Quite some time ago, a reader asked if the team that scores first wins more often. I was reminded of that question when my son asked me if he could watch the second half of the Barca-Real match the other night, with Barca leading 2-0 at the half. Frankly, I didn't know the answer, and unfortunately, the data I have collected to date do not allow me to answer that question exactly. But, I think I have the next best thing: namely, the frequencies of results (win, draw, defeat) when a team leads at halftime. To put things in perspective, take a look at distribution of match outcomes for teams (%s wins, draws, defeats) for the big four leagues from 2005/06 to 2009-10.
So how do these outcomes differ if we know a team is leading at the half? Take a look.
One final note: given the point value of clean sheets documented in earlier posts, I thought I'd take a look at match outcomes when teams are able to keep a clean sheet at the half. Here's what you see:
PS: I told my son to brush his teeth and go to bed - after all, the odds were overwhelming Barca was going to win. And since he's a fan of Mesut Oezil who was taken off at the half, it was just as well.
Thanks to Don K.