Which shock team has trailed for even less time than Liverpool?

Date published: Monday 4th October 2021 10:14 - Matthew Stead

Phil Foden reacts against Liverpool

Both Manchester clubs, Chelsea and Liverpool all rank in the top five for least time spent trailing in the Premier League. But who is first?


Norwich (327 minutes)
Daniel Farke’s side last led a Premier League game in February 2020. Before the goalless draw with Burnley, the least amount of time Norwich had been behind in a match this season was 24 minutes against Arsenal in September.


Watford (265 minutes)
That will be the “negative trend” Watford cited when sacking Xisco Munoz. They have won at least as many games as seven other teams but only doomed Norwich have trailed for longer.


Arsenal (226 minutes)
August feels like a while ago. Arsenal lost three games, conceded nine goals and were behind in the 22nd, 15th and seventh minutes against Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City respectively. In their subsequent games, Norwich and Burnley failed to land a punch at any point, Tottenham hit a lucky shot as they went down swinging and Brighton reverted to quite beautiful type. Aaron Ramsdale had Jack Robinson in front of him and was conspicuous by his high-vis presence at Sheffield United when he was last losing a Premier League match in May.


Aston Villa (220 minutes)
Late wins against both Everton and Manchester United mean Aston Villa have been ahead for no longer than 45 minutes of any Premier League fixture this season. Conversely, Watford and Chelsea led them for at least three quarters of an hour and Tottenham had the advantage for almost 60 minutes of their win in north London. No side has trailed for longer away from home than Dean Smith’s men.


Leicester (217 minutes)
Having only won in the League Cup since August, Leicester should not be too surprised at ranking so highly. Their problem against Crystal Palace was holding onto a lead, of course. Brendan Rodgers has a few things to figure out.

Brendan Rodgers applauds the Leicester fans


Wolves (202 minutes)
Those three consecutive 1-0 defeats to open the campaign did some damage, Wolves trailing for 139 combined minutes against Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester United. Only Brentford have been ahead against them since as the small gains of Bruno Lage start to take effect.


Newcastle (195 minutes)
What do Newcastle fans want? Trophies? Champions League qualification? To not be losing Premier League games for more than twice as long as they lead them (94 minutes)? The supporters will be asking to be treated with respect and common courtesy next.


Leeds (184 minutes)
The Sun timed their xenophobic bullying just right, targeting Marcelo Bielsa shortly before Leeds secured their first Premier League win of the season against Watford. It was just the second game in which they had not been behind at some point, although only Manchester United and Liverpool have led them for longer than 45 minutes.


Crystal Palace (172 minutes)
Winning one game from seven does not lend itself naturally to being ahead for meaningful periods. Crystal Palace have been in front for exactly an hour, more than only Southampton (50 minutes) and Norwich, but few clubs have been level for longer.


Burnley (169 minutes)
Then there’s Burnley, yet to win but precisely mid-table when it comes to time spent trailing. Sean Dyche is reeling us all in again and there’s no point fighting it.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is involved in another relegation battle


Brighton (165 minutes)
Almost half of the time Brighton have spent behind this season can actually be attributed to Burnley, who took the lead in the second minute of their opening-weekend meeting before being pegged back by Neal Maupay and Alexis MacAllister. Everton and Crystal Palace have been ahead against the Seagulls since, Graham Potter failing to overhaul the former deficit but converting the latter into a stoppage-time draw.


West Ham (135 minutes)
The only teams to be behind for less time than West Ham last season (622 minutes) were Liverpool (608 minutes), Manchester United (599 minutes) and Manchester City (345 minutes). David Moyes has struggled to consistently replicate that solidity so far, to the extent that two of West Ham’s three wins have come from losing positions.


Tottenham (134 minutes)
September feels like a while ago. Tottenham lost three games, conceded nine goals and were behind in the 76th, 49th and 12th minutes against Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Arsenal respectively. The curse felt real but Aston Villa gave them a nudge in the right direction.


Southampton (120 minutes)
Another team without a win but enough resilience to stay in most games until the bitter end, Southampton have not been ahead since their 25 minutes in the ascendancy against Manchester United in August. The only other team they had been beating at any point was Everton on the opening day.


Everton (78 minutes)
No team has recovered more points from losing positions in the Premier League this season than Everton, who overcame Saints and Burnley after conceding first, before earning a point and perhaps deserving all three at Old Trafford.


Manchester City (50 minutes)
The three goals Manchester City have conceded this season have all put them behind. They failed to salvage anything when Heung-min Son put Tottenham ahead after 55 minutes of their first game, but managed to fight back twice against Liverpool at Anfield to secure a breathless point.


Chelsea (37 minutes)
This was all against Manchester City and it really should have been longer.


Manchester United (32 minutes)
That number looks very good indeed. But 11 clubs have been leading in the Premier League for longer this season and Manchester United have been ahead for three minutes more than Watford. Those numbers do not look good.


Liverpool (27 minutes)
Kai Havertz and Ethan Pinnock do not have a great deal in common on first viewing, but both had Liverpool in a bit of a Premier League panic this season. Milan also led the Reds for six minutes at Anfield in Europe but the wait is on for Jurgen Klopp to blame Liverpool’s first defeat on Des Kelly.


Brentford (24 minutes)
Well sh*t. To suggest Brentford are holding their own in the Premier League is an insult; they are positively rocking it. Brighton were the first team to put them behind – and that was in the 90th minute – before Liverpool had a go and left with a few scars. Norwich (586 minutes) and Watford (397 minutes) were the only teams to spend less time trailing in last season’s Championship than the Bees (618 minutes). Their subsequent trajectories have diverged somewhat.

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