We look back at the players to have won the most penalties in Premier League history, plus the teams to have been awarded the most spot-kicks in the competition in a single season.
It was a day to forget for Raheem Sterling and Chelsea on Matchday 2 of the 2023-24 Premier League season as they went down 3-1 to West Ham at London Stadium. However, there was the slimmest of silver linings, for Sterling at least.
A goal-fest in May 2023 between Fulham and Leicester City saw two penalties, the first of which was won by Jamie Vardy, which had drawn the veteran striker level with Sterling as the player with the most spot-kicks earned in Premier League history. However, Sterling forcing a foul from West Ham’s Tomáš Souček with the score at 1-1 in the August 2023 game put him back in front of Vardy.
Vardy will have to wait a while to hunt down Sterling’s total again, currently back in the Championship with Leicester. However, while the 36-year-old has won all 23 of his penalties for one club, Sterling’s 24 are split between his time at Liverpool (four) Manchester City (19), and now Chelsea (1). That Enzo Fernández had the resulting spot-kick saved by Alphonse Areola, before the Blues went on to lose, probably didn’t help Sterling celebrate the achievement,
Nineteen for one club puts Sterling joint-second with Wilfried Zaha who has won all 19 of his for Crystal Palace. Following Vardy’s relegation to the Championship with Leicester at the end of 2022-23 and Zaha’s move to Galatasaray, Sterling is the only player near the top of this list still playing in the Premier League. Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Danny Welbeck and Ashley Young are the nearest challengers of current Premier League players, on 12.
It’s no surprise to see all three of Sterling, Zaha and Vardy feature in the list for most penalties won in a single season in the Premier League, but they all trail Andrew Johnson of Crystal Palace who earned eight in the 2004-05 campaign.
Despite all those spot-kicks, Palace were actually relegated that season. The Eagles won 12 penalties in total that campaign, which was a joint-league high until Leicester in 2015-16 surpassed that tally, helped by Vardy. But the Foxes’ tally was pushed into second place in 2019-20 when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side won an incredible 14 penalties in one campaign, after having earned 12 in the season before.
Bournemouth had an unwanted achievement at the other end of the scale in 2022-23, when they became just the ninth team to fail to win a single penalty in a Premier League season. Every other team in 2022-23 won at least three penalties, with the introduction of VAR surely making spot-kicks even more likely, but Bournemouth, unfortunately for them, were not handed even one spot-kick. It makes their unlikely survival that season even more impressive.