Premier League clubs ranked on points dropped from winning positions

Arteta on Arsenal plot Credit: Alamy
Arteta on Arsenal plot Credit: Alamy

We’ve looked at who wins the most points from losing positions, so it stands to reason we’d follow that up by having a gander at who spaffs points away from winning ones. The answer is mainly Leicester, who have managed to lose a genuinely absurd five games after going in front. Oh, Brendan.

Manchester United were flawless in this regard until very recently. They are no longer remotely flawless.

That other scrambly ranking list is here…


20) Leicester – 19pts dropped
14 leads, 7 wins, 2 draws, 5 defeats

Christ that’s mad. Nobody else has lost more than three games having taken the lead, and Leicester have racked up five. Half of the games in which they go ahead end in a draw or defeat. But at least they held on against Aston Villa after coming from behind twice and against Spurs after leading 4-1. Still, though. Fourteen leads points to cosy mid-table status: it’s the same as Villa and Fulham, one less than Chelsea. More than Brentford. More than Liverpool. Yet all those clubs are at least 11 points better off than Brendan Rodgers’ dafties.


19) Bournemouth – 17pts
13 leads, 6 wins, 4 draws, 3 defeats

Only very slightly less ridiculous than Leicester because, again, that’s a mid-table number of leads but a relegation-baiting number of screw-ups. To make matters worse, those three defeats all came from two goals up. And two of those clusterf***s came in successive games against Spurs and Leeds. They shrewdly abandone the “going two goals up” policy for a while, but then tried it again against Arsenal. Honestly, the hubris of it. If you couldn’t hold a two-goal lead against Leeds or Spurs, what on earth made you think it was a good idea against Arteta’s mentality monsters? Silly. Still, credit where it’s due for lessons learned: they took great care not to get a second goal against Liverpool and duly trousered all three points.


18) Leeds – 15pts
12 leads, 5 wins, 3 draws, 4 defeats

Leeds arguably deserve greater punishment here because one of those three defeats was the one at Spurs where Leeds led three times. We haven’t checked, obviously, but are confident this represents some kind of record. Losing a game in which you lead 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 can’t happen that often, can it? And although getting a draw at Manchester United is to be applauded, getting a draw when 2-0 up is absolutely not. And also you can’t go around calling yourself Leeds when you drop points in over half the games where you have leads.


17=) Everton – 15pts
12 leads, 6 wins, 3 draws, 3 defeats

Alex Iwobi made the classic error of scoring too early against Manchester United, who duly hit back to beat Frank Lampard’s Everton 2-1, while Brentford and Leeds pegged the Toffees back in the space of four days in August. The pressure beginning to mount on Frank Lampard certainly wasn’t reduced by conceding a last-gasp winner to Wolves on return to action in a game they had led in the early stages. They have wisely decided to abandon the tactic and appoint Sean Dyche, who absolutely knows how to keep a lead. Or at least he did before his team twice threw one away v Forest.


17=) Nottingham Forest – 15pts
12 leads, 6 wins, 3 draws, 3 defeats

Back-to-back 3-2 home defeats to your fellow promoted clubs after taking the lead must be considered an unorthodox and in-all-likelihood unsuccessful approach to trying to remain in the Premier League but to be fair to Forest six months passed after those two September misfortunes before they would next lose a game in which they led, this time going down to Newcastle as Alexander Isak scored an equaliser in first-half stoppage time and a winner in second-half stoppage time. It was also Newcastle’s first win from behind all season, mainly because they very rarely go behind.


15) Wolves – 15pts
13 leads, 7 wins, 3 draws, 3 defeats

Managed to lose twice from winning positions during a five-match winless run in October and November, coming unstuck against both Palace and Brighton. Ended that streak by shrewdly not taking the lead at Everton until the 95th minute. Returned to their old nonsense in a 1-1 draw at Villa having taken a foolishly early 12th-minute lead, but did then at last manage to hold a lead for a period of time in beating West Ham. Have been in reasonable form since, with leads notably held against both Liverpool and Spurs, but were pegged back in a 1-1 draw at Fulham.


14) Crystal Palace – 12pts
11 leads, 6 wins, 3 draws, 2 defeats

The moral of this story is not to switch off Crystal Palace games after the first goal assuming that all is now known. Only Arsenal have won more points from losing positions, but Palace have been profligate when getting their noses in front. Allowing Brentford to equalise after 96 minutes a particular low point.


13) Chelsea – 12pts
16 leads, 10 wins, 5 draws, 1 defeat

Only one defeat from 15 leads is pretty good. That defeat being against Southampton, not so much. The funniest dropped points probably remain those spaffed right at the start of the season against Spurs in what was otherwise one of Chelsea’s vanishingly few convincing performances of the season. And now Graham Potter has contrived to throw away leads against Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Everton, which is sub-optimal.


