Last week I broke the numbers down for all 20 Premier League teams on how they perform when they are leading in games this season. This week we flip the script as I run the numbers on how Premier League teams perform when they are losing games.
Manchester United's 2012-13 season will always be known as Sir Alex Ferguson's final campaign as manager. Yet, if the Scot hadn't retired it would have been known as one of the most remarkable title-winning seasons in league history.
United's 29 points gained from losing positions was the second most in Premier League history (Newcastle of 2001-02 had 34) and easily the most achieved by the eventual winners.
Obviously, a team that wins a lot of games, which it takes to win a title, does not spend too much time losing so cannot acquire too many points for this category.
Last season, Manchester United were different.
In Fergie's final year, United trailed in more matches (16) than Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. In total they went behind 22 times but, remarkably, cancelled out those deficits 17 times (77 per cent of the time) and in nine of the 16 matches they not only levelled but also went on to win the match.
United's ability to score goals and be more efficient, thanks largely to a healthy Robin Van Persie, ensured they spent little time behind, leaving less time for anxiety to settle in, which has happened this season.
In total last season United trailed for 419 Premier League minutes out of the 3,420 officially played (injury time counts as '45 and '90) for a losing percentage of just 12.2 per cent despite them losing in 42 per cent of their matches.
This season, United have already trailed in 416 Premier League minutes out of the 1,890 officially played for a losing percentage of 22 per cent. In total, they have been behind in 10 of their 21 games (47.6 per cent) but have managed to win just three, draw one and lose six.
It is no surprise that United are unable to continue last season's statistic, a clear outlier, when it comes to how they play when losing and it is interesting to note that six losses, from 10 games losing in, currently puts them at a 40 per cent rate in terms of not losing a game they were trailing in.
Rivals Manchester City have trailed the least amount of time this season and this is one of the leading indicators to show their dominance. Manuel Pellegrini's men have trailed for just 119 minutes this season, which averages out to less than six minutes per game.
Here is a look at all of the teams in the Premier League in order of least amount of time trailed and how they have played when losing this season.
1. Man City - 119 mins (6.3 per cent) - City went behind in five of their first 11 games but in the last two months have trailed for just seven minutes, when Vincent Kompany levelled Phillippe Coutinho's opening goal on Boxing Day. City have six points from losing positions, winning against Liverpool and Everton when behind.
2. Arsenal - 203 mins (10.7) - Much of Arsenal's improvement this season can be put down to them not conceding the game's opening goal. Arsenal have gone behind a PL-low six times this season, stopping the early goals conceded that haunted them last season. This still needs to be worked on against the top teams (Man City twice, Chelsea twice and Man Utd all scored first half goals last season to go ahead 1-0 and both Manchester teams did it this season). Arsene Wenger's team have so far reduced their total minutes losing dramatically this season (from 18 per cent to just over 10 per cent) taking the panic away that often came into their game when things didn't go their way. The sample size is small but in the five games they have trailed in, Arsenal have one win, one draw and three losses.
3. Chelsea - 232 mins (12.3) - Last season no team trailed less than the Blues, yet their frailties shone through once they went behind. Some of the frailties remain but the team is much better this season when they trail, currently leading the league with 14 points won from losing positions (4W, 2D, 3L). It has been that ability to excel, when behind, that has given them the confidence to look more and more like title contenders in recent weeks. Jose Mourinho continues to tinker with his shape as he tries to get his team more solid and after trailing in eight of 12 games from September to early December, Chelsea have now only trailed for 14 minutes combined in their last six matches and, like Man City, those minutes turned into a victory over Liverpool.
4. Everton - 259 mins (13.7) - The Toffees are having a great season and had to be this high by virtue of their low position in minutes led during last week's study. Roberto Martinez's men have lost a league-low two matches but even more impressive is their conversion rate at cancelling out leads - a whopping high of 78 per cent, achieved by coming from behind seven times from the nine times they have trailed this season. That is even higher than what United managed last season.
5. Liverpool - 278 mins (14.7) - Liverpool's five losses is too many for the short amount of time they have spent behind. This is because they have yet to win a match this season in which they trailed in, losing five and drawing three of those eight games. This needs to improve if they want to cement a top-four spot.
6. Tottenham - 363 mins (15.4) - Spurs won three games in December from a losing position. The first two - at Fulham and Sunderland - were enough to convince Chairman Daniel Levy that the performances weren't good enough under Andre Villas-Boas. The third one - at Southampton - convinced Levy to hire caretaker boss Tim Sherwood full-time. Spurs haven't trailed in a game since.
