Six chances created; 50 touches: Ritchie provides the ammunition again

Barnsley's Andy Yiadom and Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie in action

Newcastle United moved top of the Championship with a 2-0 win over Barnsley.

Dwight Gayle celebrates scoring Newcastle United's second goal with Matt Ritchie

Having missed out on Saturday's win against Brentford, Matt Ritchie returned to the Newcastle United line-up and showed exactly why he is one of Rafael Benitez's top players.

The winger replaced Christian Atsu for the game at Oakwell, with a slight bit of pressure on his shoulders after seeing the Ghanaian man perform so well in his absence.

Newcastle's Matt Ritchie in action with Aston Villa's Jordan Amavi

However, the Scotland international dealt with the pressure perfectly, providing the ammunition for Newcastle to move to the top of the Championship.

  Chances CreatedAssistsNo. of CrossesTouchesShotsPassing AccuracyMins Played
Matt Ritchie 6 1 8 50 2 75% 83

Not one player on either side created more chances than Ritchie, who was able to manufacture six chances for his teammates in black and white during his 83 minutes on the pitch.

One of those chances was converted by Dwight Gayle, who latched onto the midfielder's neat lob over the Barnsley defence and tucked it home for his second goal of the game.

It comes as no surprise that Ritchie creates so many chances for Newcastle, providing eight crosses and touching the ball 50 times.

Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie (L) in action with Rotherham United's Will Vaulks

The former Bournemouth man had the second highest passing accuracy for a Newcastle player, with only Mohamed Diame achieving a higher percentage of successful passes, but Ritchie's were much more meaningful, creating opportunities for the team, which is exactly why he was brought to St James' Park.

While Jonjo Shelvey pulls the strings in the middle of the park and Gayle scores the goals, Ritchie provides the ammunition and spark from out wide with his infectious energy and willingness to get on the ball and make things happen.

Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie celebrates after he scores his sides first goal

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