This summer I tried to convince myself, naïvely I suppose, that Barcelona’s 19 penalties last season – an unprecedented statistic in European football – was simply the result of a coincidental series of events. But this week, after seven games of the new league season, I took a look at the disciplinary records of every team in LaLiga.
Real Madrid have still not been awarded a penalty this season
What stood out to me, after 630 minutes of football, was that Zidane’s Real Madrid still haven’t been awarded a single penalty. Zero. Not one! I think back to the draw against Villarreal, during which Benzema had a clear shout turned down. A goal would have given us a win, the LaLiga wins record and we’d still be top of the league, two ahead of Atlético and four ahead of Barcelona. If we continue at this rate we’ll finish the season with at most six or seven penalties. How can it be that a team with such power in attack has a deficit when it comes to penalties? There are only four other teams in the League that are yet to be awarded a one: Espanyol. Betis, Málaga and Alavés.
Surprise, surprise! Barcelona and Atleti haven't been flagged for a penalty once!
Just out of interest, I took a look at the penalty statistics for Atlético Madrid and Barcelona. Atleti have been awarded four penalties already this season, though they missed two of those in a single game against the incredible Diego Alves. In contrast, they haven’t given away a single penalty. Over in Barcelona, they’ve been awarded two and… surprise, surprise they haven’t had one awarded against them either. So, of the ‘big 3’ only Real Madrid have had penalties awarded against them.
You were wrong, Simeone
It’s probably just a coincidence, but I wanted to point this out before we play each other; first the Madrid derby at the Vicente Calderón (19th November) and then the Clásico (3rd December). I bet that Simeone won’t repeat his absurd comments from last season: “It’s known that this league looks dangerously like it’s been prepared for Madrid to win.” You couldn’t have been more wrong, Simeone.