7. Man United - 416 mins (22) - Four more minutes behind will give them more time spent chasing a game than the entire last season. Watching United closely when trailing this season has been fascinating. Yes, they have gained 10 points from losing positions but the performances in those games - Sunderland (a), Stoke (h), Spurs (a) Hull (a) - weren't very good, unlike last season when they were, quite easily, the better side for a lot of their games, even when trailing. For United to climb the table they do not look like a team good enough to consistently get key points from losing positions.
8. Hull City - 470 mins (24.9) - Last week's study showed Hull have spent a high number of minutes in the lead and, consequently, that has helped them spend so few time behind, No surprise, for a team in need of more goals, that one win and 10 losses come from the 11 games they trailed in.
9. West Ham - 475 mins (25.1) - This will surprise many but not any Hammer fans. Far too many games have been lost late this season for Sam Allardyce but he can find positives in the fact that his team have spent almost three-quarters of the season not losing. When they are losing, however, the picture is dull, achieving just one point from the 12 games they've been losing in.
10. Stoke - 484 mins (25.6) - Stoke already have as many wins from losing positions (two) than last season. They showed fight in a crazy 5-3 game on Sunday to Liverpool, getting it back to 2-2, but played 79 of those 90 minutes behind. That pushed their percentage to over 25 per cent and away from the 22 per cent that was with them before, which matched their total from last season under Tony Pulis.
11. Newcastle - 535 mins (28.3) - The Magpies would be higher on this list and have a better per cent had their equalizer against Man City on Sunday been allowed to stand. Alan Pardew had many reasons to be frustrated but one not mentioned was that it appeared his team had levelled a deficit for just the third time in 10 attempts this season. They have trailed in just eight games this season but have gone on to lose seven of them.
12. Southampton - 564 mins (29.8) - The Saints have gone behind more times this season than West Ham, West Brom, Stoke, Norwich and Cardiff yet stand well above them in the league table. Part of that reason is their conversion rate at cancelling out leads - 50 per cent (8 of 16).
13. West Brom - 584 mins (30.9) - For a struggling team, WBA's conversion rate at cancelling leads is impressive (7 of 15 - 47 per cent) and suggests they should stay away from the bottom three this season.
14. Cardiff - 611 mins (32.3) - Cardiff are last in the league in minutes led but can take pleasure in knowing that last season the three relegated teams were in the bottom three in minutes trailed.
15. Aston Villa - 639 mins (33.8) - Last season Villa trailed in just 27.5 per cent of their matches despite losing over 44 per cent of their games (17 of 38). This season their losing record is similar but, expectedly, the minutes trailed has increased with it. In fact, it would be much higher had Villa not managed to cancel out seven of their 17 deficits so far (41 per cent).
16. Swansea - 663 mins (35) - In 2012-13, Michael Laudrup's men trailed for just 595 minutes all season. Already they have passed that mark through 21 games. Winning just one of 19 games last season pointed to this increase, if things worsened, and struggles with Europa League demands and injuries has contributed to them losing in more games. Through a season and a half, under Laudrup, Swansea have now trailed in 33 games and won just one of them.
17. Crystal Palace - 717 mins (37.9) - Palace were the last team to pick up a point from a losing position when they drew against Norwich on New Year's Day. Their play has improved under Tony Pulis but a conversion rate of 13 per cent in cancelling out leads (2 of 16) must improve if they want to avoid relegation.
18. Fulham - 721 mins (38.1) - Martin Jol's Fulham were made for this study. Get behind and they rarely, if ever, won. Simple. Last season they trailed in 22 games, drew four and lost 18. In the thirteen games he managed this season, they trailed in 10 and lost nine. Slow clap for the one win against Crystal Palace. New manager Rene Meulensteen did in a week, what Jol couldn't do in 18 months, over the holidays, with wins over Norwich and Hull, showing good signs for the future.
19. Norwich - 732 mins (38.7) - When you struggle to score and preach a need for a defensive philosophy your job cannot be secure if you are in charge of a team this low on the list. Chris Hughton has guided his team to one win in 14 games that they've trailed in this season.
20. Sunderland - 744 mins (39.4) - Sunderland, West Ham and Crystal Palace all have a PL-low one point gained from losing positions. Last season Fulham showed this doesn't mean you will get relegated but it does heighten the need to stay away from losing scenarios as often as possible. Gus Poyet has so far managed to do that in seven of the 14 games he is taken charge of.