Anthony Martial strokes in the penalty against Manchester City.

The Story of United's 100 Premier League penalties

Tuesday 20 November 2018 16:30

Manchester United's penalty prowess reached a landmark figure in the recent derby, when Anthony Martial slotted home our 100th successful spot-kick in the Premier League.

We have had many experts from 12 yards over the years since Steve Bruce netted the first one in September 1992 and, obviously, there have been numerous dramatic moments. Some of these are genuinely unforgettable and nothing compares to the tension as the whistle blows and the taker prepares to take on the keeper.

To acknowledge the milestone effort from Martial, we've pulled together some penalty facts and figures, courtesy of our friends, @OptaJoe.

Steve Bruce and Eric Cantona were both penalty experts.


Wayne Rooney has netted the most Premier League penalties for United - 20 in total. That's two more than the deadly Dutchman, Ruud van Nistelrooy.


French forward Louis Saha takes this accolade after successfully converting all four of his league spot-kicks for the Reds. He did, however, fail to score one in the Champions League, in the last minute of a defeat at Celtic.


Steve Bruce beat Neville Southall to double United's lead at Everton in the first season of the Premier League. The central defender was extremely reliable but the majority of his goals came in the old Division One, with Eric Cantona replacing him on spot-kick duty following the Frenchman's arrival in December 1992.


Denis Irwin was under intense pressure when placing the ball on the spot against Southampton towards the end of the 1994/95 season. The Reds had trailed to Simon Charlton's early opener but, following Andy Cole's equaliser, this was the chance to take the title race into the final day of the campaign. With 10 minutes left, Irwin fired past Dave Beasant to earn the necessary victory.

Louis Saha scored all four of his Premier League penalties for United.


Saha made no mistake against Chelsea in September 2007, as Sir Alex Ferguson's team secured a 2-0 triumph. Jon Obi Mikel was sent off as the Blues lost in Avram Grant's opening match in charge, with the first goal netted in open play by Carlos Tevez.


A crazy 4-3 win at Reading in 2012 included a penalty by striker Rooney. A record-equalling seven goals were scored in the first half of the Premier League game, with the England international nudging the Reds into a brief 2-1 lead by placing the ball past Adam Federici.


Jose Mourinho's men trailed Manchester City 2-0 in the derby when Ederson brought down substitute Romelu Lukaku. Up stepped Martial to make it two out of two for him from the spot (his other one came against Everton), with regular taker Paul Pogba on the sidelines due to injury. Unfortunately, the Blues added a third goal, through Ilkay Gundogan, to wrap up the three points.

Wayne Rooney nets in the 4-3 win at Reading.


There have been 10 different nationalities of penalty scorer for United in the Premier League: English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Bulgarian, Mexican, Irish, Portuguese, Swedish and Welsh. Had Dwight Yorke (Trinidad & Tobago), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) or Alexis Sanchez (Chile) been successful with their spot-kicks, their countries would have been added to the list.


The two teams we have scored the most penalties in the division against are Everton and Liverpool, with eight apiece. Tottenham Hotspur have been on the receiving end seven times.


Ruud van Nistelrooy gleefully slams in a penalty against Liverpool.


We're asking who is your favourite penalty taker for the Reds in the Premier League era from six United legends. Cast your vote in our poll now

Additional reporting by Daniel Burns.

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