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Analysing Loic Remy's Performance vs. Stoke City

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Newcastle player Loic Remy celebrates after scoring the third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St James' Park on December 26, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2013

Very quietly, the addition of Loic Remy on loan from Queens Park Rangers to Newcastle has been one of the best moves of last summer's transfer window. The in-form striker proved that to be the case once again against Stoke City, notching a brace in Newcastle's 5-1 win. 

It wasn't all roses for Remy, of course. He actually could have had a hat trick were it not for a first-half penalty that was saved with Stoke City leading 1-0. He stepped up to the spot after Stoke City saw their second man sent off but couldn't equalize.

From Newcastle's official Twitter account:

But it wouldn't take Remy long to make good on that failed opportunity, as he soon scored shortly thereafter.

And he would go on to give Newcastle an insurmountable lead in the second half, this time with his head.

For his efforts, WhoScored.com gave him a 9.0 match rating, crediting him with a 97 percent pass accuracy, 48 total touches and five shots on goal. Somewhat surprisingly, however, he was not named Man of the Match—that distinction went to Hatem Ben Arfa, with a 9.6 match rating.

Still, no one will doubt how important Remy has been to Newcastle's revitalization this season. As OptaJoe notes, his brace against Stoke is just par for the course this campaign:

He now has 10 goals and two assists on the season and a sparkling 7.25 match rating from WhoScored.

Yes, Remy's brace on the afternoon came against a nine-man Stoke side. Yes, his first goal was aided by a Stoke deflection and his second was cleverly chipped onto the back post for the easiest of finishes. But Remy again showed an ability to put himself in dangerous positions on the pitch, draw fouls with his excellent movement and finish his opportunities when they've presented themselves.

NEWCASTLE, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 26:  Loic Remy of Newcastle United sees his penalty saved by Thomas Sorenson of stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Stoke City at St James' Park on December 26, 2013 in Newc
Ian Horrocks/Getty Images

He's a nightmare for any back four, one that Stoke will be happy to wake up from after this contest.

It won't be easy for Newcastle to retain his services, that much is for sure. You can bet he's caught the attention of a number of big sides around Europe, all ready to splash the cash to bring him aboard. But while they have him, you can bet Newcastle will continue to enjoy his sparkling form.

 

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