Over the last number of years, ABU’s and others would always say that Manchester United always get penalties, and that teams never get penalties at Old Trafford. Well after a review of the past ten and a bit seasons, I think we can smash this myth once and for all. Only one belief can perhaps held for the ABU’s out there however.
I’ve taken Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and of course United and shone the spotlight on them. Below, there’s a clear breakdown in black and white illustrating the penalties awarded and conceded at home and away all the way back to the 2000/2001 campaign. I’ve included any penalties so far in the league this season, and the fact that Man City are pretty average, they weren’t even in the Premier League one season so stats for the bitters are a little off.
So what can we take from these FACTS? Well, Arsenal get the most clearly, and United get the same as Liverpool. That’s interesting! If you take a look at the graphic below, you’ll see that United do not get the bulk of their penalties at Old Trafford which most rival fans thought. In fact, Arsenal get almost 3/4 of their penalties at home which is an awful lot especially considering they’ve been awarded the most overall! But United get all the decisions at Old Trafford…don’t they?
In terms of conceding penalties in the League, I suppose this is there is only one slither of a stat for the rivals to cling to, and that is the fact that United have conceded the least amount of penalties in the League over the period of time examined. But they’ve had a higher percentage of the conceded penalties awarded at Old Trafford than others, so perhaps it’s harder to get a penalty elsewhere! Liverpool and Chelsea have each had a lower percentage of their conceded penalties awarded at Anfield and Stamford Bridge respectively.
When I had a look at the referees to see just who was awarding how many it was a little blatant Howard Webb’s generosity to United. Below is a list (since the 2006/2007 season until Feb 25th 2011) of all the referees who awarded penalties to the five clubs I’ve singled out. Each club has one or more referees highlighted, those officials being the ones to award the most penalties to that club. Oh Howard!
It’s quite satisfying to have the cold hard facts in front of me telling me that Arsenal are more likely than any other of the top teams to get a penalty, and that Stamford Bridge and Anfield are just as unforgiving to visitors as Old Trafford.
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