Penalty FC: Judging Whether Every Manchester United Penalty Decision This Season Was Correct

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes slots home a penalty against Hugo Lloris | Pool/Getty Images

Bruno Fernandes’ spot-kick against Aston Villa was Manchester United’s 13th penalty given to the Red Devils this season, equalling the record for most penalties awarded to a side in one Premier League campaign.

And while Jonathan Moss’ decision to give the penalty was questionable – ‘questionable’ in this case meaning definitely not a penalty – unfortunately a moral compass towards penalties wasn’t included in the transfer fee United paid for Fernandes.

Including cup competitions, United have been awarded 18 penalties in total this season. It makes sense when you consider the pace they have up front and how deadly Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side can be on the counter.

With so many penalties awarded, it makes perfect sense to go back and analyse each one, giving an opinion on whether not it was actually the right decision. An expert’s opinion, that is. Obviously.

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Antonio Rudiger tumbles into Marcus Rashford, leaving his leg in like an amateur. Rashford scored with ease as United demolished Chelsea.

Was it a Penalty? Stonewall.

Significance of Penalty: First of four goals, killed Chelsea’s momentum despite them looking the better side.

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With 20 minutes to play, Conor Coady leaves his trailing leg in and trips Paul Pogba, who burst into the box from a one-two with Anthony Martial.

Was it a Penalty? A little soft, but no complaints from Coady.

Significance of Penalty? Pogba’s effort was saved and Manchester United went onto draw as a result. If only Rashford had taken it…

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Luka Milivojevic sticks a leg in that sends Scott McTominay tumbling to the floor as he burst through on goal. Rashford resumes penalty duties, but hits the post.

Was it a Penalty? Clear as day.

Significance of Penalty: United arguably should’ve had a penalty given before this one, so to miss it and then concede a last-minute winner was cruel. Even if Daniel James’ equaliser celebration was uncalled for…

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Caglar Soyuncu barges into Rashford whose pace allows him to get to the loose ball first, giving United the penalty inside 10 minutes. Rashford slots away with ease.

Was it a Penalty? All day.

Significance of Penalty: Only goal of the game.

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Teenager Brandon Williams is hacked down in the box following a strong run from left back. Martial scores. Penchester Penited on their European tour. Get it? Because penalties. Lots of them.

Was it a Penalty? Stonewall.

Significance of Penalty: Only goal of the game.

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The penalty tour bus made its way swiftly back to England as Manchester United missed two spot kicks in one game. It really doesn’t get more Manchester United post-Fergie than this.

Were They Both Penalties? First one was soft, but VAR awarded it anyway. VAR also awarded the second one for handball on Todd Cantwell, which is a lot clearer.

Significance of Penalties: Tim Krul went full World Cup 2014 mode on United, but his two stops weren’t enough as he conceded three goals from open play anyway. Unlucky, Tim.

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Some things in life are inevitable. Peter Kay joking about garlic bread, the Undertaker repeatedly coming out of retirement, and Marcus Rashford scoring penalties against Chelsea. Four penalties from three games for the Red Devils.

Was it a Penalty? Marcos Alonso comes across Dan James, but it’s a very soft one. Arguably not.

Significance of Penalty: United won 2-1 thanks to the opening spot-kick, knocking Chelsea out of the Carabao Cup. Ouch.

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Rashford’s early Christmas present in 2019 was another penalty, to absolutely no one’s surprise. His brace handed Jose Mourinho his first loss as Spurs manager.

Was it a Penalty? Moussa Sissoko puts a foot in as Rashford goes past him, but in truth he barely catches the winger. Very harsh.

Significance of Penalty: It proved to be the winning goal for United which would’ve been harsh on Spurs had they played well. They hadn’t.

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Rashford clearly made Father Christmas’ ‘nice list’ in 2019, as he earned a penalty away to Manchester City in the first derby of the season. He was clumsily bodied to the floor by Bernardo Silva 23 minutes in.

Was it a Penalty? Stonewall.

Significance of Penalty: United went two nil up after the spot-kick, but held off against a late City fight back.

