Scottish Premiership penalties - Rangers and Aberdeen lead the way, Celtic nearing 200 days, how many awarded

Last season, there were 64 penalties awarded across the Scottish Premiership. So far this campaign there have been 19 and with the introduction of VAR there is every likelihood last year’s figure will eclipsed.

This weekend, the first involving VAR in the top flight, has already prompted debate and discussion, much of it tedious but Celtic were right to feel aggrieved at the non-award of a strong penalty shout when a cross hit the outstretched arm of Michael Smith in the Hearts box during the 4-3 win for the league leaders.

Not one to talk about refereeing decisions, Ange Postecoglou did make the point about the team’s lack of penalties this season. He said: "Look I thought we had a clear cut handball and penalty but apparently that's not good enough - what do I know? We haven't had a penalty all year and I keep hearing opposition managers saying we get everything. The only penalties we have taken so far this season have been in training."

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In the same game Hearts had two penalties, one of which was retaken after encroachment following the second spot kick which Lawrence Shankland had missed. He scored with the retake as he became the first player since 1985 to net a domestic hat-trick against Celtic.

By the time Celtic play in the Premiership next it will be more than 200 days since their last penalty which is a surprise when you consider the amount of attacking the team does and the number of quick, skilful players they have in the final third. But it is nothing more than a quirk.

So far this season, Aberdeen and Motherwell have been the teams most adept at winning penalties with four apiece, while Hearts are on three. But how does it look if we go back to the start of last season?

Penalties awarded in the Premiership since the start of the 2021/22 season:

Rangers – 12

VAR checks a possible penalty in the Hearts v Celtic game. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Aberdeen – 12

Hearts – 11

Ross County – 9

Celtic – 7

Motherwell – 7

Hibs – 6

Dundee United – 6

St Mirren – 4

St Johnstone – 4

Livingston – 4

Dundee – 1

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