Why Man Utd Are Still The Premier League Comeback Kings

Why Man Utd Are Still The Premier League Comeback Kings
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The latest round of fixtures in the Premier League served up another reminder as to why it is so often regarded as the best league in the world.

The 10 games produced a total of 30 goals with over 2.5 goals paying out in eight of them.

But it's the three come-from-behind wins that once again grabbed the headlines.

Liverpool produced the first comeback on Saturday after conceding the opening goal at home to Aston Villa. But second half goals from Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold secured Liverpool's first league win at Anfield in their last seven games.

On Sunday, two more comeback wins were achieved by Newcastle and Manchester United.

Newcastle fell behind to Burnley's Matej Vydra's opener in the 18th minute to add the pressure on Steve Bruce's struggling side.

However, the introduction of Allan Saint-Maximin early in the second half turned the game on its head. Saint-Maximin set up Jacob Murphy for the Magpies’ equaliser two minutes after his introduction before scoring the winner in the 64th minute.

It was the first time Newcastle won a league game after conceding the opening goal since they rallied to beat Southampton 2-1 on December 8, 2019.

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A couple of hours later at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Spurs looked on course to keep the pressure on their rivals for fourth spot by leading Manchester United 1-0 with just over half an hour to play.

Son Heung-Min's first half goal was cancelled out by midfielder Fred to start the visitors' comeback which saw Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood pour further misery on Jose Mourinho and his struggling team.

United's victory was the 40th time this season a team had won a league game after conceding the first goal. That's 10 more than in Serie A, 11 more than the Bundesliga, 12 more than Ligue 1 and 13 more than in La Liga.

Sundays seems to bring the best out of teams who fall a goal down with five of the last seven Sunday clashes won by teams who conceded the first goal.

For United, it was the ninth time this season they have given up the first goal and managed to turn things around and claim all three points.

And eight of those have remarkably come away from home to take their total number of points won from losing positions this season to 28.

Most Wins After Conceding First This Season:

  • 9 - Manchester United
  • 4 - Leicester, Liverpool
  • 3 - Arsenal, Wolves
  • 2 - Chelsea, West Ham, Tottenham, Southampton, Leeds
  • 1 - Everton, Newcastle, Burnley, West Brom, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United
  • 0 - Manchester City, Brighton, Fulham

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's comeback kings have more wins this season after conceding the first goal than 10 Premier League clubs combined.

United's neighbours Manchester City are one of three teams who have yet to register a win after conceding the first goal along with Fulham and Brighton.

Since the start of the 2016/17 football season when Pep Guardiola became City manager, his side have won nine times after conceding the opening goal.

Of the so-called 'big six', City have registered the fewest wins after giving up the first goal.

In fact, over the past five seasons it’s actually Liverpool who come out on top with 21 wins after allowing their opponents to score the opening goal.

Big 6 Wins From Behind Since Start of the 2016/17 Season

Big 6 TeamWins From Behind Since 16/17
Man Utd19
Man City9

The Reds' win at home to Aston Villa last weekend, was one of seven in the last 17 Premier League contests to have been won by teams who have conceded the opening goal.

If that trend continues, we might see the most comeback wins since the 52 during the 2012/13 campaign.

During that season, Manchester United led the way again with nine wins after going a goal behind.

Prior to kick-off, United were 10/1 to come from behind to beat Spurs last weekend while a Tottenham/Man United HT/FT double was priced at 22/1.

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However, betting in-play would have seen greater value especially as Tottenham took the lead five minutes before half-time.

That left United 50 minutes to overturn the deficit and record another rallying win. Fred scored the first of United's three goals in the 57th minute and the odds would have been very generous if you had a feeling United were going to complete the comeback.

United host Burnley this weekend and the odds for Solskjaer's side winning from a losing position is 7/1, while the visitors to Old Trafford are 25/1 to come from behind to win.

This weekend's round of fixtures are a repeat of Gameweek 1 when the teams that scored first all managed to avoid defeat.

However, with only six rounds of fixtures remaining after this weekend, we should see teams be more adventurous, especially if they go a goal down. So backing more comeback wins could prove profitable.