Sports, Football

Goals galore in Premier League

Published : 21 Mar 2024 08:55 PM

Late-game goals have led to the most significant increase in scoring rates in England's top-tier football since the 1920s, with Premier League defenses under intense pressure. As the season approaches its peak, the average goals per game have risen to 3.24 from 2.85 last season, marking a 13.7% hike.

This surge is the most pronounced since the 1925-26 season when changes to the offside rule boosted offensive play. Data from indicates that over a quarter of this season's goals have been scored after the 76th minute, often during the extended stoppage times that have characterized this season.

The season's latest goal was a 103rd-minute penalty by Ollie McBurnie for Sheffield United against West Ham United in January, with several goals occurring beyond the 100-minute threshold. Mid-table teams have also stepped up their offensive game this season.

Simon Gleave, head of analysis at Nielsen's Gracenote, notes that the eight teams ranked 10th to 17th are averaging 1.45 goals per match, a significant increase from last season's 1.04. The top nine teams are experiencing a 5% increase in scoring.

Some clubs have notably improved their offensive capabilities, particularly Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a game average of 1.5 goals, an 84% increase from the previous season. Chelsea's scoring has jumped by 74%, Aston Villa's by 54%, Bournemouth's by 50%, and West Ham's by 44%.

However, reigning champions Manchester City, along with Manchester United, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Brentford, are scoring less than last season. In the tight title race, Arsenal's scoring ability might provide an advantage.

The Gunners have scored 70 goals in 28 games, averaging 2.5 goals per match, the highest since the 1934-35 season.

Gleave highlights that since the 1962-63 season, only eight teams have maintained an average of 2.5 goals per game or more throughout a season, including United in 1999-00, Chelsea in 2009-10, Liverpool in 2013-14, and City in multiple seasons. Arsenal needs to add 25 goals in their remaining 10 matches to join this elite group.

For sheer excitement, Newcastle United's games are standout attractions. Their 28 matches have yielded 107 goals, averaging 3.82 goals per game.

Since the 1966-67 season, only Liverpool in 2013-14 has had a season average exceeding 3.8 goals per game.