Manchester United leads the way as dirtiest team in Premier League

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Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, centre right, and Harry Maguire, second from left, hold the trophy during celebration as they won the English League Cup final soccer match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
  • Manchester United rank as the PL side with the worst disciplinary record of the last five seasons
  • Everton and Tottenham come in with the second and third worst records
  • Wolves and Arsenal complete the teams with the five worst records
Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes, centre right, and Harry Maguire, second from left, hold the trophy during celebration as they won the English League Cup final soccer match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

A new study by OLBG has revealed the Premier League teams who received the most yellow and red cards over the last five seasons.

The research ranked the 12 teams that have been ever-present in the Premier League since the start of the 2018/19 season, allocating them an average disciplinary score per game. The scoring system here dictates that a yellow card equates to one point, and a red card to two, therefore the teams with the highest score per game have committed the most cardable offences in the past five seasons.

Manchester United are the club to have gained the questionable title of having the league’s worst discipline. A total of 386 yellow cards and 9 red cards over the past five seasons mean that per game, Man United averaged a disciplinary score of 2.04, the worst in the Premier League.

Everton rank with the second-worst disciplinary record league-wide. 367 yellow cards alongside 17 red cards make for an average discipline score of 2.03 per game.

The third worst record belongs to London club Tottenham who were on the wrong end of 373 yellows, 13 reds. This makes for an average per-game discipline score of 2.02 

Wolves become the fourth worst-disciplined team of the past five seasons having received a total of 363 yellow, and 15 red cards. This equates to an average discipline score per game of 1.98.

Arsenal and Newcastle United take fifth and sixth spot. The Gunners received 342 yellow cards alongside 17 red ones, this makes for a per-game discipline score of 1.90. The Magpies’ 351 cautionary cards and 11 red ones resulted in a per-game score of 1.88.

338 yellow cards for Crystal Palace as well as 10 red ones mean they sit in seventh place with a per-game score of 1.81. Eighth-placed Brighton were given 322 yellows and 14 reds, giving The Seagulls a per-game score of 1.77.

Chelsea and West Ham take the final top ten spots. In ninth The Blues have received 330 yellow, and 8 red cards, making for a per-game discipline score of 1.75. The Hammers make the final top-ten spot with 290 yellows, and 9 reds making for a per-game score of 1.59.

RankClubYellow CardsRed CardsAve. discipline score per game (Yellow: 1pt, Red: 2pts)
1Manchester Utd38692.04
2Everton367172.03
3Tottenham373132.02
4Wolves363151.98
5Arsenal342171.90
6Newcastle Utd351111.88
7Crystal Palace338101.81
8Brighton322141.77
9Chelsea33081.75
10West Ham29091.56

The study also analyzed the other divisions that make up Europe’s top five leagues, finding that La Liga’s Getafe have the worst disciplinary record out of all the teams that have been in their respective top flight since the start of the 2018/19 season. “El Geta” players have racked up 652 yellows, and 39 reds, for a discipline score of 3.66.

Fellow La Liga outfits Sevilla, on 531 yellows and 27 reds, and Atletico Madrid, with 516 bookings and 24 sendings off, take the silver and bronze for Europe’s worst disciplined sides.

“While accusations fly between fans of rival teams around the world, it’s interesting to see the data and establish which teams can actually be considered ‘the dirtiest’ in each league,” OLBG spokesperson Annmarie Rambo said. It’s also certainly interesting for those who might wage money in disciplinary categories of betting like cards received per game.”