Ian Bolland takes a look at where points were won and lost after the first goal scored with this edition of the series highlighting the top London clubs.
The ability to score first and hold on to leads is a very good sign for sides that have ambitions of finishing towards the top end of the league.
With the final third of the season approaching, here is a look at how the London sides who are chasing the title or Champions League places have done when it comes to holding onto leads, or claiming points from behind. In the case of both sides taking the lead at some stage and the game ending up in the draw, the team that scored the first goal will be the side that loses out when it comes to net gains/losses off points.
Arsenal – Led against Aston Villa – lost 3-1
Trailed to West Bromwich Albion – drew 1-1
Led against Everton – drew 1-1
Trailed against West Ham – won 3-1
Trailed against Southampton – drew 2-2
The opening day defeat to Aston Villa seems to have been forgotten about this season for Gunners fans as they currently sit in the driving seat in the Premier League title race, albeit with some very difficult fixtures coming up, starting with this weekend's trip to Anfield. But in three of the games this season they have managed to come from behind after conceding the first goal on three occasions, and as a result have cancelled out the points they've lost when scoring the first goal. Five points lost, five points gained. Net: 0
Trailed against Cardiff City, won 4-1
Led against West Bromwich Albion, drew 2-2.
Trailed to Southampton, won 3-1.
Led against Stoke City, lost 3-2.
Trailed to Liverpool, won 2-1.
Chelsea seem to be very hard to beat once they get their noses in front and are a side you can't really discount from the game. They've come from behind against Cardiff City, Southampton and Liverpool in home matches whilst come away with a point from White Hart Lane after falling behind. They did score first against West Bromwich Albion but drew, and were pegged back by Stoke City who went on to beat them at the Britannia Stadium. Five points lost, ten points gained. Net +5
Tottenham - Led against Chelsea, drew 1-1.
Led against Manchester United, drew 2-2.
Trailed against Fulham, won 2-1.
Trailed against Sunderland, won 2-1.
Trailed against Southampton, won 3-2.
Led against West Bromwich, drew 1-1.
Trailed against Hull City, drew 1-1.
Despite having several difficulties well documented this season, Tottenham are a hard side to peg back, it seems - both under Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood. They haven't lost a league match having scored the first goal, but have come from behind to win against Fulham, Sunderland and Southampton this season, whilst also managing to salvage a point against Hull City. Points lost 6, points gained 10. Net +4
What can take from all of this? Arsenal have the capability to come from behind and salvage points from games, but they have also thrown away leads away as well. Both Tottenham and Chelsea are hard sides to peg back into games and have the capability to turn the game around in their favour.
image: © Jason Bagley