Football News

The Solskjaer effect? Man Utd have won the most Premier League penalties since Ole took the wheel

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:15, 15 September 2019

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes his side will continue to win plenty of penalties this season after being awarded another spot-kick against Leicester.

The Red Devils beat Brendan Rodgers’ men 1-0 on Saturday afternoon thanks to a Marcus Rashford penalty, after the young forward was brought down in the box by Caglar Soyuncu.

Why are Man Utd getting more penalties under Solskjaer? Five things to know…

  • Manchester United (4) have been awarded more penalties in the Premier League than any other team this season.
  • The Red Devils have also won a total of 11 since Solskjaer took charge in December 2018, another Premier League-high.
  • Rashford leads the way for Manchester United in terms of winning penalties, having been fouled for three of their 11 spot-kicks.
  • Solskjaer puts Manchester United’s penalty-winning ability down to the quick feet and skill of his attacking players.
  • The Manchester United boss expects his side to keep winning penalties on a regular basis.

It was the fourth penalty Manchester United have won in the Premier League this season, with no other team in the division winning more than one.

The spot-kicks came against Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Leicester, with only Southampton managing to prevent Manchester United from winning a penalty thus far. Unfortunately for Manchester United fans, however, they have only scored two of those with Rashford and Paul Pogba missing against Palace and Wolves respectively.

But Manchester United’s ability to win penalties is not exclusive to the opening five games of the new season. The Red Devils have also won 11 penalties since Solskjaer took charge in December, more than any other Premier League team in that same time frame. Crystal Palace and Liverpool are the closest to Manchester United with seven each.

Of Manchester United’s 11 penalties, Rashford leads the way having won three, with only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (five) winning more in the Premier League since Solskjaer took over.

Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Pogba have all won two each, while Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay have both won one.

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And Solskjaer believes Manchester United will actually win more once Martial returns, due to his quick feet.

“We should have had more!” he said when asked about Manchester United’s penalty record.

“I think it’s the type of players, quick feet, good skills and most of them haven’t been like even debatable, they’ve got skills.

“When we get Anthony back as well we’ll have loads of claims. With VAR you’ll get more than you don’t.”

The 11 penalties won for Manchester United have come in 26 games under Solskjaer, with the Red Devils averaging a spot-kick every 2.4 matches – their best record in the Premier League. Under Solskjaer’s predecessor Mourinho, Manchester United won 12 in 93 games, for an average of 7.8 matches per penalty.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign saw Manchester United win a penalty every 7.4 games, while the Louis van Gaal era brought a spot-kick every 8.5 games. And to make David Moyes’ brief reign just a bit more difficult, Manchester United were awarded a penalty every 9.5 games, their worst spell in the Premier League.

Multiple Premier League penalty winners since Solskjaer arrived

Since Solskjaer replaced Mourinho in December 2018, 68 penalties have been awarded in the Premier League, with every team bar newly-promoted outfit Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Norwich City benefitting from a decision.

Of those 68 penalties, 11 players have won more than one, including four Manchester United players:

1. Mohamed Salah (5)
2. Marcus Rashford (3)
3. Wilfried Zaha (3)
4. Paul Pogba (2)
5. Matt Doherty (2)
6. Raheem Sterling (2)
7. James Maddison (2)
8. Michail Antonio (2)
9. Jesse Lingard (2)
10. Juana Mata (2)
11. Manuel Lanzini (2)

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