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Juan Mata popped up with a rare strike from 12 yards as United ran riot over their Dutch visitors. Mason Greenwood burst into the box and was hacked down in front of the Stretford End.

Was it a Penalty? No question.

Significance of Penalty: United were already two nil up, the game was already decided.

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‘New year, new me’ unless your name is Marcus Rashford and you love a penalty. The 22-year-old bagged a brace on his 200th appearance for United, after Tim Krul charged at Brandon Williams unsuccessfully.

Was it a Penalty? Textbook from Williams, no complaints.

Significance of Penalty: Second of four United goals. Opened the floodgates for the Red Devils.

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In a complete onslaught, Tahith Chong is taken out by Tranmere’s keeper attempting to rush for the ball. He goes to ground on a pitch in peak Sunday league conditions, and Mason Greenwood scores.

Was it a Penalty? Clear as day.

Significance of Penalty: The game was already 5-0, thus Greenwood’s strike was merely salt in the wounds.

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Bruno Fernandes skips past Ben Foster in the Watford goal before being taken down to win a clear penalty and score his first Manchester United goal. He’s had every United fan wrapped around his little finger since.

Was it a Penalty? All day.

Significance of Penalty: Opened the scoring in a 3-0 win, and was the first example of Fernandes immediately becoming a better babyface than Seth Rollins ever will be.

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Bruno opened the scoring with a penalty once more following the most obvious handball one will see this season. There’s still no explaining Simon Deli’s thought process, but you almost have to admire it.

Was it a Penalty? Clearer than ever.

Significance of Penalty: Opened the floodgates for United who had been dominant from the first whistle. Lost Brugge the game.

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Fernandes scored his third penalty goal for United since signing in January, after Eric Dier shoved Paul Pogba to the floor. If that isn’t ‘United DNA’, then what is?

Was it a Penalty? Pogba bundles over, but it’s a clear penalty.

Significance of Penalty: The strike rescued United a point following David de Gea’s early mistake.

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In a game that summarised the state of football since the restart following a three-month absence, Adam Smith’s handball allowed United to take the lead against Bournemouth.

Was it a Penalty? Blatant.

Significance of Penalty: Bournemouth went 1-0 up at Old Trafford, but never recovered after Rashford converted from the spot.

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Fernandes converted yet another penalty to cement himself as a true Manchester United player, which opened the scoring in a 3-0 victory. In the incident that resulted in the spot-kick, Fernandes falls over the top of Ezri Konsa when attempting a roulette.

Was it a Penalty? No chance.

Significance of Penalty: It killed Aston Villa’s strong opening quarter and let United kick on. With the Red Devils now scoring penalties they absolutely shouldn’t have been awarded, now is a more fitting time than ever for Rio Ferdinand to gush about how ‘United are back’, right?


90min’s Definitive European Player Power Rankings: Week 28 – Russian Doll Special

Mason Greenwood
Mason Greenwood has starred for United | Pool/Getty Images

Manchester United are good and Tottenham are not good. That’s pretty much all you need to know about the last week.

Away from those two contrasting fortunes, there has been plenty of football to digest, and that means it’s Player Power Ranking time.

This week, it’s time for a helping hand from Russian Doll.

Mohamed SalahMohamed Salah
Salah tore Brighton apart | Robin Jones/Getty Images

“It’s my bad attitude that keeps me young.”

Is Salah selfish? Graeme Souness seems to think so.

If he keeps on scoring goal after goal after goal, Liverpool fans really won’t care.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup FinalBayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup Final
Havertz is wanted by Chelsea this summer | Pool/Getty Images

“You are serial-killer calm.”

If Havertz has played his final game for Bayer Leverkusen, bagging a penalty against Bayern Munich in the last minute of the cup final isn’t the worst way to go.

Just a shame they didn’t win, but y’know, it’s Bayern.

Juventus v Torino FC - Serie AJuventus v Torino FC - Serie A
Dybala has five goals in his last five games | Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

“Go with purpose. Triggers people’s curiosity.”

