Sunday 11 December 2016

Question nobody asked

Published 18/01/2010 | 05:00

Which team leads best from the front?

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Conventional wisdom says that teams are at their most vulnerable after conceding a goal but, for Manchester United this season, taking the lead has always built the foundation for victory.

Alex Ferguson's team are the only one in the Premier League who haven't dropped a single point once they have taken a lead in a game.

Saturday's victory against Burnley made it 13 times which United have scored the first goal in the game and, from those matches, they have picked up 39 points.

Of their main title rivals, Arsenal have dropped seven points after taking the lead (38 points having taken the lead 15 times, including yesterday), while Chelsea have failed to hang on to six points in similar circumstances (33 points from 13 leads), although their victory was never in doubt during Saturday's demolition of Sunderland.

Yesterday's win over Fulham improved Blackburn's average points tally after taking the lead, but it still remains the lowest in the Premier League with 10 points from the six games in which they have scored first.

Bolton have dropped the most points, having taken the lead first with a tally of 17 points from the 10 games which they have opened the scoring, including dropping two points after leading 2-0 against Hull City at the Reebok, a result which proved to be Gary Megson's final game in charge.

Irish Independent

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