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Times Up

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The added time we saw in the World Cup may have confused and frustrated some, but some leagues decided to adapt to it. The Premier League announced it would use the new added time recommendations at the start of the 2023/24 season. Since then, the average amount of added time after 90 minutes of play is about seven minutes. This rule was added to hinder the amount of time wasted during games and account for any time stoppage, such as VAR checks, goal celebrations, substitutions and any other instances that may stop playing time.

In the first six weeks of the Premier League, some games have been drastically affected by the amount of added time. Some examples of games that have been affected by the rule change are Tottenham vs. Sheffield United (90+17), Manchester United vs. Arsenal (90+13), Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forest (90+10) and many more.

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In the case of the Tottenham vs. Sheffield United game, Gustavo Hamer had scored for Sheffield in the 73rd minute, giving them the lead. Prior to the goal, one substitution and eight yellow cards were given. After the goal, there were seven subs and two yellows given. All of the time stoppages from these and other events in the game lead to tons of extra time. Tottenham's Richarlison scored in the 90+9 minute, tying the game. Three minutes later, Kulusevski scored, giving Tottenham the lead. After the goals three more yellow cards and one red card were handed out, causing the game to end in the 90+17 minute, for a total of 107 minutes of soccer. Had the game been played with the same extra time rules as last season, Sheffield would most likely have won that game, giving them their first win of the season.

Photo Credit: David Klein

The Manchester United vs. Arsenal game could have had a similar ending to the Tottenham game. Marcus Rashford scored for United in the 27th minute, and Arsenal's Captain, Martin Ødegaard, tied it up a minute later. Five yellow cards, eight substitutions, and a disallowed offside Manchester United goal led to plenty of added time - enough time to allow Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus to score for Arsenal in the 96th minute and 102nd minute, respectively. The game ended in the 103rd minute. Had the game ended with the same extra time rules as last season, the game could have ended in a tie, affecting both team’s points and place in the league table.

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This game had the opposite effect as the other two. Chelsea lost to Nottingham Forest 1-0. Many see that the amount of extra time should have given Chelsea enough time to tie the game, at least. One hundred minutes, and they couldn’t score a single goal. Chelsea is acknowledged as a Big 6 team in the league; many fans and spectators were lost because even with all the extra time, Chelsea couldn’t tie the game up and take a point.

With all this extra time being added, the outcome of games can be harder to predict, making it much more fun for fans to enjoy, unless you're on the receiving end of a tough extra-time winner resulting in a loss for your team - Manchester United fans. While some may hate the new rules, you can’t deny that we are getting to watch more soccer because of it, and that’s all you can ask for.

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