Pretty much everyone in the footy/soccer world has heard the age old adage that 2-0 “is the most dangerous lead”. Weather said in jest or sincerity, there is some logic to the statement. With a one goal lead, the team in the winning position knows a goal of pure happenstance or luck can knot the match up, making it easier to stay sharp. A two goal lead, especially one where the opponents haven’t scored, can lead to overconfidence and a loss of focus that allows the opposing side to winnow their way back into the match.
As Liverpool take a 2-0 lead into the second leg of their round of 16 Champions League tie with Inter Milan, Jürgen Klopp has stated that his team do indeed hold the most dangerous lead. He spoke to that fact in he pre-match presser.
The danger everybody knows about. It’s 2-0, the lead I think which got turned over most often in the history of football. Because if you enter half-time 2-0 up and you have a team who thinks we are halfway through then you are already on the wrong path, so we are long enough [in the competition] and we know that. It’s a much better result than I would have expected, to be honest, before we played there. The game didn’t look like we will win it 2-0 for most of the time. It was a really tough tie and a really difficult game to play. We knew before they had real quality. After that, we knew they had real quality. Now they will show up here and they won the last game 5-0. Yes, against the team bottom of the table but still really impressive. [Lautaro] Martinez scored, [Edin] Dzeko scored, [Robin] Gosens is back. We saw the game and we’re really happy [Nicolo] Barella is not playing because he set up I think three or four! That’s a really experienced team and they don’t come here as tourists, I know that they want to chase the game. That’s what we want to do because we are not a team who defends results, or whatever, or tries to get through somehow. We want to attack the game again and let’s see what we can get from it.
BBC pundit Gary Lineker has a gripe with Klopp’s statement that 2-0 is the most overturned lead in history. He took to twitter to state “I suspect statistics will not support this”.
I suspect statistics will not support this. https://t.co/kEJbiz7OR3— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 7, 2022
Andrew Beasley, who is always on the spot with a statistic also weighed in with a tabulation of all 2-0 leads in the Champions League in recent history. His analysis showed that only Manchester United had been able to overcome the “most dangerous lead”, advancing past PSG 3-3 on away goals in 2019.
Of course, we’re really splitting hairs here. Whether or not Klopp actually believes the sentiment, he is very publicly stating that his team need to stay wary of danger and stay sharp against the Serie A side. Still, it is nice to see the statistics bear out that Liverpool are rightfully in a very strong position to advance. especially knowing that Liverpool are more often than not going to score at least a goal or two at home.