Uefalona: do Barcelona really get awarded too many PKs?

I said last time that the Uefalona-Barca “always” play a man up thing was a little complicated. In PKs, however, it’s not complicated in the slightest. “Uefalona” is a complete myth. Barcelona don’t even really stand out in the raw number of PKs they’ve been granted, and once you start looking at how many PKs relative to minutes played…

Well.

To start us off, here’s a list of every knock-out match in the last five years that included a penalty. I’ve included in parenthesis whether or not it was scored, just for inquiring minds, but I will not be including that in the overall stats, because the point isn’t “did they convert it?” The point is whether anyone has been granted them more often than others.

 

Game # PK (scored) Team with advantage
2011-2012    
Final: Bayern Munich v. Chelsea 1 (0) Bayern Munich
Semi-final: Barcelona v. Chelsea (second leg) 1 (0) Barcelona
Semi-final: Real Madrid v. Bayern Munich (second leg) 2 (2) Real Madrid (1)

Bayern Munich (1)

Quarter-final: Barcelona v. AC Milan (second leg) 2 (2) Barcelona (2)
Quarter-final: Chelsea v. Benfica (second leg) 1 (1) Chelsea
Quarter-final: Real Madrid v. APOEL Nicosia (second leg) 1 (1) APOEL
Round of 16: Arsenal v. AC Milan (second leg) 1 (1) Arsenal
Round of 16: AC Milan v. Arsenal (first leg) 1 (1) AC Milan
Round of 16: Inter Milan v. Marseille (second leg) 1 (1) Inter
Round of 16: Chelsea v. Napoli (second leg) 1 (1) Chelsea
2010-2011    
Round of 16: Shakhtar Donetsk v. AS Roma (second leg) 1 (0) Roma
Round of 16: Barcelona v. Arsenal (second leg) 1 (1) Barcelona
2009-2010    
Quarter final: Lyon v. Bordeaux (second leg) 1 (1) Lyon
Quarter final: Arsenal v. Barcelona (first leg) 1 (1) Arsenal
Round of 16: Bayern Munich v. Fiorentina (first leg) 1 (1) Bayern Munich
Round of 16: Arsenal v. Porto (second leg) 1 (1) Arsenal
2008-2009    
Semi-final: Arsenal v. Manchester United (second leg) 1 (1) Arsenal
Quarter-final: Chelsea v. Liverpool (second leg) 1 (1) Liverpool
Quarter-final: Arsenal v. Villarreal (second leg) 1 (1) Arsenal
Round of 16: Bayern Munich v. Sporting Lisbon (second leg) 1 (1) Bayern Munich
Round of 16: Liverpool v. Real Madrid (second leg) 1 (1) Liverpool
Round of 16: Arsenal v. AS Roma (first leg) 1 (1) Arsenal
Round of 16: Villarreal v. Panathinaikos (first leg) 1 (1) Villarreal
Round of 16: Sporting Lisbon v. Bayern Munich (first leg) 1 (1) Bayern Munich
Round of 16: Juventus v. Chelsea (first leg) 1 (1) Juventus
2007-2008    
Semi-final: Chelsea v. Liverpool (second leg) 1 (1) Chelsea
Quarter-final: Liverpool v. Arsenal (second leg) 1 (1) Liverpool

 

 

I’m sure that most people just skimmed past that, but I always like to include it for reference.

Now, even by raw numbers, Barcelona are not at the top of the list. That honor falls to Arsenal, who have been awarded 6 penalties in the last five years, followed closely by Bayern Munich with 5, Barcelona with 4, and Chelsea and Liverpool with 3.

There’s a pattern there that really sticks out, so I do want to stop for a moment to make an aside about English clubs and penalties. They’ve been awarded 12 and conceded 9, a number that no other league even comes close to matching. It’s largely due to the fact that English clubs really dominated the CL for the years at the beginning of this, and having more minutes often means that your raw number goes up.

That said, Arsenal and Liverpool’s penalties are not offset by their total minutes. See below.

 

Team Penalties won Total minutes Per [x] minutes
Arsenal

6

1650

275

Liverpool

3

930

310

Bayern Munich

5

1860

372

Barcelona

4

2880

720

Roma

1

750

750

Chelsea

3

2460

820

AC Milan

1

930

930

Lyon

1

1290

1290

Inter

1

1530

1530

Real Madrid

1

1650

1650

 

To get the number in the third column, I divided the total minutes by the number of penalties won to get how many minutes on average passed between penalties. Barcelona don’t stand out, really, at least not by my estimation and considering how low the numbers for Arsenal, Liverpool, and Bayern are.

But to be fair, Arsenal did concede 3 – just look at the long list you probably just skimmed over. Bayern and Liverpool have both conceded as well. Might that change things?

Yes. But not to make it more “Uefalona.”

I only included the top four here, for a few reasons. First, I don’t think anyone else is really relevant for the purposes of this, and second, because some clubs (like Chelsea and Milan) end up with a negative number because they’ve conceded more than they’ve won, and that gets annoying to compare.

Here’s the new table.

 

Team Penalties won – conceded Total minutes Per minute
Liverpool

2

930

465

Bayern Munich

4

1860

465

Arsenal

3

1650

550

Barcelona

3

2880 960

Well, that certainly brought the top three up to a more reasonable number, and it bumped Arsenal down to third.

It also bumped Barcelona up by 200 minutes due to the penalty they conceded, leaving them with a stat that’s roughly a penalty every 1000 minutes.

The red cards were a little more ambiguous and open for interpretation. This is not. Barcelona are not awarded an absurd number of penalties, and they’re not even the only team in the last five years to get 3 in a season. (Arsenal 08-09.) There are also a lot of teams that got 2 in a season without conceding any. (Bayern 08-09, Liverpool 08-09, Arsenal 09-10).

Uefalona? If you’re going by penalties, not even close.

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