Penalties are, without a doubt, one of the easiest ways to score a goal in football. In theory, it's a 50/50 opportunity, but the odds are overwhelmingly in favour of the penalty taker.
That's because owing to the limitations of human reaction time, goalkeepers need to rely on their instincts to guess the direction of the ball flying at them from 12 yards away.
Seven teams with the most penalties received in league football this season:
It has often been perceived that big teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid receive more penalties than others.
On that note, let's check if that holds true for this season. Without further ado, let's have a look a the seven teams to have received the most penalties in league football this season.
Note: This data only considers the top five leagues, namely the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1. European or domestic cup competitions have not been considered.
#T4 Borussia Monchengladbach and Real Sociedad (11)
Borussia Monchengladbach have been awarded 11 penalties in the Bundesliga this season, the most received by any team in the competition.
They have managed to convert ten of their 11 spot-kicks. Frenchman Marcus Thuram has earned the most (5), while their main goalscorer from the spot is Lars Stindl (6 out of 7). Other takers include Breel Embolo, who's won a fair few himself, and Ramy Bensebaini.
Meanwhile, Real Sociedad have also received the same number of penalties as Borussia Gladbach, but they have been less proficient from the spot, converting only eight of their 11 attempts. Their main taker has been Mikel Oyarzabal, who has netted six of the seven he has taken.
#T3 RC Lens, Villarreal and Strasbourg (12)
La Liga club Villarreal and French Ligue 1 teams - Lens and Strasbourg - have all received 12 penalties apiece this season.
The Yellow Submarines have netted an impressive 11 of their 12, with top scorer Gerard Moreno converting all his nine efforts from the spot. A lot of Villareal players have won penalties this season, with left-back Alfonso Pedraza being the only one to win more than one.
Meanwhile, Lens have been the giant killers in this year's Ligue 1 and have converted ten of their 12 spot-kicks. Forward Gael Kakuta has taken nine of them, scoring seven, while his fellow attacker Ignatius Ganago has won the most (3).
Another Ligue 1 team, Strasbourg, have also gone 10/12 from the spot this season. Jean Ricner-Bellegarde has earned the most spot-kicks (3) for his team, while forward Ludovic Ajorque has scored four of the five penalties he has taken.
#2 Monaco (14)
Monaco have enjoyed a fabulous campaign under Niko Kovac and are firmly in contention for the Ligue 1 title this season.
Their cause has been aided by the 14 penalties they have earned so far this campaign. French striker Wissam Ben Yedder has taken and scored the most penalties for them (9 of 11), while Ben Yedder, Kevin Volland and Gelson Martins have all earned two penalties apiece.
#1 AC Milan (16)
After a decade, it looked like AC Milan would end their Scudetto drought. That title challenge has since collapsed, as Milan are struggling to finish in the top four.
However, they have the distinction of having received the most penalties in the top-5 leagues this season. Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie has scored eight of the nine he has taken, but veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been woeful from the spot, scoring a dismal three of the six spot-kicks he has taken.
Meanwhile, Ante Rebic has earned three penalties this season, Zlatan Ibrahimovich two, while a bunch of other players have earned one apiece.