Manchester United are well-known for making a comeback and Arsenal have scored more goals in the last 10 minutes of matches than any other team this season, but which teams out of the top 7 have actually been the best at coming from behind this season?
We have taken a look at how well the top 7 teams have comeback from being 1-0 down this season as well as how the top 7 teams have comeback when they have been losing at half time. We have also carried out the same analysis for the last 5 seasons and have taken a look at how these statistics have affected the title race in the last 2 seasons.
Arsenal and Everton have let the opposition score the first goal more times than any other of the top 7 teams this season, as the opposition have scored the first goal on 14 occasions. The opposition have scored the first goal 14 times against Manchester United, 12 times against Liverpool, 10 times against Tottenham and Manchester City and 9 times against Chelsea.
After going behind on 14 occasions this season, Manchester United have taken more points per game than any of the other top 7 teams in these matches (2). There is then a big gap to Everton who have rescued 1.57 points per game when going behind this season and Manchester City who have taken 1.2 points per game when going 1-0 down. Tottenham have taken 1.1 points per game when going behind, while Arsenal have taken 1.07 points per game when going 1-0 down this season.
Liverpool have struggled when going 1-0 down this season as they have only taken 0.58 points per game in these 12 games, winning 1 and losing 7 of them and only scoring 11 goals in the process. This may be down to the lack of a goalscorer such as Dirk Kuyt on the bench, as only two of their goals have come from substitutes this season as well as sticking to their passing game when needing a late goal instead of playing more of a long ball game when needed.
Liverpool have also been behind at half time more often than any of the other top 7 teams this season (12 times). Arsenal have been behind at half time 7 times, Tottenham and Everton have been behind at half time 6 times, while Manchester City and Chelsea have been behind at half time 5 times.
Manchester United have been behind at half time the fewest time this season (3) but have taken 2 points per game in these 3 matches, which is more than any of the other 7 teams. Chelsea have taken 0.8 points per game when they have been losing at half time this season, while Arsenal and Tottenham have both taken 0.7 points per game when losing at half time. Everton have picked up 0.6 points per game, Liverpool 0.5 points per game and Manchester City 0.4 points per game.
After looking at how well the top 7 teams have come back from going 1-0 down and from losing at half time this season, we will now look at how well they have fought back over the last 5 seasons.
Chelsea have gone 1-0 down less times than any of the top 7 teams since 2008 (46 times) and taken 1.3 points per game in these matches, which is more than any of the other top 7 teams. Arsenal and Manchester United have both taken 1.1 points per game when they have gone 1-0 down in the last 5 seasons, but Arsenal have gone 1-0 down 8 more times.
Everton have taken 0.9 points per game in the 79 times the opposition have scored first, while Tottenham have taken 0.8 points per game in the 70 games they have gone 1-0 down. Liverpool and Manchester City have taken the fewest points per game after going 1-0 down, as they have taken 0.7 points per game.
Manchester United have only been losing at half time 25 times in the last 5 seasons, but have comeback to earn 1 point per game in these matches, while Manchester City have been losing at half time 27 times but have only earned 0.4 points per game. Chelsea have earned 0.8 points per game in the 31 games they have been losing at half time, while Tottenham and Arsenal have earned 0.7 points per game when losing at half time. Everton have been behind at half time in one more game than Liverpool since 2008 and taken 0.1 points per game more than their local rivals.
The Title Race
Manchester United have improved greatly in terms of coming back from being 1-0 down and losing at half time this season compared to last season, which has gone a long way to helping them to almost sealing their 20th Premier League title.
If we compare to how well Manchester United are at coming back from being 1-0 down to Manchester City we can see why they are so far ahead this season.
Manchester United have been 1-0 down 14 times this season, which is 4 more times than Manchester City but have comeback to take 2 points per game, 0.8 more points per game than their local rivals. With both teams taking similar amount of points when taking the lead this season we are seeing just how crucial Manchester United’s comebacks have been this season.
United have also comeback to take 2 points per game when being behind at half time this season which is 1.2 points more per game than Manchester City, although both teams haven’t been behind at half time very often this season.
Manchester City have actually taken 0.2 more points per game when going behind this season than they did last season, but Manchester United’s massive improvement of taking 1.6 more points per game when going 1-0 down has been crucial.
United have also taken 1.8 more points per game when losing at half time this season compared to last season, which again is a massive leap. There are several reasons to Manchester United’s improvements this season, with one of the main reasons being the signing of Robin Van Persie.
Van Persie’s 20 goals have been crucial with some of his goals at the start of the season for Manchester United being of great importance. His hat-trick against Southampton including two late goals gave them a 3-2 win and goals against Fulham, Reading and Newcastle after going behind helped them gain all three points in all of these games.
The signing of Van Persie has also meant that Javier Hernandez has spent more time on the bench and being able to bring a player on of his calibre when they need a goal is something they didn’t have last season.
Manchester United’s training sessions where the team is given 5 minutes to score 2 goals coupled with Sir Alex’s change in tactics during matches when they are behind this season has helped them immensely.
When they are behind United overload the box with 4 or 5 players and keep possession high up the pitch. This provides the opposition with a lot of problems as they find it difficult to get out of their own area and with the ball keeping coming back at them, it is only a matter of time before Manchester United score.
This is something that Brendan Rogers may want to try and replicate when Liverpool go 1-0 down and Arsene Wenger may want to replicate when losing at half time as they have both struggled this season.
Although, more variables such as the strength of the opposition and the time of when the first goal was scored need to be taken into consideration when making a sound conclusion when looking at how well teams have comeback from losing positions.
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