Minute-by-minute table: League 1
Following a successful trial earlier this season, I’ve produced an animated minute-by-minute league table for League 1. The way it works is as follows:
- Each graphic cycles through every club in descending order of their final 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 finishing after the 1st minute all the way through to the 90th (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 (under the 90) on each line is just each club’s normal league position, and the list of clubs on the right is in the same order as in the real table.
This is mostly intended as a bit of fun, but does allow you to identify clubs that perform particularly well or badly at various points during matches compared to everyone else, and get an idea for how much this affected their final league position. Without further ado, here’s the animation along with some observations. Clicking the graphic will bring up a full-sized version in a new tab that can be paused and rewound if needed:
- For every minute after the 10th, Bristol City were one of the division’s two top-performing sides, suggesting that they were consistently strong throughout matches, while at the other end of the table, Yeovil were one of the four worst-performing sides from the fifth minute onwards.
- Like Bristol City, Preston were one of the two top-performing sides from the 11th minute … right up until the 90th when MK Dons overtook them to snatch second place. A whopping 40% of the goals that the Lilywhites conceded came in the final 15 minutes – a division high and more than they conceded in the entire first half (16 vs. 15).
- Sheffield United‘s starts to matches this season put them on course for more disappointment – they performed like relegation candidates for many of their first halves this season – but improved consistently from then on and were particularly strong in the final quarter of an hour.
- Another side to finish matches much more impressively than they started them was Gillingham, who would have been relegated if every match was stopped after 72 minutes but were lifted into the top half by some strong late surges.
- For every side that shoots up the table as matches progress there is one that sinks, most notably Crewe who performed well enough for a play-off place until just before half time but then deteriorated rapidly and would have wound up in League 2 if not for a couple of last-minute goals.