Premier League scrambling stats: Arsenal take over from Tottenham as comeback kings

Arsenal vs Bournemouth Credit: Alamy
Arsenal vs Bournemouth Credit: Alamy

Arsenal have won more games from losing positions than anyone else in the Premier League this season, despite falling behind on fewer occasions than everyone bar Man City. Newcastle’s win at Nottingham Forest made them the 18th Premier League club to win a game this season after falling behind, leaving just Forest themselves and Brentford to complete the full set.


20) Nottingham Forest – 5pts
18 deficits, 0 wins, 5 draws, 13 defeats

The 96th-minute own-goal equaliser they snaffled against Brentford in November wasn’t just the first point Forest had salvaged from a losing position, it was also their first equaliser of any kind in the Premier League this season. That seems really quite mad. And then they did it against Chelsea, which is even more mad. And then against Bournemouth, which seems pretty sane. And then Manchester City, which is pretty mad again. Everton at home? Less mad.


19) Bournemouth – 6pts
17 deficits, 2 wins, 0 draws, 15 defeats

The wondrously improbable second-half fightback at Nottingham Forest kickstarted the Gary O’Neil revolution, while Leicester were also beaten in a game Bournemouth trailed at half-time. Wins when you’re not just losing but losing at half-time are particularly satisfying and neat, so well done Bournemouth for that. Not so well done for pretty much everything that has happened since.


18) Everton – 6pts
18 deficits, 1 win, 3 draws, 14 defeats

That draw at Manchester City was a lovely old bonus point that seemed to show there was still some fight in what looks at times like a p***-poor Everton side. But it remains an exception that proves the rule. Sean Dyche has improved Everton markedly, but he is only a man and he cannot buy the goalscoring capability required for regular point-snaffling. But then they came back twice v Chelsea so what do we know?


17) Aston Villa – 6pts
15 deficits, 1 win, 3 draws, 11 defeats

Unai Emery transformed Villa’s season in the space of two games. Certainly on this table anyway. Danny Ings’ double at Brighton not only secured Villa’s first away win of the season, but also their first win from behind this season. Shrewd work from the Villans – if you’re going to win from behind it makes sense to concede in the very first minute to maximise the opportunity of a comeback. That’s just maths. And Ings earned them a point against Wolves too. He is the master scrambler. And then they sold him. Fools.


16) Chelsea – 6pts
11 deficits, 2 wins, 0 draws, 9 defeats

All or more usually nothing when Chelsea find themselves behind this season. The West Ham win at Stamford Bridge was particularly satisfying for the lateness of the comeback and absurd luck they enjoyed in the closing moments, while Conor Gallagher’s late winner at Crystal Palace was positively dripping in narrative. But not picking up even a draw at home to Southampton was unforgivable. Improved recent results have come without the need for deficit-based additional intrigue.


15) Brentford – 6pts
11 deficits, 0 wins, 6 draws, 5 defeats

Avoiding defeat in more than half the games you fall behind is solid enough, but you’d really want one of those draws to become a win to really find yourself in proper Fighting Qualities territory. That said, these were good fighting draws. From 2-0 down at Leicester on the opening day, and then equalisers in the 84th and 88th minutes against Everton and Palace in back-to-back games. Pesky fact: all that happened in August. The point gained at Forest was really more a case of two lost given both the lateness of the Forest equaliser and the fact Forest hadn’t previously managed an equaliser all season. But then there was a 96th-minute equaliser of their own against Palace and all was forgiven.


14) Wolves – 7pts
17 deficits, 2 wins, 1 draw, 14 defeats

Both those wins have come since Julen Lopetegui turned up and cut out much of Wolves’ previous nonsense. They won from behind against Everton in his very first game and managed to get Nathan Jones the sack when coming from behind with the obvious advantage of a man disadvantage at St Mary’s.


13) Newcastle – 7pts
8 deficits, 1 win, 4 draws, 3 defeats

Finally got their first win from behind of the season when beating Forest at the City Ground. Bonus points (fake news, there are no bonus points) for doing so via goals in both first-half and second-half stoppage time. Genuine props for having fallen behind only eight times all season, the same number as Arsenal and just one more than City.


12) Manchester City – 7pts
7 deficits, 2 wins, 1 draw, 4 defeats

Bonus points in the ‘making life unnecessarily hard for themselves just to feel alive’ stakes for salvaging all those seven points from two goals down via a 3-3 draw at Newcastle, and 4-2 home wins over Crystal Palace in Spurs in which they not only trailed 2-0 but did so at half-time. Since then there has either been too much of the going behind but not enough of the scrambling, or too many of the goals before going behind.


11) Leicester City – 8pts
20 deficits, 2 wins, 2 draws, 16 defeats

Just look at that. Behind not just once but twice against Aston Villa and then went on to actually win. Was that a corner turned? Well they recovered from conceding the opener to score four unanswered goals against Spurs also appeared to bode well. But they then lost five out of five, so maybe not. Astonishingly, Harvey Barnes’ goal v Brentford was their first winner or equaliser in any second half this season. Well done, Mr Barnes.


