Hawk-Eye blunder not the only lifeline Aston Villa had in survival from relegation

Hawk-Eye blunder not the only lifeline Aston Villa had in survival from relegation
  • Aston Villa saved from relegation with goals scored by 4thsubstitute
  • 4thand 5thsubstitutes influencing results of Premier League
  • More than 50 goals scored by teams within five minutes of controversial water break

The Premier League has had a dramatic season, first with a three-month suspension and then with the new rule changes introduced because of Covid-19.

According to new research byFree Super Tipsthe changes to the game imposed since 17 June, have had a significant impact on the position of teams in the Premier League table.

Influence of new substitutes

As part of the Premier League restart, a new rule was introduced on substituting extra players – from three to five. Free Super Tips investigated goal contributions by these “ghost subs”, who have impacted both ends of the table.

On average, all teams in the Premier League have used four substitutes in each game, which is an increase of one extra substitute per match.

In Aston Villa’s game against Newcastle, 4thsubstitute El Mohamady came on to score a goal to level the score and rescue Aston Villa a point in a 1-1 draw, a point that could have proved vital in saving themselves from relegation. This is a fate that could cost clubs as much as £100m revenue.

Paired with the bizarre error from Hawk-Eye (goal line technology) against Sheffield United in the first game back salvaging another point, it is easy to see why Bournemouth and Watford fans might feel a little hard done by.

Amongst the other most contentious occurrence of this is at Leicester City where the 4th substitute influenced the result when playing against Crystal Palace. During this match, Harvey Barnes entered the field and assisted two goals that won the game.

Leicester City were in a battle for the Champions League positions, this is three points that could have cost their rivals Manchester United upwards of £40m, had they not eventually qualified, having to beat Leicester themselves on the final day of the season.

Controversial water break rule

With games taking place during midsummer months because of the earlier suspension, it was also decided to add mandatory water breaks at around 22 minutes and 66 minutes.

There was concerns over how much these water breaks disrupt the flow of the game and if they act as tactical timeouts, as speculated by managers such as Jose Mourinho.

This new research has revealed that there were 50 goals scored within a five-minute window of the water break of the 92 matches played since football returned, more than half of these occurred in games involving the bottom six clubs.

Perhaps the most important of these goals came when the rule was implemented in Manchester United’s very first game back. Tottenham Hotspur were able to break the deadlock scoring the first goal of the game just two minutes after the water break.

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