Fewer red cards and home-team goals since COVID-19 outbreak

4 June 2021 | Performance
Fewer red cards and home-team goals since COVID-19 outbreak
The overall number of red cards has reduced along with the number of wins and goals recorded by home teams since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research released today by OneFootball, the world's leading football media platform.

The study, which analysed matches across seven major world leagues found:

Red Cards

  • The number of red cards decreased in Serie A (-30%), Bundesliga (-25%), Premier League (-7%) and LaLiga (-5%) 
  • Bundesliga has replaced the Premier League with the fewest red cards 
  • In 2021, the number of red cards per game across all leagues has decreased (-19%)

Home-team advantage

  • The advantage enjoyed by teams playing at home in Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Super Lig and the Brasileirao Serie A has decreased 
  • Home wins in the Premier League saw the most drastic reduction (46% to 38%) and in the current season there were a greater number of away wins compared to the previous season (+25%)
  • Serie A is the only league where the number of home wins remained the same as pre-covid 

Number of goals scored

  • A higher number of goals were scored by visiting teams (+9%) while the number of goals scored by home teams decreased (-4%)
  • The total number of goals per game increased in Serie A, Ligue 1 and Brasileirao Serie A 
  • Serie A saw the number of goals per game increase most (+12%) whereas in the Bundesliga it decreased most (-4%)

As part of a series of studies undertaken to explore the evolving football landscape, OneFootball’s specialist data team analysed statistics from the Brasileirao Serie A, Bundesliga, LaLiga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Serie A and Super Lig by forming two data groups consisting of a post-stadium closure sample of 2895 games and a pre-Covid sample of 4062 games.

It follows recent analysis by OneFootball which indicated that the vast majority of football fans across Europe feel confident and safe about returning to stadiums, are happy to wear masks and are in favour of UEFA EURO 2020 taking place after surveying more than 50,000 fans in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Patrick Fischer, Chief Business Officer, OneFootball, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has changed football in many ways and the research published today shows the on-pitch impacts across some of the world's most competitive leagues. The home-team has for so long enjoyed an advantage, however, over the last year we have seen that without the passion of home fans driving them forward, this advantage has been reduced with away teams recording better results compared to before the pandemic.

"As football continues to return to normality and following the publishing of our research into fans' feelings about returning to stadiums, we will continue to publish insights and analysis for the benefit of all members of the football ecosystem."

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