They say a 2-0 lead is the most dangerous winning margin – but is it? We’ve checked Opta data to bust the myth…
The theory suggests that teams with two-goal leads become complacent and are more likely to concede victory than teams with a one-goal advantage – who maintain concentration because of the slender margin.
In total, 2,766 teams have held a two-goal advantage during a game since the Premier League kicked off in August 1992.
Of those, a staggering 2,481 ended up winning the fixture, with only 212 ending in draws and 73 with defeats.
Therefore, 90 per cent of teams that gain a two-goal lead win the game, 7.4 per cent draw and only 2.6 per cent suffer defeat.
Teams with a one-goal advantage are far less likely to win. Of the 5,721 sides that have been one goal ahead during the Premier League era, only 2,987 won the game, 1,747 drew and 987 lost.
Remarkably, that’s only a 52.2 per cent win rate, with 30.5 per cent ending all square and 17.3 per cent losing the fixture.
A one-goal winning margin means a team is 37.8 per cent less likely to win the game than a team with a two-goal advantage.
So, a 1-0 winning margin is far more vulnerable than a 2-0 lead.
And the odds of victory are slashed even more drastically with a three-goal winning margin.
Since August 1992, 1,119 teams have led by three goals and 1,099 of those claimed three points – that’s a 98.2 per cent win rate.
In 25 years, only 16 teams have fought back from three goals down to secure a draw and just four have overturned the deficit to win – that’s 0.4 per cent.
Extraordinary Premier League comebacks
In chronological order, Leeds overturned Derby’s 3-0 advantage at Elland Road in November 1997, with Rod Wallace reducing the deficit in the 37th minute and Lee Bowyer claiming all three points in the 90th minute.
Wimbledon achieved the same feat in fewer minutes the following year after John Hartson’s goal and a quick double from Ian Wright had put West Ham 3-0 up with just 27 minutes on the clock, before Jason Euell, Efan Ekoku and two goals from Marcus Gayle sealed a 4-3 winning comeback.
Perhaps the most extraordinary comeback came in September 2001, when Manchester United trailed Tottenham 3-0 at half-time through strikes from Dean Richards, Les Ferdinand and Christian Ziege.
Andy Cole started United’s comeback within a minute of the restart, before goals from Laurent Blanc, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron and David Beckham sealed a memorable 5-3 victory at White Hart Lane.
Wolves were the last team to overturn a three-goal deficit and claim victory in October 2003, cancelling a Les Ferdinand brace and Riccy Scimeca goal with second-half strikes from Alex Rae, Henri Camara and Colin Cameron scoring twice.
Only one team in the entire Premier League era have come back to share the spoils after falling four goals or more behind.
Arsenal squandered a 4-0 advantage on 68 minutes against Newcastle in February 2011 to end up drawing 4-4 at St James’ Park.
Theo Walcott, Johan Djourou and two goals from Robin Van Persie had given the Gunners a commanding lead before the break.
However, Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby was sent off five minutes after the restart, before the Magpies grabbed four goals in 19 minutes through Leon Best, the late Cheick Tiote goal and two penalties from Joey Barton.
Soccer Accumulator Bonus
Our fantastic Euro Soccer accumulator offer gives you the chance to earn a bonus of up to 100% on accumulators on the top domestic leagues in Europe along with the group and knockout stages of the Champions League.
This offer applies to returns on pre-match accumulators of 3 or more selections on Full Time Result or Result/Both Teams To Score markets for the English Premier League, Italian Serie A, Spanish Primera Liga, German Bundesliga 1 or UEFA Champions League.
The maximum bonus that you can receive is €100,000 or currency equivalent. The bonus will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, the bonus will be calculated based .on the remaining active stake. If a qualifying bet is edited .using our Edit Bet feature. The bonus will be calculated based on the new stake. Where a bet has been edited to include or amend a selection for an event that is In-Play, the bonus will no longer apply. Double Chance bets or combination bets with bonuses. Such as Lucky 15’s or Lucky .31’s do not apply for this offer.
If your bet is successful, we will add the following bonuses to your returns:
Bet Type Bonus
14-folds and upwards 100% bonus
Terms and Conditions
Applies to straight pre-match accumulator bets on the Full Time Result or Result/Both Teams To Score markets for UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Italian Serie A, Spanish Primera Liga, German Bundesliga .1 or Australian A-League matches. Maximum bonus €100,000 or currency equivalent. Soccer Accumulator Bonus does not apply to Double Chance bets or combination. bets with bonuses such as Lucky 15’s, Lucky 31’s etc.
If any selections are postponed/void then the bonus will still apply, but the percentage bonus added will reflect the actual number of winning selections. For example, an 8-fold accumulator with 7. winners and 1 postponed match will receive a 30% .bonus to returns.
The bonus part of your returns will be added to your account within 24 hours of your final selection having played.
This bonus will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, the bonus will be calculated based on the remaining active stake.
If a qualifying bet is edited using our Edit Bet feature, the bonus will be calculated based on the new stake. Where a bet has been edited to include or amend a selection for an event that is In-Play, the bonus will no longer apply.
Where any term of the offer or promotion is breached or there is any evidence of a series of bets placed by a customer or group of customers, which due to a deposit bonus, enhanced payments, free bets, risk free bets or any other promotional offer results in guaranteed customer profits irrespective of the outcome, whether individually or as part of a group, bet365 reserves the right to reclaim the bonus element of such offers and in their absolute discretion either settle bets at the correct odds, void the free and risk free. bets or void any bet funded by the deposit bonus.
In addition bet365 .reserve the right to levy an administration charge on the customer up to the value of the deposit bonus, free bet, risk free bet or additional payment to cover administrative costs. We further reserve the right to ask any customer to provide sufficient documentation for us to be satisfied in our absolute discretion as to the customer’s identity prior to us crediting any bonus, free bet, risk free bet or offer to their account.
All bet365 offers are intended for recreational players and bet365 may in its sole discretion limit the eligibility of customers to participate in all or part of any promotion.