Saturday 16th September
Following Sadio Mané’s red card against Manchester City last Saturday, football fans and pundits described the dismissal as “killing the game”, with City comfortably taking advantage of their extra player to cement a 5-0 victory.
However, according to new research into what happens when teams are a man light, Manchester City have an impressive historical record with 10 men to show that it’s not always game-over when teams go a man-down.
City’s impressive 70%-win rate ranks them as the most successful Premier League club in the last five years after a sending off*.
The findings, from betting aggregator Bet-BonusCode.co.uk, also revealed that the Sky Blues have the best scoring record when a man down. In nine of the 10 games which saw a City player receive a red card, the Manchester club still scored another goal after their numbers were reduced.
In addition, City have had the earliest dismissal while still going on to win a game. Vincent Kompany’s sending off after just 10 minutes against Hull City during the 2013/14 season still saw them go on to win the match 2-0.
By contrast, the research, which looked at every red card given in a Premier League fixture over the last five years, found that cross-city rival Manchester United have a poor record after seeing red. They have failed to score following 12 sending offs over the last five years and Watford were also unable to find the net when they were a man light during eight games.
The top five clubs with 10 men over the last five years of Premier League fixtures are**:
- Man City – 70%-win rate across 10 games
- Arsenal – 44%, 18 games
- Everton – 38%, 13 games
- Liverpool – 33%, 9 games
- QPR – 33%, 6 games
The bottom five clubs with 10 men over the last five years of Premier League fixtures are:
- Stoke – 0%-win rate from 16 games
- Swansea – 0%, 11 games
- Burnley – 0%, 4 games
- Bournemouth – 0%, 4 games
- West Brom – 10%, 10 games
Arsenal have had to play the greatest amount of time without a full 11, facing 615 minutes of Premier League football while a man down. this equates to almost seven whole matches over the five-year period, or 1.4 games per season.
It seems practice makes perfect though as Arsenal have an impressive 44%-win rate after losing a man, second only to Manchester City.
Facing 10 men
West Ham are the most sinned-against team, with opponents receiving 22 red cards in the last five years, with Chelsea following closely behind on 21.
Fans of the Blues and local rivals Tottenham can feel pretty confident when the opposition loses a player – both sides go on to win 86% of games, more than any other Premier League side in the last five years. Chelsea have also only lost on 5% of occasions where they have a man advantage, with Spurs on 7%.
Burnley supporters though should not get their hopes up when they see the opposing team go down to 10 as the Clarets have failed to win in each of these five games, losing 60% of the time. They also concede the most to 10 men at an average of 0.6 goals per game.
Swansea City have the most impressive defensive record against a weakened side. They have faced the most games without conceding a goal to a 10-man team (10 matches).
Newcastle have picked up the most red cards against one club, having racked up a total of six dismissals in games against Liverpool. Arsenal also see red often when facing Chelsea, as do Sunderland against Hull (both four red cards).
Julian Beck of Bet-BonusCode.co.uk commented, “Being a man light is a real challenge for players, especially when the dismissal is early on in a game. However, Manchester City in particular are showing this to be no more than a ‘10-man myth’ with a very impressive goal scoring record and ability to see out games, even after losing a player.
There is also the old commentator cliché that facing a 10-man side can be more difficult, but fans of Chelsea, Tottenham and Swansea would certainly beg to differ having witnessed their sides take full advantage of having an extra player.
“Overall, we have found that teams with 10 men go on to lose 59% of matches, winning just one in five, so perhaps City are actually the exception rather than the rule.”