Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s late goal giving Spurs the win over Marseille in the Champions League, is just the latest in a growing trend for Tottenham Hotspur.
If you have ever played football, you know that in close matches, the end of games can get hectic, and anything can happen. With Tottenham Hotspur this season, we see a new mentality forming: anything can be a Tottenham goal to seal a win or steal a point or three. There is undoubtedly a late goal trend developing for Spurs, which we explore here.
Is this late goal recency bias or a trend for Tottenham?
Given that Tottenham has won their last two matches with goals in extra time, it is quite possible that what may be a trend coincides with the two late goals. However, these two goals – Hojbjerg versus Marseille and Bentancur versus Bournemouth – are not the first time Tottenham has scored late to turn the game this season.
In the Champions League, Richarlison scored two goals after the 75th minute on matchday one to take all three points versus Marseille. Then again, on Matchday five, Rodrigo Bentancur scored in the 80th minute to tie Sporting, and only VAR denied Kane an extra-time winner.
Those five matches are part of a bigger trend of Tottenham having the wherewithal to score late goals.
There is certainly a trend developing here for Spurs
In the Premier League, nine of Tottenham’s 26 goals have come in the 73rd minute or later, footystats.com. That equates to 35% of the team’s goals in the last 19% of game time.
Those late goals ensured wins against Nottingham Forest, Everton, and Fulham. Those late goals also beat Bournemouth, stole a point from Chelsea, and decimated Leicester City when Heung-min Son scored three goals between the 73rd and 86th-minute mark.
Likewise, in the Champions League, four of the seven goals Spurs have scored came after the 75th minute. Those goals secured seven of the 11 points Tottenham earned to win Group D.
While Tottenham cannot always rely on late comebacks, remember Spurs falling short against Newcastle, these late goals show a new mentality building within the team. This is a mentality that Antonio Conte wants the team to have, where the game is never over until it is over. Sure I want to see more goals in the first half and early in games, allowing for more squad rotation, but I also want to see wins, and the mentality Spurs are developing is delivering, and that is a positive trend.