The surprising area in which Newcastle were outclassed by Stoke this weekend

Stoke City were much more willing to play the ball on the floor than Newcastle United.

Stoke City's aesthetically pleasing approach under Mark Hughes was on full display again as they out-passed Newcastle United at the weekend.

The Potters had been labelled a 'rugby team' for their direct tactics under Tony Pulis, but Hughes has them playing with confidence and style. 

Stoke are now a side who demand technical excellence as well as physicality and this was highlighted more than ever at St. James' Park. 

The Potters may have only picked up a 1-1 draw on Tyneside, but they showed more belief in their ability to play football than their hosts.

  Total PassAppearances
Stoke 440 1
Newcastle 318 1

Stoke made over 100 passes more than Newcastle and their more demanding display was summed up in the contrasting performances of their two key centre-backs. 

  TacklesAerial duels wonInterceptionsClearancesTotal PassPassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Philipp Wollscheid 1 6 0 7 41 75.6% 1 90
Fabricio Coloccini 0 5 4 10 24 83.3% 1 90

Philipp Wollschied was brought in by Hughes last month and his impressive start to life for his new club continued on Sunday. 

The German defender proved to be a match for Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini, who has become one of the Premier League's most reliable centre-backs over recent years.

Wollschied made more tackles and won more headers than the Argentine, but it was in their passing statistics where the biggest difference lies. 

Whilst Coloccini may have achieved a better accuracy with his passing figures, he generally played safe, whereas Wollschied was tasked to help start his side's attacking moves from the back. 

The on-loan Bayer Leverkusen man is technically proficient and Hughes has clearly identified him as a player who can progress the side further.

Wollschied made 41 passes during the contest (17 more than Coloccini) and if he can keep combining his impressive distribution with his sturdy defensive showings then he will be a very good addition at the Britannia Stadium. 

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