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The Guardian 'Time Research' Is Rubbish

Hear, all ye fair folks: ye may rejoice as the Guardian finally, irresistibly proved that Manchester United are given more injury time at home when they need it.

The paper says that they 'looked at all of United's league matches at Old Trafford since the start of the 2006-07 season and discovered that, on average, there has been over a minute extra added by referees when United do not have the lead after 90 minutes, compared to when they are in front. In 48 games when United were ahead, the average amount of stoppage time was 191.35 seconds. In 12 matches when United were drawing or losing there was an average of 257.17sec.'

Oh how convincing. Except that it's a whole load of rubbish, obviously. Consider a few things here.

United were ahead in 48 home games since the start of 2006/07, yes. In 18 of these games United were three or more goals up when ninety minutes passed. I cannot present statistical evidence but it must be fairly obvious to anyone who's been watching football for a few years now that referees add more time when the game is closer. So it's not a rarity at all that when we are 3 or 4 up there's only one or two minutes of added time. Why torment the losing side longer?

You see, that kinda sways the stats about how much added time is given when United are ahead. In this period it only happened once that the opposition was leading so comfortably - I'm sure you all remember who and when.

And there's another thing. It is a rarity that United waste time when they are ahead. When it's a draw, however, the away side usually does every trick in the book to stop us getting into our stride - quite understandably. However, that leads to more added time IF the referee is competent. If timewasting is not punished by more injury time, that's a refereeing error.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 22 2009

Time: 7:15PM

Your Comments

I saw the board go up! It said UTS - translated UNTIL UNITED SCORE! oe was it NGW - next goal wns!
Wow, Chelsea are worried that were going to win the league? Because these are the excuses that you normally here from them at the END of the season so to say it now you must be really concerned.
One United 92
How many late goals have Chelski already got THIS season in injury time to nick 3 points??????
Chelski Hull opening day of season. Enough said.
Tut tut tut.. Look at that! Instead of defending WHY the 3 extra minutes were played, they change tracks and attack us! Wowwww! That's got to be the work of idiots..
JT it was defended over and over again and you are too dumb to understand so we try to stoop to your level (idiocracy) maybe you would understand it better
United fans know that they had a twelth man on the pitch on Sunday and it was him that ensured they won in double extra overtime. They are hypocrites because if it was City that scored and not them they would be complaining even louder than we are. One word for your lot K.A.R.M.A. ..........Do you beleive in it? I do...
We apparently got our "Karma" at the end of the 90s when every one declared that our decade of dominance was over and that we'd not win the title ever again - that worked out for you all didnt it! If anything it was Karma that won us the match!
Hell with it. Its great to be United fans extra help from the referee and the authorities. I just love how it winds the ABU's up. Especially as its the same cock and bull story argument. There's a mini guide book on what to say to United fans doing the rounds up and down the country with the ABU's acting like Jehovahs witnesses but just like God isn't real neither are their arguments.
Such a shame that Chelski couldnt used extra time to get a result agasint Wigan today - as stated in most matches - the board is held up to show the MINIMUM amount of time to be played!
Why was The Guardian investigation rubbish - Is it because it bought home a few home truths that you lot don't like to admit? Don't worry though as times are a changing in the next few years and your preferential treatment will soon be a thing of the past.

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