Soccer

New rules sees huge increase in stoppage time across opening weekend in England

Daniel Harvie, centre, celebrates after scoring MK Dons’ fifth goal at Wrexham (Jacob King/PA)
Daniel Harvie, centre, celebrates after scoring MK Dons’ fifth goal at Wrexham (Jacob King/PA) Daniel Harvie, centre, celebrates after scoring MK Dons’ fifth goal at Wrexham (Jacob King/PA)

New stoppage time rules saw playing time increase by around seven minutes on average compared to last season across the EFL’s opening weekend and Sunday’s Community Shield.

Arsenal and Manchester City’s clash at Wembley lasted longer than all but seven of last season’s Premier League games, following on from a league programme in which five games had over 20 minutes stoppage time across the first and second halves combined.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the new approach affected playing time.

Community Shield

Substitute Leandro Trossard scored Arsenal’s equaliser in the 11th of 12 minutes added at full-time against City before his side sealed victory on penalties.

A total of 105 minutes and 45 seconds of playing time was over six minutes longer than last year’s equivalent fixture between City and Liverpool.

It was also more than seven minutes up on last term’s Premier League average of 98mins 31secs and longer than all but seven of the season’s 380 top-flight games – Chelsea v Everton, on last August’s opening day, being the longest at 110:21.

City boss Pep Guardiola expressed frustration before the match with the new rules, noting that “every game we’re going to play for 100 minutes” as part of a wider criticism of the demands placed on players.

Opposite number Mikel Arteta was unsurpisingly more positive after Trossard’s strike, saying: “It is really good to do that (enforce rules against time-wasting). It was going too far and now teams are going to have to think twice.

“We have to prepare to play 100 minutes. It is going to happen every single week.”

Championship

Crysencio Summerville celebrates his equaliser against Cardiff
Crysencio Summerville celebrates his equaliser against Cardiff Crysencio Summerville scored a dramatic equaliser for Leeds (Robbie Stephenson/PA)

Average playing time across the 12 Championship fixtures this weekend was 104 minutes and nine seconds, nearly six minutes up on last season’s average of 98:21.

Leeds’s Crysencio Summerville snatched an equaliser against Cardiff in the fifth added minute while Adam Idah’s winner for Norwich came in the sixth, with Hull manager Liam Rosenior sent off for his protests after only five were indicated by the fourth official.

Ipswich’s win at Sunderland was the longest game at just over 108 minutes, with all bar Middlesbrough v Millwall and Bristol City v Preston cracking the 100-minute barrier.

League One

EFL: average stoppage time by division, 2022-23 v 2023-24 (graphic)
EFL: average stoppage time by division, 2022-23 v 2023-24 (graphic) This season’s new rules saw stoppage time increase by around seven minutes per match (PA graphic)

The third tier saw Saturday’s matches all last beyond 100 minutes with an average of exactly 106, up from 99:20 last term.

Portsmouth’s 83rd-minute substitue Kusini Yengi scored a stoppage-time equaliser against Bristol Rovers, albeit barely a minute beyond the end of the 90, while Fleetwood’s equaliser at Carlisle came in the fourth minute of first-half added time.

Northampton v Stevenage, with a total playing time of 112 minutes and 36 seconds, was the longest across the English league this weekend.

League Two

Daniel Harvie, centre, celebrates after scoring MK Dons' fifth goal at Wrexham
Daniel Harvie, centre, celebrates after scoring MK Dons' fifth goal at Wrexham Daniel Harvie, centre, celebrates after scoring MK Dons’ fifth goal at Wrexham (Jacob King/PA)

The most striking increase came in League Two, where games lasted an average of 107 minutes and four seconds – exactly eight minutes longer than last season.

Accrington v Newport was the longest at 110:46 while even the shortest games, Stockport v Gillingham and Wrexham v MK Dons, lasted 104:24.

Farrend Rawson scored Morecambe’s winner two minutes into added time against Walsall while Wrexham’s typically madcap 5-3 loss on their EFL return featured goals in the fourth and sixth minutes of second-half stoppage time.