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Smells like team spirit: How goals in stoppage time has impacted on the Sky Bet Championship

Kemar Roofe celebrates his late goal against Blackburn
Kemar Roofe celebrates his late goal against Blackburn

It's setting up to be one of the most exciting run-ins in Sky Bet Championship history with just ten points separating the top-seven.

Norwich have moved into favouritism to secure the title in May, although Leeds remain in hot pursuit as they sit just two points behind the Canaries. The EFL title sponsors have them at 7/4.

Unsurprisingly, both are odds-on for promotion to the Premier League. However, as history has shown us, the race is far from over with 15 games to go.

Among the standout features of this engrossing season has been late drama, with sides at both ends of the table - and those in the middle - conjuring up some remarkable endings.

Stoppage time goals have doubtless had a huge impact in the current shaping of the table. Without them, we'd see significant changes and come game 46, it will be some of those late winners which have ultimately condemned some to coming up short of their ambitions, while others reap maximum benefits.

Here, Tom Carnduff looks specifically at how stoppage time goals have benefited the top three, who have demonstrated a praiseworthy ability to secure points from losing positions.


Norwich

  • Points gained from losing positions: 18 (15 games)
  • Goals in first-half added time: 0
  • Goals in second-half added time: 6

Norwich have established themselves as a side to fear late on in games this season. The Canaries have struck six goals in the added minutes, a key part of their promotion push.

Among the many impressive statistics built by this Norwich side is their 17 goals within the final 14 minutes, a tally which puts them firmly at the top of the three.

That's in stark contrast to the way they start games. Just five goals have been scored in the opening 15 minutes, although they boast a decent showing in the period between then and the half-hour mark.

Among their late highlights have been Jordan Rhodes' 92nd minute goal, combined with Teemu Pukki's effort some five minutes later, which saw Norwich overturn a 3-2 deficit to beat Millwall 4-3 in November.

On Boxing Day, Onel Hernandez provided a late Christmas cracker as his inspired performance from the bench helped to complete a comeback from 3-0 down in the 76th minute to 3-3 at half-time, the two Hernandez goals coming in the 94th and 98th minutes to earn his side a point.

Without these goals in added time, Norwich would be sitting second, one goal behind Sheffield United.

They have also demonstrated their team unity with an ability to salvage points from losing positions. That stands at 18 points gained from 15 deficits, which is only bettered by Leeds. That said, they have gone behind on two fewer occasions than their main title rivals.


Leeds

  • Points gained from losing positions: 20 (17 games)
  • Goals in first-half added time: 3
  • Goals in second-half added time: 7

Marcelo Bielsa's side boast the best record for points gained from losing positions this season. They've fallen behind on 17 occasions, that's more than the other top-six teams, but have managed to earn something from those contests. In this 17, seven games ended in defeat, while five saw them earn a point and another five ended in victory.

Among the criticisms of Bielsa's methods has been concern that his team would get tired due to the intensity, yet the sheer number of late goals they have scored suggests otherwise. Kalvin Phillips netted an equaliser in the 101st minute away at Middlesbrough, the latest non extra-time goal scored in the club's history. That was their seventh added-time goal of the season, all of which have come from November onward.

Pablo Hernandez scored in the late minute away at West Brom, a game in which Leeds were completely outplayed. Kemar Roofe then struck a 93rd-minute winner away at Aston Villa to complete a second-half comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

Roofe would then score twice just three days later, both of which coming after Blackburn took an 89th minute lead, to again win 3-2. It was the turn of Gjanni Alioski away at Stoke before Patrick Bamford scored a consolation against Norwich. Of course, Phillips was the most the recent. While they may not have won all those games, it shows that they are playing until the very end.

If you took out the goals scored in stoppage time, Leeds would be sat in fourth and six points adrift of the automatic promotion spots. That highlights how vital late goals are to their current campaign; they could be the difference when it comes to which division they play in next season.