Dybala is playing with purpose these days.

He has found the back of the net in each of his last five appearances, but took a day off in the 4-2 loss to AC Milan because of a little suspension.

Pierre-Emerick AubameyangPierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang was on the score sheet again against Leicester | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

“The universe is trying to f**k with me. And I refuse to engage.”

Aubameyang was definitely leaving Arsenal a few months ago. They were rubbish.

Aubameyang might not be leaving Arsenal now. They’re much less rubbish.

And while that’s all going on, he continues to score goals.

Kevin De BruyneKevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne is on the verge of history | Visionhaus/Getty Images

“Routine is an incredible thing. We become what we repeatedly do.”

18 assists. Two more to tie Thierry Henry’s single-season record. Just keep on going.

Bruno FernandesBruno Fernandes
Fernandes has been the catalyst for United’s revival | Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

“Sometimes Hail Marys are the best Marys we’ve got.”

Manchester United went into January looking for literally anything positive.

They didn’t care that Sporting CP had mugged them off all summer. They stood firm and did all they could to sign Fernandes, and just look at United now.

Romelu Lukaku, Antonio ConteRomelu Lukaku, Antonio Conte
Inter have made a tough time of things this week | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

“Nothing in this world is easy, except pissing in the shower.”

He might have made scoring look easy this season, but Lukaku came back down to earth this week.

His goal against Bologna wasn’t enough to help Inter avoid defeat, and then he drew a blank against Verona.

Ciro ImmobileCiro Immobile
Immobile is still on to be named Serie A top scorer | Chris Ricco/Getty Images

“Look, I got bigger fish to fry, okay? I got to figure out how to get down the stairs.”

Having spent all season looking like one of the scariest strikers in the entire world, Immobile decided to give himself a little break.

A suspension in a 3-0 loss to Milan was followed by a goalless outing in a surprise 2-1 loss to Lecce.

It’s like Atalanta are the only side who actually want to stop Juventus.

Mason Greenwood, John McGinnMason Greenwood, John McGinn
Greenwood has enjoyed a record-breaking breakthrough season | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

“Thank you for changing my life. Lives are hard to change.”

Unless you have a bazillion posters of Greenwood in your bedroom now, you’re not a real United fan.

Crystal Palace could do with someone like Sorloth this season | DANIEL MIHAILESCU/Getty Images

“Life is like a box of timelines, you feel me?”

We’re currently living in a timeline in which Sørloth is actually good. Mad ting.

He took his tally for the season to 29 in all competitions with a goal against Galatasaray. Parent club Crystal Palace have managed 30 in the league – if only Chelsea could have stopped them from scoring twice, this would have been so much funnier.

Christian PulisicChristian Pulisic
Pulisic impressed against Crystal Palace | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

“You’re supposed to ask people about their kids. Okay? It’s polite. It gives everybody a moment to pretend there’s gonna be a future.”

The post-Eden Hazard future looked like it could be pretty gloomy for Chelsea, but Pulisic has made all those fears go away.

Anthony MartialAnthony Martial
Martial now has 20 goals in all competitions | Pool/Getty Images

“I feel like f**king Rocky right now.”

This is the Martial United fans want to see.

He has really got going since Fernandes’ arrival, and he doesn’t look like he can be stopped.

Lionel MessiLionel Messi
Messi has been vital to Barcelona’s title push | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

“Fun is for suckers. Staring down the barrel of my own mortality always beats fun.”

Remember when Messi used to have fun playing football? Nowadays, he spends all his time sparing Barcelona’s blushes.

He’s now contributed to 23 of Barça’s last 28 La Liga goals, and even that hasn’t been enough to stop Real Madrid from pulling away.

Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo finally scored a free kick this week | Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

“You can eat anything, take anything, do anything. It’s impossible to destroy you. You will never die.”

The freak of nature that is Ronaldo managed two more goals and another assist over this past week.

He even scored his first free kick since before the dawn of time! Huzzah!

