The Analyst: Is 2-0 really a dangerous scoreline? Aston Villa and Reading would certainly say it is

It’s a well-worn cliche that 2-0 is ‘a dangerous scoreline’ but do the stats bear it out? Planet Sport finds out.

On the face of it, Aston Villa and Reading appear to have little in common barring being two former clubs of former Premier League midfielder Steve Sidwell.

However, a closer look at the stats shows that they both lost games from 2-0 up in October.

Villa memorably threw away their two-goal advantage on October 16, with Ruben Neves' 95th-minute strike completing a remarkable turnaround for Wolves at Villa Park.

And, just four days later, it was Reading's turn to fold, with two Jerry Yates goals completing a 3-2 Championship win for Blackpool.

But just how common is it for a side to fight back to win from 2-0 down?

Planet Sport's Paul Okey crunches the numbers (stats correct up to and including December 20, 2021).

Losing from 2-0 up a rare occurence

Well, remarkably, from 158 games in the top tiers of England where a team has gone 2-0 up, those two games are the only instances of a team losing from that position.

In fact, from 63 Premier League games in which a side went 2-0 up, 60 of them ended with a win for that team, an average of 95%.

In addition to WolvesCrystal Palace and Brighton are the only other teams to have staved off defeat from a 2-0 deficit.

Brighton celebrate Leandro Trossard goal vs Liverpool Oct21

Michael Olise and Jeffrey Schlupp were on the mark for Palace in their 2-2 draw with Leicester, who had taken the lead through Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy, while Enock Mwepu and Leandro Trossard got Brighton back on terms against Liverpool. Nevertheless, 2-2 draws only form just over 3% of the Premier League matches that go 2-0.

And even if the leading team concedes the next goal to see their advantage halved, there's little to fear. Of the 13 games in which the trailing team pulled it back to 2-1, 10 of them still ended with victories for the side who opened up the two-goal lead.

Blackpool's remarkable Championship achievement

Blackpool Jerry Yates winner vs Reading Oct21

Blackpool's comeback was even more remarkable when you consider it has been the only occurrence of a Championship team winning from 2-0 down in 269 second-tier matches this season.

Even when you look at matches that have gone 2-0, it is one of 95, or 1%.

However, while comeback wins are even more unlikely than in the Premier League, the Championship does boast twice as many games that did not end in victories for the 2-0 side.

Of those 95 games, 10 saw the trailing side fight back to take something from the game.

Seven of those ended 2-2 (7.37%), while two saw sides fight back from 3-0 down to salvage a draw.

Swansea were 3-0 down inside 23 minutes at Luton in September but rallied to draw 3-3 thanks to second-half goals from Jamie Paterson, Olivier Ntcham and Joel Piroe.

Olivier Ntcham Swansea vs Luton Sep21

And on October 30, a day which saw seven of the 11 Championship matches played go 2-0, three goals in six minutes from never-say-die Cardiff saw them fight back to earn a 3-3 draw at Stoke.

They still only make up 2% of the 2-0 Championship scorelines so there seems little reason not to go crazy when your side opens up a two-goal lead.

But do beware injury time if you are only 2-1 up, five of the seven Championship games that finished 2-2 saw the equalising goal scored after the 90th minute.

Matches not won from 2-0 up

Aden Flint Cardiff vs Peterborough celebration Sep21

Premier League

Oct 3: Crystal Palace 2 (Olise 61, Schlupp 72) Leicester 2 (Iheanacho 31, Vardy 37)

Oct 16: Aston Villa 2 (Ings 48, McGinn 68) Wolves 3 (Saiss 80, Coady 85, Neves 90+5)

Oct 30: Liverpool 2 (Henderson 4, Mane 24) Brighton 2 (Mwepu 41, Trossard 65)


Aug 17: Peterborough 2 (Burrows 49, Dembele 51) Cardiff 2 (Flint 83, 90+6)

Aug 21: QPR 2 (Chair 76, Austin 90+1) Barnsley 2 (Frieser 14, Woodrow 27)

Aug 21: Bournemouth 2 (Solanke 6, 19) Blackpool 2 (Husband 57, Yates 60 pen)

Sep 11: Blackburn 2 (Dolan 27, Pickering 31) Luton 2 (Berry 73, 90+8)

Sep 18: Luton 3  (Berry 7, Adebayo 15, 23 pen) Swansea 3 (Paterson 63, Ntcham 89, Piroe 90+2)

Oct 16: Blackburn 2 (Rothwell 39, Gallagher 45) Coventry 2 (Walker 62, Kaminski og 68)

Oct 20: Reading 2 (Dann 11, Dele-Bashiru 21) Blackpool 3 (Dale 69, Yates 73, 85 pen)

Oct 30: Stoke 3 (Brown 9, Fletcher 16, 46) Cardiff 3 (Colwill 66, Harris 70, Moore 71)

Nov 27: Bournemouth 2 (Anthony 45, Billing 56) Coventry 2 (Godden 85, Kane 90+5)

Dec 11: Birmingham 2 (Deeney 29, Sunjic 45+1) Cardiff 2 (Moore 66, McGuinness 90+1)

READ MORE: Nations League 2022/23: England handed chance to avenge Euro 2020 final defeat

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