Photo: Mariano Mantel via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

THE latest report by CIES Football Observatory reveals there has been a general decline in competitive balance across Europe.

The UEFA Champions League has seen 29.5% of its games involve a three-goal or more margin and an average goal difference of 1.87 – both these figures are significantly higher than in 2016-17. In terms of three-goal margins, the Champions League is up by 8.5 percentage points, while the goal gap is up from 1.55 to 1.87.

The UEFA Europa League looks to be more competitive, with only 16.1% of games settled by a margin of three or more goals, and the goal margin 1.37, representing a 2.6 percentage point rise and a marginal increase in goal gap.

Among the big five leagues, England has the highest number of three-goal wins, some 21.9%, a partial reflection perhaps of Manchester City’s dominance. That said, the goal gap for the Premier, 1.44 remains unchanged.

Germany, despite Bayern Munich’s firm grip on the Bundesliga, has the lowest percentage at 11.1% which is 5.6 percentage points below 2016-17. Noticeably, Bayern have notched up two successive 6-0 wins! Germany has the lowest goal gap at just 1.23 among the big five, which is down from 1.42 in 2016-17.

Overall in Europe, the number of uneven games has risen from 16.2% to 17.3%, while the goal hap has stretched to 1.40 from 1.37.

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