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 already managed to lose four games after going in front. Oh, Brendan.
At the other end of the scale one team remains flawless, winning every single time they take the lead. It’s not them. Or them. Everyone else is somewhere in between, as is customary with any ranking system.
That other Spursy ranking is here…
20. Leicester – 14pts dropped
10 leads, 5 wins, 1 draw, 4 defeats
Christ that’s mad. Especially when you remember Leicester are also the only side yet to register a single point after falling behind. Basically, if Leicester go behind they lose and if Leicester go ahead they still quite often lose. But while you should not and cannot go around Our League with only a 50-50 chance of winning games where you go in front, the more recent results are more promising. They’ve actually improved to that ratio from far worse. You absolutely cannot be going in front in games and then losing 5-2 and 6-2, as the not-so-crafty Foxes have already contrived to do this season at Brighton and Spurs and it’s canny of Rodgers to have seemingly cut that out now. Leicester having led the same number of Premier League games this season as Tottenham or Newcastle feels like a madness.
19. Nottingham Forest – 12pts
8 leads, 3 wins, 3 draws, 2 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. Going 1-0 up against Liverpool and staying 1-0 up was a much better plan, albeit one swiftly and foolishly abandoned in their next game at Arsenal. Eight leads is pretty impressive, though, given where Forest are and where they’re expected to end up. It’s more leads than Liverpool have managed and the same as Manchester United, for instance. Just need to work on the whole “keeping the lead” element because it is quite important.
18. Wolves – 11pts
6 leads, 2 wins, 1 draw, 3 defeats
Given the awful struggle Wolves have in actually scoring any goals to take a lead, you’d think they’d be a bit more careful when they do manage to get one. And even when they finally managed to score more than once in a Premier League game this season, at the 14th time of asking, they still managed to spaff away a 2-1 lead to lose against Brighton.
17. Leeds – 11pts
8 leads, 4 wins, 1 draw, 3 defeats
Only Leicester have lost more leads than, well, Leeds who arguably deserve greater punishment here having lost the lead against Spurs three times in the final game before the World Cup. 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? Being ahead on three separate occasions but only actually spending 28 minutes of a match in the lead also seems like it must be pretty rare.
16. Bournemouth – 10pts
8 leads, 4 wins, 2 draws, 2 defeats
Can draw some comfort from the fact they were neither the first nor (it immediately turned out) last team to fall for Antonio Conte’s Spurs and their rope-a-dope chicanery, but losing from two goals up in back-to-back games was a tactic Gary O’Neil and his team wisely abandoned against Everton, who they simply thrashed twice in four days instead.
15. Crystal Palace – 10pts
9 leads, 5 wins, 2 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 Spurs have won more points from losing positions, but Palace have been profligate when getting their noses in front. Twelve points won from losing positions and 10 points lost from winning positions seems somehow fitting for a Palace team that seems to be very nearly very good but just isn’t quite. Fun, though.
14. Southampton – 8pts
6 leads, 3 wins, 1 draw, 2 defeats
Traditional powerhouses in this particular field, 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.
13. Fulham – 8pts
8 leads, 5 wins, 1 draw, 2 defeats
Heading towards the realm of not too bad now, with Fulham’s recent problem being the concession of heartbreakingly late winners against massive Manchester clubs rather than chucking away leads.
12. Everton – 7pts
6 leads, 3 wins, 2 draws, 1 defeat
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. Everton have now adopted a simple approach to avoid ever winning from a losing position or losing from a winning one by either keeping a clean sheet or failing to score (or both) in all of their last six matches.
11. Chelsea – 7pts
9 leads, 6 wins, 2 draws, 1 defeat
Taking the lead after 23 minutes against Southampton and still being behind at half-time is daft behaviour and meant Champions League winner Thomas Tuchel frankly deserved to get sacked. The Manchester United draw was obviously annoying, but the Tottenham one in a game Chelsea thoroughly dominated was utterly absurd.
10. West Ham – 6pts
6 leads, 4 wins, 2 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 five games they’ve won this season.
9. Brighton – 5pts
8 leads, 6 wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat
Their first defeat from in front was also Villa’s first win from behind. The danger of scoring in the first minute, I guess. Silly Alexis Mac Allister.
8. Newcastle – 5pts
10 leads, 8 wins, 1 draw, 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 in what remains their only Premier League defeat this season.
7. Brentford – 4pts
6 leads, 4 wins, 2 draws
One of only six sides yet to lose a game having taken the lead, which is good. But have led in only six games, which is bad.
6. Manchester City – 4pts
12 leads, 10 wins, 2 draws
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.
5. Aston Villa – 3pts
6 leads, 5 wins, 1 defeat
Six points from six under Unai Emery and suddenly everything looks a little brighter at Villa Park, where taking leads had previously proved harder than holding them.
4. Liverpool – 2pts
7 leads, 6 wins, 1 draw
It is a fine record of holding leads for sure, but it is also a pitiful number of leads for a club of Liverpool’s standing. How are you only taking the lead in half your 14 games, lads? And how is one of them against Manchester City, you dafties?
3. Tottenham – 2pts
10 leads, 9 wins, 1 draw
Spurs winning a bunch of points from losing positions feels very on brand, but this very much doesn’t. 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 absolutely feels right. We have no interest in checking because we don’t want to find out we’re wrong. This season is rubbish, though, with the 1-1 draw at West Ham representing the one and only time Spurs have taken less than three points in the surprisingly large number of games they’ve led. Often this is because they haven’t bothered going ahead until very late on having found themselves 2-0 down at half-time or whatnot.
2. Arsenal – 2pts
13 leads, 12 wins, 1 draw
When you’ve only dropped five points all in, it’s reasonable to assume you won’t have dropped too many from winning positions. And until a 1-1 draw at Southampton that understandably irritated Mikel Arteta, Arsenal were flawless in this regard.
1. Manchester United – 0pts
8 leads, 8 wins
Slowly but surely, Manchester United are ceasing to be a punchline. They’re far from perfect, but Erik Ten Hag is definitely getting somewhere. Winning every time you take the lead is definitely a good policy and one United should stick with, although it took some late mischief from Alejandro Garnacho at Craven Cottage to keep the run going beyond the World Cup.
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