

  TeamPosFinal Third EntriesTotal PassAccurate PassTouchesUnsuccessful TouchAppsMins
Cesc Fàbregas Chelsea MF 32 170 154 205 0 2 180
Joey Barton QPR MF 22 104 86 153 0 2 180
Stewart Downing West Ham MF 15 74 59 124 1 2 179
Rémy Cabella Newcastle MF 6 86 75 144 4 2 180
Eden Hazard Chelsea MF 6 98 89 144 2 2 174
Alexis Sánchez Arsenal FW 6 78 59 128 6 2 135

It seems that Barton did not fare that well when compared to the likes of Hazard and Fabregas in pass accuracy (approximately 82% to the duo's 90%), but he does have more final third entries than the former and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez .

But then again, as of now, the Englishman will be just happy that he is leading the charts in the Premier League in one category at least.

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