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Analysis: Most Teams Lose Sometimes

After a rigorous statistical analysis, I have concluded that most teams do, occasionally, lose.

TSG Hoffenheim v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

For any football team there are three possible results for any given match: you win, you lose, or you draw. Everybody loves winning, of course. Draws can be acceptable under certain circumstances, but losing? Nobody likes losing.

Yesterday, Borussia Dortmund lost to Augsburg FC 2-0. It was pretty ugly. The first goal BVB conceded came off a well-executed free kick by Augsburg. While Manuel Akanji lost his man and made no effort to challenge for the ball, the play still required a terrific delivery from Daniel Caligiuri and a strong header from Felix Uduokhai. The second goal was a good ball from Florian Niederlechner to Caligiuri, who held off Thomas Meunier to finish one-on-one against Bürki.

A lot of you guys are outraged, and rightfully so. Lucien Favre should definitely be fired for this and BVB should hire whoever comes through the door first. Good teams shouldn’t lose. Ever.

Do you know who would never let this happen? Bayern Munich. Bayern would never slip up against a mid-table opponent. Bayern would never lose.

Wait, what?


So Bayern lost, yeah, big whoop, but they have what we don’t: excuses. They played 120 minutes in the UEFA Supercup on Thursday. They played Hoffenheim, who can be annoyingly good sometimes, I guess. They were rotating for the DFL Supercup on Wednesday. What excuses do BVB have, other than winning the expected goals battle?

Bayern losing is obviously a fluke. Everybody knows that most good teams lose only on the rarest of occasions, if at all. Let’s look at Barcelona’s 2014-15 side, one of the greatest teams of all time. They scored 110 goals and won the treble led by the fabulous front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez.

Wait, what’s this?

Barcelona lost to Celta Vigo? But I thought they were one of the greatest teams ever! How could they win La Liga, the Champions League, and the Copa Del Rey if they lost to Celta Vigo once? They didn’t even score a goal! Maybe they’re not the legendary team we think they were.

I’ve been pouring over results from various leagues across the world, and I’ve discovered that quite a lot of teams lose. Just today, Manchester City, one of the strongest clubs in England, lost to Leicester City. Shocking!

Maybe this has to do with the so-called “opposition.” For those who are new to football, these are the players against whom your favorite team is playing. Their job, as I’ve recently discovered, is not to lie down and let your team win, but to score goals so that they, in fact, are the ones that win. Augsburg FC, then, could effectively be described as “opposition”, and it turns out that they’re a collection of players with loads of experience including Daniel Caligiuri, who has been a thorn in BVB’s side for years, and Rafal Gikiewicz, who was statistically one of the best keepers in the league last season. They are paid millions of euros to play football, and they do it rather well.


It seems that many teams, even great ones, lose occasionally. This is truly a shocking revelation, and it undermines everything I’ve previously believed about the beautiful game. I’m unsure what to do with this new knowledge, other than to continue rooting for Borussia Dortmund and hope they win every match, with the added knowledge that it’s not the end of the bloody world if they don’t.