Premier League points earned from losing positions: Palace are the master scramblers
Crystal Palace have picked up 24 points from losing positions this season; Roy Hodgson has given them heart as well as quality.
20) Aston Villa – 7pts
18 deficits, 1 win, 4 draws, 13 defeats
Surprisingly meagre effort given the way Unai Emery has transformed the Villans’ fortunes since taking over. In fairness, they did win four of these points from behind in Emery’s first two games. 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. Since then they have mostly just gone ahead.
19) Wolves – 8pts
23 deficits, 2 wins, 2 draws, 19 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. A recent point against Forest was well-earned.
18) Chelsea – 8pts
20 deficits, 2 wins, 2 draws, 16 defeats
They really have been sodding shite this season. Rotten. The worst. They simply do not have either the goals or the gumption to drag themselves out of holes. Even when they turned it around against Forest, they still blew it. A point at Newcastle came – predictably – from an own goal.
17) Everton – 9pts
25 deficits, 1 win, 6 draws, 18 defeats
The win was so long ago it came against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton. But there have been some impressive late shenanigans within all this: equalisers in the 88th, 89th, 90th and 99th minutes against Nottingham Forest, Chelsea, Spurs and Wolves respectively.
16) Nottingham Forest – 9pts
25 deficits, 1 win, 6 draws, 18 defeats
It was starting to look very much like Forest would go the entire season without a single win from behind, but then came that brilliant 3-1 win over Brighton. Hurrah. Back in November, 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 all 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. Chelsea away? Led then trailed. And that’s all their points from losing positions.
15) Fulham – 9pts
21 deficits, 2 wins, 3 draws, 16 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 couple of points against Wolves and Crystal Palace at Craven Cottage was a nice little bonus.
14) Manchester City – 10pts
9 deficits, 3 wins, 1 draw, 5 defeats
Bonus points in the ‘making life unnecessarily hard for themselves just to feel alive’ stakes for salvaging the first seven points from two goals down via a 3-3 draw at Newcastle, and 4-2 home wins over Crystal Palace and Spurs in which they not only trailed 2-0 but did so at half-time. Life then got a whole lot less interesting until that 4-1 win over Liverpool in which the Reds were daft enough to get all nostalgic and take the lead.
13) Manchester United – 11pts
14 deficits, 3 wins, 2 draws, 9 defeats
The wins came early in the season against Everton and more memorably and recently against City, before a final-day comeback v Fulham. It’s a decent haul from a team that is more comfortable with noses in front.
12) Bournemouth – 12pts
25 deficits, 4 wins, 0 draws, 21 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. They waited a long, long time for another but repeated the trick v Fulham. Then they came from behind against a not-arsed Spurs. No draws all season from behind; thankfully for Everton on the final day.
11) Brentford – 12pts
17 deficits, 2 wins, 6 draws, 9 defeats
Relentlessly tough to beat, Brentford didn’t actually get their first win from a losing position until the very end of April and then did so in extreme and dramatic style with an 82nd-minute equaliser and 94th-minute winner against Forest. Before that, battling draws had been the order of the day. 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, before the not even vaguely impressive feat of beating Spurs away despite conceding first.
10) Southampton – 13pts
33 deficits, 3 wins, 4 draws, 25 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 ’32 deficits’ element of this for now and focus on the sweet, sweet nectar of 13 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.
9) Leeds – 13pts
28 deficits, 3 wins, 4 draws, 21 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. They showed it again to come from behind against Nottingham Forest, and Big Sam so very nearly pulled a fast one on Manchester City. They led, and should have led by more, then trailed to Newcastle so they were bloody grateful for a point. They could then do nothing v West Ham or Tottenham.
8) Leicester City – 13pts
29 deficits, 3 wins, 4 draws, 22 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 loads of bloody games to such an extent they had to sack the manager then carried on losing, so probably not. Another apparent corner turned by coming from behind v Wolves and getting a point at Leeds and v Everton. But that was before the Fulham tw*tting. Maybe they’re just not that good.
7) West Ham – 13pts
29 deficits, 2 wins, 7 draws, 20 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. The point scrambled against Arsenal was far more impressive. And then they beat Leeds after going behind.
6) Brighton – 13pts
19 deficits, 3 wins, 4 draws, 12 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. Three times coming back v Brentford was glorious. And coming back to beat Chelsea also fits in that category.
5) Newcastle – 14pts
13 deficits, 3 wins, 5 draws, 5 defeats
Finally got their first win from behind of the season when beating Forest at the City Ground (Forest and Leicester very much recurring themes here). Bonus points (fake news, there are no bonus points) for doing so via goals in both first-half and second-half stoppage time. And yet more fictitious bonus points for then becoming the first team to overturn a deficit against Brentford. Beating Southampton from behind was less impressive but still welcome enough.
4) Tottenham – 15pts
21 deficits, 4 wins, 3 draws, 14 defeats
Kept getting away with all sorts of nonsense earlier in the season, winning all manner of games they had no business winning. They had totally lost that knack until Ryan Mason took charge and turned a dispiriting 2-0 half-time deficit against Man Utd into a hard-fought 2-2 draw, then a 3-0 deficit at Liverpool into 3-3 in stoppage time. Shame about the whole conceding immediately after to lose 4-3 thing.
3) Liverpool – 15pts
18 deficits, 3 wins, 6 draws, 9 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 nearly 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. The 2-2 against Arsenal was batshit good fun, though, fair play. The win against West Ham was better and Roberto Firmino equalising against Villa was lovely. Back to batshit for the 4-4 v Southampton.
2) Arsenal – 16pts
12 deficits, 5 wins, 1 draw, 6 defeats
Two of those 10 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 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. Claimed a point from 3-1 down at Southampton, which is nice but really not what you want/expect from title contenders. Nor is losing to Forest with a whimper.
1) Crystal Palace – 24pts
26 deficits, 7 wins, 4 draws, 15 defeats
Sixteen points from Roy Hodgson’s first nine games back in the dugout, and 10 of them from losing positions. The first three came absurdly late against Leicester, the other just absurdly at Leeds thanks to a second-half paddlin’ that really hadn’t looked on the cards. Then they put four past West Ham after giving the Hammers a headstart, before leading, trailing and ultimately drawing with Fulham. Then added another point on the final day v Forest. Add that to the very creditable 14 points from behind Palace had already accrued under Vieira and you’ve got a huge lead over nearest rivals Arsenal.
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