Why 2023/24 is the best season EVER for late drama

16 Nov 2023
Lemina, Wolves

We analyse incredible numbers in a campaign full of stoppage-time goals and turnarounds

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The 2023/24 Premier League season has offered fans drama all the way through to the final whistle like no season before. Late winners, incredible turnarounds and never-say-die attitudes have delivered entertainment throughout the final minutes for supporters.   

See: The BEST matches of the season so far

The numbers show why fans more than ever should never leave their seats, or their sofas, before the referees call time.

Not only has this season produced the latest winning strike in Premier League history, when Dejan Kulusevski completed an incredible turnaround for Tottenham Hotspur against Sheffield United, but four of the 11 latest winning goals have been struck in this campaign.

Mario Lemina became the most recent player to join that list on Saturday when he scored in the seventh minute of stoppage time as Wolverhampton Wanderers earned a memorable victory against Spurs.

 Latest winning goals
Date Player Match Time
16 Sep 2023 Dejan Kulusevski Spurs 2-1 Sheff Utd 99:53
26 Sep 2020 Bruno Fernandes Brighton 2-3 Man Utd 99:45
4 Nov 2023 Oliver Norwood Sheff Utd 2-1 Wolves 99:17
17 Mar 2022 Alex Iwobi Everton 1-0 Newcastle 98:20
4 May 2023 Alexis Mac Allister Brighton 1-0 Man Utd 98:17
16 Sep 2023 Douglas Luiz Villa 3-1 Palace 97:33
12 Nov 2022 Ivan Toney Man City 1-2 Brentford 97:17
22 Jan 2017 Alexis Sanchez Arsenal 2-1 Burnley 97:14
31 Aug 2022 Fabio Carvalho Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle 97:10
04 Mar 2023 Reiss Nelson Arsenal 3-2 Bournemouth 96:59
11 Nov 2023 Mario Lemina Wolves 2-1 Spurs 96:37

Amazingly, Wolves were 1-0 down after 90 minutes against Spurs. But their incredible late turnaround was by no means unique this season.

In fact, of the eight occasions in Premier League history where a team have gone into the 90th minute in a losing position and fought back to win, THREE have come this season.

Undoubtedly, the most famous instance was Manchester City's 3-2 success over Queens Park Rangers that secured a first Premier League title for City on the final day of the 2011/12 season, with Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero scoring in added time.

Latest comeback wins
Date Match Time when losing
16 Sep 2023 Spurs 2-1 Sheff Utd 97:33
19 Jan 2022 Leicester 2-3 Spurs 94:52
7 Oct 2023 Man Utd 2-1 Brentford 92:47
13 May 2012 Man City 3-2 QPR 91:15
26 Nov 2016 Swansea 5-4 Palace 90:04
11 Nov 2023 Wolves 2-1 Spurs 90:03
9 Dec 2012 Everton 2-1 Spurs 89:54
30 Apr 2016 Watford 3-2 Villa 89:53

Compared with the past five seasons, the stats confirm that 2023/24 is delivering late drama in greater quantity than in recent times.

More than 10 per cent of all the 370 goals scored in the Premier League this campaign have come in stoppage time. The highest share for such late goals in the previous five seasons has been 7.9 per cent, more than two percentage points lower. 

Of the 38 stoppage-time goals this season, seven have been equalisers and nine have been winners.  

Percentage of goals scored 90+ mins
Season Goals scored % of total goals
2018/19 85 7.9
2019/20 66 6.4
2020/21 65 6.3
2021/22 85 7.9
2022/23 61 5.6
2023/24 38 10.3

Of course, there has been more time added to matches by officials to tackle time-wasting.

But while the added time per match has risen from an average of seven minutes and 20 seconds over the past five seasons to an average of 11 minutes and 42 seconds this campaign, the rate of increase in time added on is still inferior to the rise in the number of goals scored in stoppage time in 2023/24.

If the opening 12 Matchweeks are anything to go by, expect more drama than ever before during stoppage time over the remainder of the season.

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