Manchester United streets ahead in Premier League ‘boucebackability’

By Brian Sears

SI chief statistician (94.86% of the time)

16 November 2012

The team that scores first in the Premier League wins almost 70 per cent of the time. That’s what this season’s statistics tells us, but the rule is turned on its head if we’re talking about Manchester United, Manchester City or Everton.

Of 289 points won in England’s top division before this weekend’s games, 201 were won by the team scoring first.

Another 16 points (0.55 per cent) have been shared by teams in goalless games.

That leaves 72 points (25 per cent) for sides conceding the first goal and then hitting back to draw or even win.

The remarkable thing is that of those 72 points, 36 – or precisely half – have gone to just three clubs: United, City and Everton, with United leading the way.

In fact, of the 27 points United have won this season, a whopping 15 of them have been won in games where they conceded first. Whether you interpret this as sloppy play to go behind or a sign of character to come back into matches, it is a stand-out statistic.

City have won 11 of 24 points coming from behind, and Everton 10 of 20. No other club has won more than four.

Chelsea, West Brom, West Ham, Tottenham, City and Fulham have capitalised best after going ahead in matches (see graphic, middle column).

After United, City and Everton there is a huge drop-off in winning from behind, although most clubs have salvaged some points this way. Wigan are the only club not yet to have managed to gain a single point after going a goal down, and they’ve had six chances to do it.

The accompanying tables tell the full story.

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