The Whites pick up more points than any other team from losing positions, but equally significant for Bielsa is that his side usually win when they hold the lead. On 18 occasions where they have gone ahead, Leeds have gone onto win 17 times. Reliable front-runners and dangerous predators, expect Leeds to remain in the automatic promotion hunt until the death.


Sheffield United

  • Points gained from losing positions: 11 (13 games)
  • Goals in first-half added time: 1
  • Goals in second-half added time: 1

Sheffield United tend to leave it late, but they look to ensure the job is done before the fourth official lifts the board on the sidelines.

The Blades have been involved in just three goals in second-half added time, with only one of those being in their favour. That was Billy Sharp's late winner against Norwich in August, six months ago.

By contrast, they have dropped points on two occasions after conceding late equalisers. Jamie Proctor scored for Rotherham in a South Yorkshire derby to level the game at 2-2 while more recently, Andre Green's header completed an extraordinary comeback for Aston Villa in a 3-3 draw between the two sides.

That said, a lot of their goals do come in the 14-minute interval prior to additional time. They've scored eleven and conceded the same number during that period, suggesting that there may be value in backing late goals at Bramall Lane.

The Blades would sit top of the league by a single goal if you took away those scored in additional time. Chris Wilder will be hoping late drama begins to work in his side's favour from here on in.


The major changes

Tom Lawrence (centre) celebrates his stoppage time goal against Reading
Tom Lawrence (centre) celebrates his stoppage time goal against Reading

There wouldn't be a huge number of drastic changes without stoppage time goals, although there would be a couple of key movements in the standings.

Blackburn would be the main side to benefit without goals in added minutes. Games they have been involved in have produced a total of six goals in both first and second-half added time, all of which have gone against Rovers.

Tony Mowbray's men are currently 13th in the table on 43 points. However, without those added-time goals, they'd sit fifth with 50 points on their tally. Their -5 goal difference would also stand at +2.

Stoke would also find themselves in the running for a play-off spot, as would have been expected of them at the beginning of the season. The majority of the six stoppage-time goals in their matches have gone against them, but unlike Rovers, they do have two to their name.

Nathan Jones, who has only been in the job for a matter of weeks, finds his Potters team a huge 12 points off the top-six. They're the same distance away from relegation points-wise, despite the league table suggesting otherwise.

Remove the late goals and they are sat in 13th with 42 points, four more than they have now but just five off the play-offs.

The team who suffer the most in all this are Derby. Frank Lampard's side are only outside of the play-offs on goal difference, with Bristol City's fine form putting them a place ahead of the Rams.

County have only seen three goals in added minutes, but all three have been for them. They would drop down to 12th in absence of those goals with five points taken off their current tally.

For Reading, they would only move one spot above with an extra two points gained. It might not seem much, but it would be enough to move them out of the relegation zone at Rotherham's expense.


Podcast

Our latest Sky Bet EFL Championship Podcast is available to listen to on iTunes and Soundcloud
Our latest Sky Bet EFL Championship Podcast is available to listen to on iTunes and Soundcloud

The latest episode of our Sky Bet EFL Championship Podcast is out now and free for you to download and listen to via iTunes and Soundcloud.

This week - Noel Whelan, Gareth Jones, Tom Carnduff and Dom Newton-Collinge reflect on another weekend of late drama, plenty of goals and thrilling games.

They analyse how the race for automatic promotion has been affected by Sheffield United throwing away a three-goal lead against Aston Villa, while Leeds nicked a late point against Middlesbrough.

As Billy Sharp scores his 101st goal for the Blades, we pick our favourite Championship striker - while there is also debate on how to take the perfect penalty. The lads also form the first (we think) Tony Mowbray fan club.

Click on the image above to listen.


Odds correct at 1540 GMT (11/02/19)

All stats sourced from transfermarkt.com

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Most Read Football

William Remy is sent off by the referee in bizarre circumstances (photo credit: Ekstraklasa)1

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