Football stats website WhoScored.com runs through the significant statistics about when teams have tended to score or concede the majority of their goals this season.
- - -
FROM THE OFF
It usually takes teams a little time to settle into a game, but if you can get the upper hand early on in a match it can set a real precedent, as we've seen already in some high-profile clashes this season. Liverpool are the experts here, netting a massive 51 goals in the first half of league matches to date, with 40 of those coming between 15 and 45 minutes.
Most sides tend to be more concerned with keeping things tight early on, with the Reds’ main title rivals City and Chelsea particularly impressive. Manuel Pellegrini's men are the only side yet to concede a goal inside the first 15 minutes in the division. Their defence has been breached just eight times in first halves of matches - but Chelsea have gone one better, letting in just seven in opening periods this season. They are yet to concede a goal in the first half of a Premier League game in 2014. Crystal Palace are also worthy of recognition here, conceding just 14 goals before the interval this season.
While there are some that set their marker down early on, be it defensively or offensively, a number of teams have struggled to get out of the blocks. Tottenham, for example, are the only Premier League team yet to score inside the first 15 minutes of matches this season. Elsewhere Everton's European hopes aren't helped by the fact that they have managed just a dozen first-half strikes: 12 of their 49 goals have come in the first half this season (24.5%), while the Welsh duo of Swansea (13 of 45 - 28.9%) and Cardiff (eight of 29 - 27.65) are having similar problems.
THE HALF-TIME TEAM TALK
The break is a time when managers will look to regroup their players, giving out instructions with regards to how to get into a game, protect or build on what they've got, but it's fair to say some have had a better impact than others. Aston Villa are particularly poor in this regard having scored just twice in the 15 minutes after half-time and conceded 11 of their 46 goals against in the same period, leaving their goal difference in the 45-60 minute bracket at -9.
Manchester United have also been cut open after the break, perhaps in an attempt to react from numerous poor first half showings. Moyes' men have scored 13 goals in the 15 minutes after half-time - but have also conceded 11 in the same traditionally frantic period after the break. Palace, meanwhile, have also often let themselves down after the break, conceding 13 goals in that same 15-minute period - just one fewer than they have in the entire first half of matches this season.
The likes of Tottenham and Fulham have fared significantly better, in front of goal at least, after the break. The former have scored 22 of their 40 goals between 45 and 75 minutes (55%), while the Cottagers have netted 18 of their 31 goals in the same period (58.1%).
TIME'S ALMOST UP...
Staying with bottom club Fulham, the Londoners have done themselves no favours by leaking goals late on in matches: they've conceded a massive 42 of their hefty 73 goals against tally after the 60-minute mark (57.5%). Little surprise, then, that they have appointed a manager known for his rigorous fitness sessions given that their defence has faded so often in the last few minutes of matches this season.
Cardiff's woes have come even later on in games. The relegation battlers have conceded an astonishing nine times (14.8% of their goals against tally) in second half stoppage time. One of those came against West Brom this weekend - something that the Baggies have made a habit of. They have netted 11 of their modest 36-goal tally this season after the 80th minute (30.6%).
Meanwhile, at the business end of the table, Manchester City may well be hoping for more late drama this season. The Citizens famously won the title in 2011/12 courtesy of two extra time goals on the final day of the campaign. The fact, then, that they have scored 7 times already in second half stoppage time bodes well for more last gasp entertainment.
Martin Laurence, @martinlaurence7
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.
- Sports & Recreation