Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrating his late winner against Fulham
From Tottenham's flying start to Alejandro Garnacho's sensational bicycle kick goal, the start to the 2023 Premier League season has been as exciting as any in recent memory. Through 16 match-weeks, the world's best league has produced more theatrics, controversy, and hand-in-head moments than a GOP debate, and like the Republican primaries, the title race is still wide open.
But unlike Trump's outlandish claims, this is not hyperbole. Here's why the 2023 Premier League season could go down as the best ever:
There are more goals
There have been an average of 3.16 goals per game in the Prem this season, the highest goalscoring rate since 1964-65, when games used to regularly end in ludicrous scorelines like this:
It’s a shame Burnley couldn’t have put one more past United…
Teams are playing at attacking brand of soccer that results in more turnovers, which are at their highest rate per game (16.5) since 2010-11.
Teams are converting these turnovers into goals more than ever before (0.34 per game).
Matches are on average three minutes and 21 seconds longer this season compared to last due to referees cracking down on time-wasting.
There have already been more red cards this season than there were all of last season.
Add in more injuries than usual after the midseason World Cup – which leads to a larger gulf in quality and players playing out of position – and it's not hard to see why goals are up across the whole pyramid in England. Add all of these factors together, and it means...
There are more last-minute winners
... which makes for more entertaining games and unpredictable results. Following FIFA's move to increase effective playing time in Qatar, stoppage time is up three minutes and six seconds in the Premier League compared to last season.
There have been an average of 11 minutes and 33 seconds of added time per game this season, compared to 8 minutes and 27 seconds last season
This means more time to score late goals:
There have already been 46 stoppage-time goals in the Prem this season, which projects to shatter season totals from the last three seasons by 214%.
20 of those goals have been result-altering, which is only eight short of the number we've averaged in the entirety of the last three seasons.
The bottom line: More goals, red cards, and last-minute winners means games are as dramatic and unpredictable as ever, leading to a wildly entertaining viewing experience. The flood of late goals has caused chaos in the title race too, with the top-three separated by just two points – as tight as it's ever been at this stage. Just imagine how disappointing Man City's inevitable title run will be now. 😞