Robert LewandowskiRobert Lewandowski
Lewandowski has been unstoppable all year | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

“Hey, bartendress! Hello. Uh, more drunk please.”

It’s job done for Lewandowski. Two goals in the cup final was the perfect end to a perfect year. Time to party.

He ended the season with 51 goals in just 43 games. Thems is Ballon d’Or numbers, if you ask me.

For more from ?Tom Gott, follow him on ?Twitter!


John Stones Determined to Fight for Place at Manchester City

John Stones
Crystal Palace v Manchester City – Premier League | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

John Stones is determined to prove himself at Manchester City and fight for his place in the first team, despite doubts about his future at the club.

The 26-year-old has struggled to keep his place in the first team this season, with only 13 appearances in the Premier League. The former Everton man was instrumental at the back for City during their Centurion season, but his form has been inconsistent over the last two seasons and he looks a shell of the man who Pep Guardiola signed for £47.5m.

Rumours about Stones’ future at the club have been circulating in recent weeks, with former club Everton reportedly interested in bringing him back to Goodison Park the Daily Mail report that the centre-back has made it clear he sees his future at the Etihad and is determined to stay at the club and prove he’s good enough to be a part of City’s plans for the future.

Pep Guardiola, John StonesPep Guardiola, John Stones
A meeting between Stones and City boss Guardiola about the centre-back’s future will take place in the near future | Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

Stones is not considering a move away from the side he’s won two Premier League titles with, but will no doubt find first-team chances harder to come by going forward with City looking to recruit a new centre-back before next season and the emergence of Eric Garcia as a first-team player.

It’s no secret City are looking to bring in a new centre-back to partner Aymeric Laporte in the upcoming transfer window. The club’s defence largely responsible for the team’s poor Premier League title defence this season, and with rumours of a potential move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly the talk of the town right now, Stones will face stiff competition for a first-team spot going forward.

Kalidou KoulibalyKalidou Koulibaly
A move for Napoli defender Koulibaly would spell trouble for Stones’ first team chances | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Eric Garcia’s breakthrough is also sure to cause issues for Stones and the young Spaniard is already a firm favourite of Guardiola – with the City boss even saying: “Eric never, ever makes defensive mistakes. He knows we want him.”

In a defence prone to making painful mistakes, a player like Garcia could be pivotal to their future success.


Wolves vs Everton Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Conor Coady, Moise Kean
Everton FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Wolves’ quest for European football continues on Sunday when they welcome Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton to Molineux.

Having lost two straight games for the first time since the turn of the year, Wolves will be eager to pick up points sooner rather than later with Arsenal and Sheffield United creeping up behind them.

The Toffees have only lost once since the Premier League’s restart and – having made vast improvements following Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival – this won’t be an easy fixture for Wolves.

When is Kick Off? Sunday 12 June
What Time is Kick Off? 12:00 (BST)
Where is it Played? Molineux
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports (UK) fuboTV (US)
Referee? Anthony Taylor

Both Pedro Neto and Adama Traore – the latter dislocating his shoulder yet again – are doubts for Wolves ahead of Sunday’s game, but will be assessed closer to kickoff.

Everton will once again be without Jean-Phillipe Gbamin and Fabian Delph, with both missing significant time already. The Toffees will also be missing Mason Holgate, who suffered a leg injury on 6 July, and Andre Gomes who suffered an injury against Southampton on Thursday.

Andre GomesAndre Gomes
Andre Gomes is likely to miss Sunday’s game after suffering a knock against Southmampton | Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Wolves: Patrício, Boly, Coady, Saïss; Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jiménez, Jota.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne; Iwobi, Davies, Sigurdsson, Gordon; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Although Wolves won their first three matches in a row following the Premier League’s return in June, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have now suffered back-to-back losses against Arsenal and Sheffield United.

Oli McBurnie, Joao MoutinhoOli McBurnie, Joao Moutinho
Wolves lost their last match out against Sheffield United due to a last gasp winner | Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Everton have had a bit of a mixed bag of results following their return to football. With two wins, two draws – one in the Merseyside derby – and one loss, the Toffees will need to find some consistency if they hope to continue their climb up the table.

