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Number Crunching

This blog post is a bit odd, probably comes across as no point really but I thought if every team went on to win after scoring the first goal, where would teams actually finish come the end of the regular season. Obviously and luckily, football isn’t a ‘first goal wins’ sport otherwise we’d never get classic matches and matches may only last 10 seconds sometimes if that were the case, but the importance of the first goal in a football match should never be underestimated.

The first goal can help a struggling side get confidence or give them something to hold on to. If they hold onto it long enough, it may be the difference between a win and a point. It can also help a neutral enjoy a match more through an incredible defensive display or with a plucky underdog performance which ensures a vital three points come the end of the season.

Along this process, I have made it so whoever did score first in the matches automatically receive 3 points. So if there was a 1-1 draw as well, whoever scored first in that fixture received the points. Also, if a team lost 4-1 but scored first, in this process they actually​ received the win and if there was a 0-0 draw then it’s a point to each. 

It was surprising to see who finished first and second mainly because it proves how well they started in their matches, but showed if their defences were better, they’d do so much better over the course of a season. And not giving too much away, the bottom 2 are different to the real bottom 2, again, proving how vital a solid defence is. The league from top to bottom is more condensed too, with 26 points separating top from bottom, whereas in reality, it was 38 points.

Not that anyone does care and people just want to know, here is the league table if it were based by who scored first:

1st Standard Liege          56 points.                                                                     2nd Genk                           55                                                                                   3rd Zulte Waregem         53                                                                                 4th Oostende                    52                                                                                   5th Gent                             50                                                                                 6th Anderlecht                46                                                                                 7th Mechelen                   46                                                                                   8th Club Brugge              44                                                                                 9th Charleroi                   43                                                                                 10th Kortrijk                    40                                                                                 11th Eupen                        39                                                                                 12th R E Mouscron         38                                                                                 13th Westerlo                  35                                                                                   14th Beveren                   34                                                                                 15th St Truiden               34                                                                                   16th Lokeren                   30

As you can see, Standard Liege (9th) and Genk (8th) finished top 2 whereas Anderlecht and Club Brugge are further down. Brugge haven’t even qualified for the championship play offs if this was how football was pointed. At the other end of the table, Lokeren (11th) and St Truiden (12th) would’ve been scrapping for survival. This obviously means nothing, but it is worth a look at if teams actually managed to hold onto their leads, and for those who haven’t done as well by this system, like the top 2, it shows how important 90 minutes are in a game of football to turn their fortunes around within that time. 

Also, like I’ve said, if anyone has taken the time to look at this, I firstly thank you, and secondly teams on the same points are tabled alphabetically by their common name, not by any other reason.

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Author:

I am a father, a future husband and a lover of football. Which order I do love all 3 is up to you to decide

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