Deadly from 12: All-Time EPL Penalty-Takers

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2007

http://images.scotsman.com/2002/06/17/1706ikerb.jpgEveryone always has an opinion on a penalty call.

When your team is awarded a try in the waning minutes of a close game, it's a blatantly obvious decision—probably the first one the official has given you all day.

When the whistle goes against your side in injury time, the ref is a blind cheating ignoramus who doesn't know the rules of the game.

And then, of course, someone actually has to take the thing.

The Premiership has seen its share of memorable penalty-takers over the years—some players you'd bet your house on, some you just can't bear to watch.

Here's my list of the top eight... 

8. Andy Johnson

Johnson received both criticism and praise for his goal-scoring feats in 2004-05, netting a Premiership record eight penalties with Crystal Palace. That said, he did recently miss two penalties in one game for Everton in the UEFA Cup.

7. Ian Harte

Noted for his curling left-footed free kicks as much as his penalties, Harte scored plenty of times from 12 yards for a young Leeds United side. He would later go on to miss a vital penalty for Ireland against Spain in the World Cup.

6. Julian Dicks

"The Terminator" was an uncompromising full back with a ferocious left foot who excelled for both West Ham and Liverpool. He scored the last goal in front of the standing Spion Kop at Anfield, and later took up professional golf.

5. Robbie Fowler

Fowler is fourth on the list of all-time EPL goal-scorers, and was deadly from the spot for Liverpool through the latter part of the 90s.

Fowler later played for Leeds and Man City. He had a last-minute penalty saved by Mark Schwarzer in the last game of the 2004-05 season; a goal would have seen Man City qualify for the UEFA Cup.

4. Gary McAllister

Ice cool under pressure, McAllister was an all-around dead ball specialist. Tenures at Coventry, Leeds, and Liverpool saw him net several important penalties—including against Barcelona during Liverpool's run to win the UEFA Cup in 2000-01.

Famously had a penalty saved by David Seaman in an England-Scotland fixture.

3. Ruud van Nistelrooy

Van Nistelrooy scored many of his 150 Manchester United goals from the penalty spot, with a special flair for hammering the ball into the bottom corner. Unfortunately, his talent always seemed to fail him against Arsenal—he missed a total of three penalties against the Gunners.

2. Alan Shearer

Though Shearer was famed for his top-corner penalty shots, he did miss a few in his time—including in a shoot-out during Champions League qualifying. Still, there can be no doubt about his deadliness from 12 yards.

1. Matt Le Tissier

In my opinion, Tissier was the best and most consistent penalty-taker England has ever seen.

"Le Tiss" netted an incredible 48 out of 49 penalties during his Southampton career, with Mark Crossley as the only keeper to have ever notched a save against him.

Odds and Ends

Martin Palermo once missed three penalties in one game for Argentina against Columbia, while Jan Molby scored a hat trick of them for Liverpool.

Valdemar de Brito was the first to miss a World Cup penalty, and John Aldridge was the first to have an FA Cup Final penalty saved at Wembley.

And finally, Jose Luis Chilavert scored 62 goals during his career, many from the penalty spot...as a goalkeeper!

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