Which Players Have The Best Premier League Penalty Records?
When asked to think of the Premier League’s greatest ever penalty taker, a few names spring to mind.
Southampton’s Matt Le Tissier has the best conversion rate with just one miss from the 25 Premier League spot-kicks he took.
Others held in high regard include Arsenal's Thierry Henry, Manchester United's Eric Cantona and Everton's Leighton Baines, who all ended their careers with just two missed penalties in the Premier League.
Le Tissier's record could be so much better had his football career not started six years before the first ever Premier League season kicked off in August 1992.
The Saints legend took a total of 48 spot-kicks throughout his career and was denied a perfect record by Nottingham Forest's goalkeeper Mark Crossley, who saved a Le Tissier penalty in March 1995.
Now you can add Bruno Fernandes to that esteemed list of spot-kick kings.
The Manchester United star is proving to be the best penalty taker of his generation. Since joining the Old Trafford side in January 2020, Fernandes has scored 21 of his 22 penalties in all competitions.
Fernandes Compared to Top Premier League Penalty Takers
|Matt Le Tissier||25||24||96%|
Karl Darlow is the only goalkeeper who can legitimately say he has saved a Fernandes penalty in English football. Newcastle's keeper pulled off a great save to deny Fernandes, but Darlow picked the ball out of his net four times as the Magpies lost 4-1.
Fernandes notched his 13th Premier League penalty at Villa Park on May 9th when his 52nd minute effort cancelled out Bertrand Traore’s first half opener.
The spot-kick sparked United into life and they went on to win the game 3-1 to strengthen their grip on second place. The win also maintained Fernandes' remarkable record of never losing an away game in the Premier League.
Of the 25 league games played away from Old Trafford with their talisman in the team, Fernandes has helped United to 16 wins and nine draws.
United's record when he scores a spot-kick is just as impressive, with 34 points taken from a possible 39.
Fernandes’ technique of a slow run up with a hop before striking the ball has helped him trick some of the best goalkeepers in the league.
The 26-year-old is favourite to land the prestigious PFA Player of the Year award which will be announced on May 20.
In his first 49 league games, the Portuguese star was directly involved in 43 goals, scoring 25 and providing a further 18 assists.
Fernandes has struck up a formidable relationship with Edinson Cavani, who has agreed to extend his stay at Old Trafford for another season. The pair will hope to spearhead United's title challenge next term.
According to the Premier League's official website, a record 125 penalties have been awarded in England's top flight this season with 94 of them successfully converted. The increased use of VAR is one reason why there has been an increase in penalties being awarded this term.
Manchester United and Leicester lead the way with 10 penalties awarded to each.
United have scored nine – all by Fernandes – and between now and the end of the season, they will be looking to set a new record for penalties scored in a single season.
That record belongs to Crystal Palace (2004/05) and Chelsea (2009/10) when both London clubs scored a total of 11. United have four games to chase down that particular record.
Players With Most Penalties Scored This Season:
- 9 - Fernandes
- 6 - Jorginho, Salah, Vardy
- 4 - Pereira, Kane, Wilson
- 3 - Neves, El Ghazi, Gross, Lacazette, Maupay, Sigurdsson, Ward-Prowse
- 2 - Aubameyang, de Bruyne, Ings, Klich, Sharp, Tielemans, Wood, Zaha
- 1 - by 18 players
Meanwhile, Champions Manchester City have been awarded nine penalties but Pep Guardiola's side have missed four of them.
Against Chelsea at the Etihad on May 8, Sergio Aguero became the fourth different City player to miss a spot-kick after Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan all missed earlier in the season.
At the opposite end of the table, West Brom lost their fight to stay up after losing 3-1 at Arsenal on Sunday. The Baggies have not helped themselves by conceding 10 penalties.
Leeds, who won promotion from the Championship last season along with West Brom, have also conceded 10 penalties as they came to terms with VAR and the pace of the top flight following their 16-season absence.
With the bottom three spots now confirmed, the focus shifts to the battle for European places.
The margin between winning and losing is slim enough as things stand right now without the outcome being determined by a penalty.
EPL Average Penalty Conversion Rate
The advantage has swung the way of goalkeepers, who are now equipped with comprehensive data on the penalty takers they could potentially face.
The success rate for penalty takers during the 2015/16 season was 81.3%, but that fell to 67.5% throughout the 2017/18 season.
Last season, 72.7% of the 99 penalties awarded were scored and that percentage has risen slowly to 75.2% this campaign.
Armed with all the information they need, goalkeepers are better-placed to scupper Fernandes' quest to become the Premier League's all-time penalty king.
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