Premier League clubs make good use of five substitutes
Premier League clubs took advantage of the new rule allowing five substitutions on the opening weekend of the season.
13 of the 20 clubs made four or five changes in their opening games as the number of changes allowed increased from three.
At least four substitutions from the same team occurred in each match.
Tottenham’s win against Southampton and Manchester City’s win at West Ham used all 10 substitutions.
Five substitutions were briefly allowed when the 2019–20 season resumed after the Covid-19 suspension. Clubs then voted against continuing the rule for the compressed 2020-21 season.
The Premier League was the only major division to abandon the rule, as some clubs felt that adopting the five-subs change permanently would benefit the bigger clubs.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, among the most vocal managers calling for the rule to remain, used four and five substitutes respectively.
On average, teams made 3.85 changes when taking advantage of the new rule. Newcastle, Spurs and Southampton were the first teams to make five changes during Saturday’s 3pm kick-off.
There were 38 substitutions (26%) made in the 80th minute or later and 55 (almost 38%) from the 70th minute as managers took advantage of the increase to rest players in the latter stages of matches or enter new signings.
Kalvin Phillips, Gianluca Scamacca, Sven Botman and Tyrell Malacia were among the new signings who came off the bench for their first taste of Premier League football on the opening weekend of the campaign.
Wolves and Leicester made just one substitution each.