11=) West Ham – 11pts
10 leads, 6 wins, 1 draw, 3 defeats

Entitled to feel mighty aggrieved about the nature of the first blot on their record at Chelsea. And they certainly did feel mighty aggrieved. Also lost having led 1-0 against Palace, who somewhat quirkily have trailed in four of the six games they’ve won this season, and then started the second half of the season by foolishly, recklessly going 1-0 up at the Emirates. An absurd error duly punished. Bigger problem is only taking leads in 10 games, a record matched for dismalness by only Southampton, who as luck would have it have an identical record in their 10 games. Look…


11=) Southampton – 11pts
10 leads, 6 wins, 1 draw, 3 defeats

Traditional powerhouses in this particular field, but have sought to address the issue by very rarely taking the lead. This must be considered no more than a middling start for the south coast’s irredeemable point-spaffers and yet it has nonetheless proved sufficient to cost Ralph Hasenhuttl his job. Made a glorious start to the season by managing to lose 4-1 at Spurs after going in front, and the speed with which a 1-0 lead became a 2-1 defeat to Everton was pretty spectacular even by the Saints’ lofty standards. Losing 2-1 at home to Wolves – a team who famously almost never score goals – having led with 70 minutes on the clock is really very bad indeed.


10) Brighton – 11pts
16 leads, 11 wins, 4 draws, 1 defeat

Their first defeat from ahead was also Villa’s first win from behind. The danger of scoring in the first minute, I guess. Silly Alexis Mac Allister. Daft World Cup winner. Otherwise very decent, although leading twice only to draw at home to Leeds is irritating.


9) Manchester City – 11pts
24 leads, 19 wins, 4 draws. 1 defeat

Only getting a point at Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa seems an unduly negligent piece of Manchester City behaviour, and it’s easy to forget that the comeback from 3-1 down at Newcastle actually came in a game they’d led 1-0 early doors. A draw at home against a piss-poor Everton side was bad and defeat to Manchester United after going ahead potentially violently costly. The draw at Forest was irredeemably careless.


8) Aston Villa – 10pts
15 leads, 11 wins, 1 draw, 3 defeats

Villa led 1-0 and 2-1 in two February home games and went on to lose both of them 4-2, which must be pretty rare. And also bad. The Leicester one was awful, the Arsenal one potentially seismic. But then they went and won at Everton and overall it’s not too bad a record, which is fitting for what is currently the Premier League’s one and only mid-table club. A first draw came against West Ham.


7) Tottenham – 10pts
19 leads, 15 wins, 2 draws, 2 defeats

Spurs winning a bunch of points from losing positions and losing them from winning positions feels very on brand. We’ve mentioned it before, but whenever people start chatting ‘interesting stats’ we like to wheel out our favourite Premier League stat: that in the history of Our League, Spurs have both won most points from losing positions and lost most points from winning positions. People generally like it. Has a nice Spursy ring to it. Thing is, we’ve got absolutely no idea if it’s true. But it feels right, doesn’t it? It definitely feels right. We have no interest in checking because we don’t want to find out we’re wrong. This season was going terribly on this front until recently, with horrendous thrashings from 2-0 up and 1-0 up against City and Leicester respectively the first and still only games Spurs have lost having gone in front all season. The Leicester one was particularly good, because by the end it was sufficiently bad to make a case that Spurs had once again finished third in a two-horse race with the, er, Foxes.

But overall it’s still a very solid record and since those twin collapses they have kept leads against West Ham, Chelsea and Forest so, as ever with this Spurs team: f*** knows. And then came Southampton and the meltdown.


6) Fulham – 8pts
14 leads, 11 wins, 1 draw, 2 defeats

Really, really very impressive from a newly promoted side.


5) Brentford – 8pts
14 leads, 10 wins, 4 draws, 0 defeats

One of only three sides yet to lose a game having taken the lead, which is a phenomenal record in a phenomenal season. Also one of only two sides yet to win a game having fallen behind, the quirky so and sos.


4) Newcastle – 7pts
15 leads, 12 wins, 2 draws, 1 defeat

Failing to hold a 3-1 lead against Manchester City is irritating, but Newcastle are not the first and won’t be the last to suffer that particular annoyance. Pretty unlucky to get turned over by Liverpool at Anfield as well. But throwing away two points at home to West Ham was very poor. Back-to-back wins against Wolves and Forest were very needed and notable: the Wolves one was the first in almost two years where Newcastle managed to find a winner having conceded an equaliser, while the 2-1 win at Forest was Newcastle’s first from a losing position this season.


3) Manchester United – 5pts
17 leads, 15 wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat

Took a maximum 36 points from the first 12 games in which they led this season, but they were struck down by LATE DRAMA in two games, first thanks to Michael Olise’s late, late equaliser for Palace and perhaps more significantly for everyone (apart from Palace) Eddie Nketiah’s late winner at the Emirates. Held on against Palace, Leeds and Leicester at Old Trafford to restore order and say what you like about 7-0 defeats at Anfield but at least they don’t involve losing points from a winning position.


2) Arsenal – 4pts
24 leads, 22 wins, 2 draws, 0 defeats

Arsenal fans might consider the win which turned into a draw against Brentford to be points dropped due to VAR, which is not a ranking any sane individual wants to undertake. That was and remains only the second instance this season in which the Gunners led but did not emerge victorious, the first obviously being against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton.


1) Liverpool – 2pts
13 leads, 12 wins, 1 draw, 0 defeats

Going ahead in the same number of games as Aston Villa and Wolves: Not great. Dropping only two points from those 13 games: Really f***ing great.

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