First goal wins, 70% of the time, unless you are the Saints or Central Coast Mariners

April 28 – The importance of scoring the first goal is highlighted in a 92-league analysis by the CIES Football Observatory that found the team scoring first generally goes on to win in about 70% of matches.

“At the level of the big-5, the percentages go from 71.1% in the English Premier League to 67.8% in the German Bundesliga. The lowest values in Europe were recorded for the Belgian and Norwegian top divisions (66.3% in both cases),” says the report.

The team that has taken most first-goal advantage between January 2015 and December 2019 is  Red Star Belgrade who won 130 domestic league matches out of the 135 during which they scored first – 96.3%.

“This is the highest value measured among clubs from 92 top divisions worldwide ahead of Sherif Tiraspol from Moldova (94.1%) and Albirex Niigata Singapore (93.3%),” says the report.

“The highest percentages of wins in case of first goal for current big-5 league teams over the five years studied were recorded for Paris St-Germain (89.9%, 124 wins out of 138), Barcelona (88.5%, 116 out of 131) and Manchester City (87.1%, 115 out of 132). Per league, the lowest value were recorded for Toulouse, Augsburg, Udinese, Eibar and Southampton. The lowest percentage overall was recorded for the Australian side Central Coast Mariners (20 wins out of 53, 38%).”

See the full report at

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