It’s been an unprecedented season in the Premier League in terms of added time, which has heavily impacted the outcomes of many matches.
This has led to thrilling last-minute goals and unexpected results which have influenced team standings.
Adopting cues from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Premier League has adjusted its added time rules, resulting in a notable increase in stoppage-time minutes.
Some clubs have grown fond of the new rule imposed by the league to combat time-wasting tactics, massively benefitting from lengthy stoppages with late winners sealing key wins.
Mikel Arteta’s side were on the precipe of dropping points at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday as they headed into injury-time tied with newcomers Luton Town at 3-3 in an enthralling contest.
When it looked like Rob Edwards’ side would stage an upset against the Premier League pacesetters, summer signing Declan Rice came to the rescue, bagging a 97th-minute winner.
It wasn’t the first time the deep-lying playmaker propelled Arsenal to a last-gasp win as his 96th-minute strike broke the tie in a dramatic 3-1 home triumph against Manchester United in early September.
Although they were on the receiving end at the Emirates Stadium, the Red Devils took advantage of extended extra time to pull off an incredible comeback against Brentford in October.
Heading into added time, United trailed the Bees 1-0 before Scott McTominay’s double turned the game on its head, with the match-winning strike arriving in the 97th minute.
Back in the day, Man Utd often relied on the famous ‘Fergie time’ to bail them out of trouble, but the new rule has made it a common practice around the grounds.
Paul Heckinbottom is now part of Sheffield United’s history following the Blades’ humiliating start to the new top-flight campaign.
Who knows how things would’ve panned out for the 46-year-old manager if his side hadn’t suffered a frustrating 2-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in mid-September.
Gustavo Hamer fired United in front midway through the second half before goals from Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski in the 98th and 100th minute, respectively, won the game for Spurs at the death.
But what goes around comes around as Ange Postecoglou’s team soon felt the taste of their own medicine, becoming only the eighth side in Premier League history to lose after leading in stoppages.
Wolverhampton Wanderers were 1-0 down in the 91st minute, only for Pablo Sarabia and Mario Lemina to send Molineux into raptures, with the latter slotting home a winner in the 97th minute.
Wolves have specialised in late drama this season, with nine of their 15 league games featuring at least one goal beyond the 75th minute, although they’ve not always walked away high-headed.
Fulham toppled them in a nail-biting 3-2 victory at Craven Cottage two weeks ago, courtesy of William’s 94th-minute penalty.
Changes in added time regulations in the Premier League have altered match dynamics and sparked renewed excitement and unpredictability.
But whether it’s necessary or not remains a subject of debate, even though it has helped balance the thrill of suspense with concerns about disrupting the game’s natural flow.
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