Sterling becomes first player to win 20 penalties in Premier League history

Raheem Sterling Man City 2020-21
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The Man City winger has been awarded more spot-kicks than any other player in the English top flight, with Jamie Vardy edged out into second place

Raheem Sterling has become the first player in Premier League history to win 20 penalties, with the Manchester City winger earning another spot-kick against Fulham.

Direct running and quick feet have always been part of the England international’s attacking arsenal and those qualities allow him to lure defenders into making ill-advised challenges in dangerous areas of the field.

City have benefited from Sterling’s wing play since 2015, with Liverpool having handed him a big break prior to that.

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It is at the Etihad Stadium that the 25-year-old has become one of the most destructive forwards in English football.

Pep Guardiola has brought the best out of Sterling, with over 100 goals recorded for City in 256 appearances.

His latest outing delivered the most recent of those, with the Blues requiring just five minutes to break the deadlock at home to Fulham.

Sterling had already squandered one decent opportunity before hitting the back of the net, and he was then involved in City’s second in the 26th minute, with Joachim Andersen hanging out a leg inside the box.

Sterling took a tumble and the referee pointed to the spot, allowing Kevin De Bruyne to convert from 12 yards.

He has now won more penalties in the Premier League than any other player, with Leicester striker Jamie Vardy (19) edged into second.

Wilfried Zaha is third on the penalty-winning list, with the Crystal Palace winger earning 16 in his career to date.

Newcastle legend Alan Shearer landed 15 and ex-Palace frontman Andrew Johnson 14.

Luis Suarez was awarded 13 across his spell at Liverpool, with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey able to match that tally.

Sterling will believe that he has plenty more left in him, with a prominent role set to remain his at City for the foreseeable future.

Questions are, however, continuing to be asked of his penchant for going down under the slightest contact.

Ex-England and Liverpool striker Michael Owen is among those who feel more needs to be done to combat simulation, despite admitting to indulging in the odd bout of theatrics himself.

He has posted on Twitter: “I wonder what the ‘he was touched so it has to be a pen’ brigade think of that one on Sterling.

“Absolutely no chance that there was enough force to bring him down. I’ve been there and done the same but I still feel we need to stop giving pens for things like that.”

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