10) Fulham – 8pts
14 deficits, 2 wins, 2 draw, 10 defeats

A pair of 3-2 comeback wins at Forest and Leeds are the headlines here, while Fulham came within a whisker of being the first team this season to take a point off Manchester United after falling behind in the final Premier League game before the World Cup. Grabbing a point against Wolves at Craven Cottage was a nice little bonus because the Cottagers were mainly crap that evening.


9) Brighton – 8pts
11 deficits, 2 wins, 2 draw, 7 defeats

Thrashing early-season Leicester barely counts because early-season Leicester made something of a habit of getting thrashed from winning positions, but scrambling a 3-3 draw at Liverpool through a Leandro Trossard hat-trick after going 2-0 up and 3-2 down was certainly memorable. Were 1-0 up and 2-1 down against Wolves before finally taking all the points thanks to Pascal Gross’ late winner. A point from a 2-2 draw at Leicester thanks to an 88th-minute equaliser would be better were it not for the twin facts that a) it is Leicester and b) Brighton had actually led 1-0 in that one.


8) Manchester United – 8pts
10 deficits, 2 wins, 2 draws, 6 defeats

The wins came early in the season against Everton and more memorably and recently against City. Everton’s early lead became a United lead before half-time thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo’s (remember him?!) long-awaited 700th club goal. Then they did this to Manchester City. Almost snagged a point in a game they’d already led and trailed at Arsenal but then they didn’t. Back to those scrambling ways at home to Leeds but a draw at home was sub-optimal. The other point from behind came against Chelsea thanks to a Casemiro header.


7) West Ham – 9pts
21 deficits, 1 win, 6 draws, 14 defeats

It’s a reasonable number of points recovered, but they’ve come from far too many deficits really, haven’t they? The draw at home to Spurs felt important – I mean, it’s always an important fixture but especially so after the Hammers had just arrested a three-game losing start – and a 3-1 home win against Fulham would have been worthy enough even without having to come back from conceding inside five minutes. Getting a point after going behind to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton is just par for everyone because losing points from winning positions was just one of the things Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side liked to do. He will be missed. A point from behind at Newcastle and against Chelsea is more than credible. And then there’s Villa at home, which did not end well despite the point.


6) Leeds – 9pts
18 deficits, 2 wins, 3 draws, 13 defeats

The first win came on the opening day against Wolves, the second thrillingly yet to the disgust of professional misery guts Gabby Agbonlahor from 3-1 down against Bournemouth. Further points scrambled at home to West Ham and at Brighton show this side has some heart. If not a massive amount of quality.


5) Liverpool – 9pts
13 deficits, 2 wins, 3 draws, 7 defeats

Given where Liverpool have been for the last few years, the headline figure is the sheer number of deficits; they’ve gone behind in half their Premier League games this season, which is too many. And while their record in those games is okay by most standards, for a club forced to aim at 90 points and up every season, it’s a tightrope too narrow to walk. They have fallen off it.


4) Southampton – 12pts
22 deficits, 3 wins, 3 draws, 17 defeats

Southampton are seemingly contractually obliged to drop more points from winning positions than pretty much anyone else every season, so it’s probably prudent of them to develop a happy knack of scavenging some of their own. Let’s gloss over the division-worst ’22 deficits’ element of this for now and focus on the sweet, sweet nectar of 12 precious points snaffled after falling behind. Winning three games from behind is impressive enough for anyone, never mind a team that has only managed six wins full stop. Chelsea, Leicester and Everton the fall guys in a trio of 2-1s, if you were wondering. A draw from 3-1 down v Tottenham is just beautiful.


3) Crystal Palace – 14pts
19 deficits, 4 wins, 2 draws, 13 defeats

Palace were handed arguably the toughest start of any team in the Premier League this season before things picked up in the pre-World Cup rush. That might not have been the case had home games against Leeds and Wolves in which Palace found themselves a goal down not ended in 2-1 wins, mind. The same scoreline and a 94th-minute goal from Michael Olise did for West Ham to briefly put Palace top of this table before Spurs did another nonsense. We thought they had lost the knack and then Olise grabbed a point at home to Manchester United. They tried again in the away fixture but fell short, then picked it up again at home to Brighton.


2) Tottenham – 14pts
15 deficits, 4 wins, 2 draws, 9 defeats

Kept getting away with all sorts of nonsense earlier in the season, winning all manner of games they had no business winning. Totally lost that knack now, though, with defeats and pressure mounting and those spirited comebacks looking less and less likely for a team that looks precisely as arsed (i.e. not that arsed at all) as you’d expect a team to look when they know the manager will be buggering off in the summer if not before.


1) Arsenal – 15pts
8 deficits, 5 wins, 0 draws 3 defeats

Two of those eight deficits were against Manchester United. They couldn’t sort it out at Old Trafford but thrillingly did so at the Emirates in a proper game-of-the-season contender. They might now actually be even more likely to win this league than the actual league, which is a bit mad. They had no answer against Sean Dyche’s Everton or Manchester City, but thrillingly got off the canvas to beat Villa 4-2 and reinvigorate both title races before pulling off the most absurd comeback yet to beat Bournemouth after falling behind inside the first 10 seconds and scoring a winner in the last 10 seconds. Honestly, we grow slightly suspicious that they’re doing it on purpose now just to try and top this table, the mad bastards.

The article Premier League scrambling stats: Arsenal take over from Tottenham as comeback kings appeared first on