3 months ago

Goals galore as Premier League scoring rates soar

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Goals late in games have resulted in the biggest season-on-season scoring rate rise in England's top flight for nearly 100 years as Premier League defences take a hammering.

With the season reaching its climax, the average goals per game currently stands at 3.24 compared to 2.85 last season, an increase of 13.7%. It is the biggest jump since 1925-26 when the offside rule was tweaked to favour attacking players.

Statistics website reveals that more than 25% of the goals scored this campaign have come after the 76th minute, many arriving deep into the lengthy periods of stoppage time that have become a feature of the season.

The latest goal scored this season was Ollie McBurnie's 103rd-minute penalty for Sheffield United against West Ham United in January, while numerous other goals have come past the 100-minute mark.

Teams towards the middle of the table have also been more effective attacking units this season.

According to Simon Gleave, head of analysis at Nielsen's Gracenote, the eight teams currently ranked 10th to 17th in the league table are averaging 1.45 goals per match, compared to their equivalents last term with 1.04 per game.

The current top nine teams, seven of which finished last season in the top nine, are recording a 5% increase.

Certain clubs have clearly worked on their attacking effectiveness too, none more so than Wolverhampton Wanderers whose average per game of 1.5 is an 84% rise on last season.

Chelsea are up 74%, Aston Villa 54%, Bournemouth 50% and West Ham United 44%.

Champions Manchester City, however, are averaging fewer goals than they were last season, as are Manchester United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford.

With a three-way title race reaching its climax, Arsenal's goalscoring prowess could give them the edge.

The Gunners have racked up 70 goals in 28 games at an average of 2.5 goals per match -- their highest top-flight scoring average since the 1934-35 season.

"Since 1962-63, there have been only eight teams that have averaged 2.5 goals per match or better across a whole season; Manchester United (1999-00), Chelsea (2009-10), Liverpool (2013-14) and Manchester City (2013-14, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2021-22)," said Gleave.

"Arsenal need to score 25 more goals in their last 10 matches to join this select group."

For pure entertainment, however, Newcastle United's matches are the ones to watch. Their 28 games have produced 107 goals at an average of 3.82. Only one team since the 1966-67 season - Liverpool in 2013-14 - have had an average exceeding 3.8 goals per match across a whole season.

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