Penalty FC: Judging Whether Every Manchester United Penalty Decision in 2019/20 Was Correct

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

Bruno Fernandes' spot-kick against Leicester City was Manchester United's 14th penalty given to the Red Devils this season, breaking the record for most penalties awarded to a side in one Premier League campaign.

Including cup competitions, United have been awarded 19 penalties in total this term. And while it sounds ridiculous, it makes sense with the way that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are set up to play, pushing their ruthless and pacy attack to pounce onto defences.

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.

1. Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea, 11/8/19

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.

2. Wolves 1-1 Manchester United, 19/8/19

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...

3. Manchester United 1-2 Crystal Palace, 24/8/19

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...

4. Manchester United 1-0 Leicester City, 24/9/19

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.

5. Partizan 0-1 Manchester United, 24/10/19

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.

6. Norwich 1-3 Manchester United, 27/10/19

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.

7. Chelsea 1-2 Manchester United, 30/10/19

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.

8. Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham, 4/12/19

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.

9. Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United, 7/12/19

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.

10. Manchester United 4-0 AZ Alkmaar, 12/12/19

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.

11. Manchester United 4-0 Norwich, 11/1/20

'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.

12. Tranmere 0-6 Manchester United, 26/1/20

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.

13. Manchester United 3-0 Watford, 23/2/20

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.

14. Manchester United 5-0 Club Brugge (Agg. 6-1), 27/2/20

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.

15. Tottenham 1-1 Manchester United, 19/6/20

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.

16. Manchester United 5-2 Bournemouth, 4/7/20

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.

17. Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United, 9/7/20

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?

18. Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea, 19/7/20

No prizes for guessing who scored United's only goal from 12 yards here. Bruno Fernandes plays Anthony Martial into the box and the Frenchman is tripped by a clumsy trailing leg from Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Was it a Penalty? No complaints.

Significance of Penalty: Came too late in the game for the Red Devils who never looked like getting back into the game anyway. The penalty was merely consolation.

19. Leicester City 0-2 Manchester United, 26/7/20

In a nervy affair where neither side could quite thread together a move in the final third to find the opener, Manchester United's press catches Leicester out which allows Anthony Martial into the box. He's hacked down in the box by Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan with tag team offence that the Dudley Boyz would be proud of.

Was it a Penalty? Stonewall.

Significance of Penalty: Gave United the lead in a close affair and put them in the drivers seat in the race for the Champions League. Leicester never quite recovered, and United secured the win following another Leicester mistake in injury time.