Minute-by-minute: top flight tables

Following on from yesterday’s successful test (read: no significantly hurtful abuse received) and today’s Football League versions, I’ve built animated GIF versions of minute-by-minute tables for the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A:

The way these work is as follows:

  • Each graphic cycles through every club in a division in descending order of their current league position (on an infinite loop with each frame lasting 2 seconds).
  • The line shows what the highlighted club’s league position would have been in an imaginary universe where every match in the division finished early, for each scenario from the 1st to the 90th minute (as per the scale at the top).
  • I’ve chopped the time up into 5 minute segments to make it easier to read, and for simplicity’s sake I’ve rolled all injury time into the 45th and 90th minutes.
  • This means that the last dot on each line is just each club’s normal league position, and the clubs are in the same order as in the real table.
  • The idea behind these is that you can identify clubs that perform particularly well or badly at various points during matches and measure how much this is affecting their league position.

Without further ado, here they are – along with some observations for each. Clicking a graphic will bring up a full-sized version in a new tab that can be paused and rewound if needed (thanks to @bootifulgame for showing me how to do that):

Premier League

MBM PL 2015-01-25

  • That’s not an error: Chelsea really are the best performing team in the Premier League no matter what minute you stop matches in.
  • Up until the 40th minute, Swansea perform well enough to earn a top four place, although they tend to lose their grip as half time approaches and fail to reassert themselves after the break.
  • It’s a similar story for Everton, who look like their 2013/14 selves until just after the half hour mark, when they also run out of steam.
  • Contrastingly, Newcastle have really struggled in the first half of matches this season: if there were no second halves they’d be rock bottom. They owe their mid-table place to stronger showings after the interval.

MBM G1 2015-01-25

  • It tends to take just over 20 minutes for Bayern to demonstrate their superiority – they outperform every other side from the 24th minute onwards, but before then there are others who start matches better than the runaway leaders.
  • Paderborn‘s respectable mid-table position is owed almost entirely to late surges: if games ended in the 81st minute this season – or indeed most minutes before then – they’d be in the relegation zone.
  • It’s the opposite situation for Freiburg, who would be sitting comfortably in mid-table if we stopped every match at the 89th minute – clearly a lot of late goals are being conceded.
 La Liga

MBM S1 2015-01-25

  • Like Bayern in the Bundesliga, Real Madrid‘s credentials take a little while to shine through. There are teams in the division – chief among them Valencia – who perform better up until the 29th minute of matches, after which nobody can match Real.
  • Both Sevilla and Villareal are currently in the Europa League places but each has started matches poorly this season – both are in the bottom half of performers until the 23rd minute, at which point their fortunes dramatically improve.
  • Rayo Vallecano‘s league position would look a lot less healthy if the final whistle was blown 10 minutes earlier – they’d be hovering above the relegation zone rather than just inside the top half.
Serie A

MBM I1 2015-01-25

  • It’s been a disappointing season for both of the traditional Milan powerhouses, but they’ve tended to stumble at different times. Inter have performed poorly before the break – they’re the worst performers of all after 17 minutes of matches – while AC Milan would be on course for a Champions League place if games ended at half time.
  • Sassuolo have made a habit of late surges: from the 76th minute onwards they’ve found another gear that would have propelled them as high as 5th, if only matches ended a little sooner. Things tend to fall apart again at the death.
  • While Sassuolo have often been undone in the game’s final moments, Genoa have sprung plenty of late surprises. If matches ended in the 89th minute they’d be 5 places lower in 12th.