A quick look at second half turnarounds

This is another one of those “I was bored on a long train journey” posts. I saw this stat appear on my timeline in the wake of Leicester’s shock win over Manchester City…

… and I wasn’t sure exactly how impressed to be without a bit of context, as winning a game after being behind at half time doesn’t actually sound all that easy.

The stat above was focused purely on away games but I thought I’d look at league games more generally in the same way as I did with teams losing after scoring first earlier this season.

It turns out that City aren’t even in the top ten when you include home games as well, although they’re not far off (as we’ll see a bit further down). The graphic below shows the clubs in the top four English divisions who are on the longest runs of failing to win after trailing at half time:


So Huddersfield have actually gone the longest without turning a half time deficit into a victory at full time. The last time the Terriers managed this was against Colchester back in August 2011, when they were in League 1 – they were losing 1-0 at half time but ended up winning 3-2 thanks to a Jordan Rhodes brace.

Here’s the full division-by-division breakdown, which includes details of each club’s last successful turnaround:

Premier Leaguepl-ht-turnarounds-2016-12-10

So Man City still rank pretty poorly when we include all league games, as do neighbours United. Swansea and West Brom have both endured longer sequences though.

At the bottom there are three clubs who managed this feat at the last time of asking, including Chelsea. The Blues managed it against City last time out, having trailed 1-0 at the interval but running out 3-1 winners.

League 1
League 2
Extra bit

I failed to answer the obvious question when writing this:

I’d only focused on the negative aspect rather than the positive. Using the last few season’s data, I’ve dug out the top ten teams with the most turnarounds i.e. games they were losing at half time but went on to win:


So two teams have managed it seven times.

Here’s the full list for Accrington:

0-1 to 3-2 vs. Mansfield (A) 21 Dec 13
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Exeter (A) 3 Jan 15
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Mansfield (H) 2 May 15
1-2 to 3-2 vs. Cambridge (A) 21 Nov 15
0-1 to 4-1 vs. Crawley (H) 13 Feb 16
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Oxford (A) 20 Feb 16
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Plymouth (H) 12 Mar 16
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Colchester (A) 24 Sep 16

Here’s the full list for Bristol Rovers:

0-1 to 3-2 vs. Gateshead (H) 19 Dec 14
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Cambridge (A) 30 Oct 15
0-1 to 2-1 vs. York (H) 12 Dec 15
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Morecambe (H) 20 Feb 16
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Swindon (A) 20 Sep 16
0-1 to 3-2 vs. Northampton (A) 1 Oct 16
0-1 to 2-1 vs. Fleetwood (H) 1 Nov 16