The impact of scoring first in football

The twenty-first game of the 2017-2018 EPL season was the first time that a team scored first and lost this season.

Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) scored after 13 minutes at home against Manchester City.

Gabriel Jesus equalised for Manchester City within eight minutes.

I have been using some very basic goal scoring data from worldfootball.net to monitor the impact of scoring first in European league competitions.

After 3 rounds of the EPL:

After 4 rounds of Ligue 1:

The four games in which a team scores first and loses are: Toulouse v Monaco (Round 1); Metz v Guingamp (Round 1); Toulouse v PSG (Round 3); Rennes v Toulouse (Round 4). The median response time for a team to equalise in these games is 24 minutes.

After 2 rounds of the Bundesliga:

There has just been one game in which the team that scored first has lost: Freiburg scored firs againt Leipzig (in Round 2) but lost 1v4. Leipzig equalised after 25 minutes.

After 3 rounds of Eredivisie:

All three examples of a team scoring first and losing occurred in the first round of the competition: Alkmaar v Eindhoven; Ajax v Heracles Almelo; Roda JC Kerkrade v PEC Zwolle. The median response time to equalise was 13 minutes.

After 2 rounds of the Primera:

There are two games in which the team that scores first loses both have involved Celta Vigo: v Real Sociadad (round 1);  v Real Betis (round 2). The median response time to equalise in these games was 16 minutes.

The outlier in these data is Serie A. After two rounds:

There have been four games in which the team that scored first has lost: Benevento Calcio v Sampdoria (round 1); Roma v Inter (round 2); Atalanta v Napoli (round 2); Genoa v Juventus (round 2). Juventus overcame a 0v2 deficit in the game. The median response rate to equalise in the three games with a 0v1 deficit was 41 minutes. Genoa went two goals ahead after 7 minutes against Juventus. Juventus scored a first goal after 14 minutes and equalised 31 minutes later.

Whilst there will be within league and within game particularities, thus far a team that has scored first has lost 15 of the 150 games played. I will continue to monitor these leagues and to explore some of the phenomenological aspects of the games.

Photo Credit

Bournemouth (Twitter)

Postscript

Two additional resources that might be of interest:

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