World Cup is setting stoppage-time records as Premier League pales in comparison

Matches in the World Cup group stage saw an average of 12 minutes of stoppage time played, around five minutes longer than previous tournaments.

More than 60 per cent of games lasted over 100 minutes and here, the PA news agency looks at how that figure compares to recent World Cups as well as the Premier League and Champions League.

On and on and on…

Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand receives treatment against England
Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand’s injury led to a long period of stoppage time against England (Mike Egerton/PA)

A stricter interpretation of stoppage time applied by FIFA for this tournament has seen numbers up across the board while injuries – such as the blow to the head suffered by Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand against England, leading to 14 additional minutes in the first half – have skewed things further still.

That game was the longest of the tournament so far at a total of 117 minutes and 16 seconds, with the scheduled 10 added minutes in the second half extended to over 13 by a VAR review of an Iranian penalty.

It is not alone, with the 48 games averaging exactly 102 minutes and 30 of them, 62.5 per cent, breaking the threshold of 10 minutes of total stoppage time.

Looking back at previous 21st-century World Cups, that mark had never been reached outside of games going to extra time until 2014’s clash between Ghana and the United States.

The longest in the group stage prior to that was Slovakia v Italy at the 2010 tournament, which came in seven seconds shy of the 100-minute mark. The Netherlands topped 100 minutes in the last 16, without going to extra time, against both Portugal in 2006 and Mexico in 2014.

Four matches in the 2018 group stage topped 100 minutes, the longest being 102min 50sec between Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as the group stage average jumped from 95min 28sec across the previous four tournaments combined to 97min 29sec to hint at the trend accelerated this year.

Five goals have been scored in at least the fifth minute of stoppage time at the end of a game, with Iran’s four goals at the tournament including strikes timed at 90+8, 90+11 and 90+13.

Competition contrast

Everton and Chelsea contest a high ball
Everton and Chelsea played out the longest game of the Premier League season so far (Nick Potts/PA)

The 30 matches to top 100 minutes in just the group stage in Qatar almost matches the total for the Premier League season so far.

There have been 32 such games out of 146 contested in England’s top flight, just under 22 per cent, with the list topped by Everton against Chelsea on August 6.

At 110min 21sec, that game was almost four minutes longer than the next Premier League fixture on the list, Brentford’s October 29 clash with Wolves at 106min 27sec.

The average game time in the Premier League this season is 98 minutes and 10 seconds, almost two minutes longer than in the Champions League (96min 13sec).

The latter competition has seen only nine games out of 96 this season top 100 minutes, with the longest being Marseille v Tottenham on November 1 at 102min 38sec.