Here’s how both sides have looked over their last five games.


Sheffield United 1-0 Wolves (8/7)
Wolves 0-2 Arsenal (4/7)
Aston Villa 0-1 Wolves (27/6)
Wolves 1-0 Bournemouth (24/6)
West Ham 0-2 Wolves (20/6)


Everton 1-1 Southampton (9/7)
Tottenham 1-0 Everton (6/7)
Everton 2-1 Leicester (1/7)
Norwich 0-1 Everton (24/6)
Everton 0-0 Liverpool (21/6)

With results significantly improving for Everton under Carlo Ancelotti and Wolves hitting a bit of a slump with two straight defeats, this one will be a closely contested affair.

Both sides will be desperate for all three points, but despite Everton triumphing in the reverse fixture earlier this season, the home team are still favourites.

Nuno Esperito SantoNuno Esperito Santo
Nuno’s side will get back to winning ways against Everton | Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will move past their recent struggles and put themselves in an excellent position to secure a sixth-placed finish.

Prediction: Wolves 3-1 Everton


Manchester United vs Southampton Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes
Man Utd have been in fine form since the restart | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester United will be looking to make it 18 games unbeaten in all competitions when they welcome Southampton to Old Trafford on Monday night.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been in excellent form lately, and could be given the opportunity to climb as high as third in the table depending on how Chelsea and Leicester City fare against Sheffield United and Bournemouth respectively.

Ralph Hasenhuttl, Jan BednarekRalph Hasenhuttl, Jan Bednarek
Hassenhuttl has managed to turn things around at Southampton after a worrying start | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

After a concerning start to the season that saw them fall as low as 19th, Southampton have managed to steady the ship and currently sit in 12th place – mathematically safe from relegation.

The Saints could still sneak into a Europa League spot, although their form would have to be near perfect.

When is Kick Off? Monday 13th July
What Time is Kick Off? 20:00 (BST)
Where is it Played? Old Trafford
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Premier League (UK), fuboTV (US)
Referee? Chris Kavanagh

The home side are not expected to have any new absentees since the trip to Villa Park on Thursday, with only English defenders Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe out of contention.

As for the visitors, they remain without defenders Jan Valery and Jannik Vestergaard through injury, while wingers Sofiane Boufal and Moussa Djenepo are also unavailable.

Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg could return to the starting XI, having come off the bench in the draw at Goodison Park.

Pierre-Emile HojbjergPierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Hojbjerg could be back for the Saints. | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic, Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial, Greenwood.

Southampton: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond; Ings, Long.

Manchester United have looked fantastic in recent times, becoming the first team in Premier League history to win by a three-goal margin in four games in a row.

The catalyst for this success has been the acquisition of Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese midfielder scooped his second successive Player of the Month award, along with the Goal of the Month prize for his volley against Brighton and Hove Albion.

However, they cannot expect to sweep aside their opponents so easily on Monday. Southampton have lost just one game since the restart, picking up an impressive ten points in five matches.

Former Liverpool striker Danny Ings will be hoping to bag his 20th Premier League goal of the season; only Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have scored more.

Here is how both sides have fared in their last five games.

Manchester United

Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United (09/07)
Manchester United 5-2 Bournemouth (04/07)
Brighton and Hove Albion 0-3 Manchester United (30/06)
Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United (27/06)
Manchester United 3-0 Sheffield United (24/06)


Everton 1-1 Southampton (09/07)
Southampton 1-0 Manchester City (05/07)
Watford 1-3 Southampton (28/06)
Southampton 0-2 Arsenal (25/06)
Norwich City 0-3 Southampton (19/06)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Bruno FernandesOle Gunnar Solskjaer, Bruno Fernandes
The signing of Bruno Fernandes has been crucial for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer | Pool/Getty Images

The reverse fixture back in August saw the points shared after Jannik Vestergaard cancelled out Daniel James’ opener.

A lot has happened since then, and while it may not be as comfortable as they would like, it is difficult to see anything but a home win.

Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Southampton