Sky Sports bust common football myths: Game of two halves?

Man Utd vs Tottenham among top games for dramatic second-half recoveries

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They often say it's a game of two halves - but how often do results change after the break? We've checked every Premier League result since 1992 to bust the myth...

Sometimes a game appears to be beyond a team at the half-time whistle and it's suggested that a rousing team talk could reverse fortunes. After all, it's a game of two halves, right?

In fact, the half-time result - win, lose or draw - has been unchanged at the final whistle in 6,507 out of 10,794 games - so there is a 60 per cent chance that the half-time result will also be the full-time result.

Goals

Despite the fact only 40 per cent of results change during the second interval, it's 26 per cent more likely that a goal is scored after the break. In total, 12,673 goals have been scored during the first half and 15,970 in the second.

Since 1995/96, when the Premier League was reduced to 20 teams, 2010/11 and last season produced the highest number of first-half goals with 476, while only 398 were scored in 2008/09 - close to the 357 scored already this term.

During the second interval, a 25-year-high 602 were scored in 2011/12 and 2016/17 - but just 498 were converted during 2005/06 (427 this season).

Teams

Bradford City were the most likely team to finish a game with a different result, with 51.3 per cent changing after the interval during their 76 top-flight games, followed by Swansea (45.1 per cent) and Cardiff (44.7 per cent).

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Conversely, a league-low 31.6 per cent of Blackpool's results changed during their single campaign in 2010/11, followed by Swindon (33.3 per cent) and Oldham (35.7 per cent).

Seasons

In terms of seasons, 2004/05 really was the season of two halves - with 46.1 per cent of games ending with a different result than the first half, followed by 1999/00 (43.4 per cent), 2002/03 (42.6 per cent) and this season (42.4 per cent).

In contrast, 2009/10 produced the highest number of unchanged results with 64.2 per cent of games ending as it was at the break, followed by 1998/99 (63.7 per cent), 2010/11 (63.4 per cent) and 2003/04 (62.9 per cent).

We will be busting more common myths every day this week. If you're reading on skysports.com, comment below to join the debate, but please respect our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.

Games

Two of the greatest examples of games with distinctly different halves involve the identical fixture: Manchester United vs Tottenham.

In September, 2001, Spurs led United 3-0 at the break but ended up losing the game 5-3 at White Hart Lane. United achieved another five-goal overhaul over Tottenham in 2009, recovering from a 2-0 half-time deficit to win 5-2.

TH VS MU
Image: Tottenham 3-5 Man Utd
MU VS TH
Image: Man Utd 5-2 Tottenham

Newcastle also salvaged a 4-4 draw against Arsenal after falling four goals behind at the break in 2010/11.

NEW VS ARS
Image: Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal

But there have been numerous memorable games with contrasting halves and we've listed the top 10 below...

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