Why the first Premier League goal is more important than ever (unless you're Arsenal or Bournemouth)

  • Premier League
  • 03/11/2017
Why the first Premier League goal is more important than ever (unless you're Arsenal or Bournemouth)
Of football's most inaccurate truisms, the suggestion that 2-0 is the game's most dangerous scoreline is right up there with the most misguided.

2-0, unsurprisingly, is not a dangerous position at all: just 2.6 per cent of two-goal leads have been overturned in the history of the Premier League. And this season, it turns out, that overused cliche is even further from the truth. Even 1-0 is a more secure lead than ever before.

Comeback victories are an increasingly rare occurrence. Just eight games out of 100 so far in 2017/18, or eight per cent, have seen a team win after going behind. That is the lowest such rate in any season since the Premier League began. No other season since 2004/05 has seen less than 10% of matches result in a comeback, while in 2012/13 as many as 16 per cent saw a team that went ahead end up losing.

Even clawing back a point after going behind is more difficult than ever before: on average four points are being gained from losing positions each gameweek (where a gameweek involves all 20 teams playing). Every other Premier League season has seen more points won from losing positions, and this season's rate of four is 42 per cent lower than its highest rate, in 2012/13.

What's more, around on in 10 wins this season has involved a comeback - or 10.7 per cent to be precise. Again, this is the lowest ever seen in the Premier League era. Of all wins in 2012/13, nearly 22 per cent - or more than one in five - saw a comeback. All of which leads us to ask: why?
  
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