Ward-Prowse goes one short of Beckham's free-kick record

18 Feb 2023
Chelsea FC v Southampton FC - Premier League

Southampton midfielder's winner at Chelsea is his 17th from set-pieces in the Premier League

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With his free-kick goal in first-half stoppage time at Stamford Bridge, James Ward-Prowse not only earned Southampton their first win since the FIFA World Cup 2022, but the midfielder also moved to within one of a Premier League record held by David Beckham.

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The Manchester United legend scored 18 times from direct free-kicks in the Premier League during his 11 seasons at Old Trafford.

Ward-Prowse's goal on Saturday was the 17th from a set-piece that he has scored in his 11 seasons and 328 Premier League matches for Saints.

“It's good for me to know that with any skill in life, if you work hard for it, you can perfect it,” Ward-Prowse told BBC Match of the Day. "When I was a kid doing this in my parents' garden, this was what I dreamed to do. It is great to do it today."

To show how his hard work has continued to pay off, 11 of these goals have come in the past three campaigns.

Of the 17, only four free-kick goals have come at St Mary's and the last eight have been all on the road. 

Ward-Prowse's free-kick goals
Season   Opponent   Date
2015/2016 West Brom (H) 16/01/2016
2017/2018 West Brom (A) 03/02/2018
2018/2019 Man Utd (A) 02/03/2019
2018/2019 Spurs (H) 09/03/2019
2019/2020 Watford (H) 30/11/2019
2019/2020 Watford (A) 28/06/2020
2020/2021 Aston Villa (A) 01/11/2020
2020/2021 Aston Villa (A) 01/11/2020
2020/2021 Man Utd (H) 29/11/2020
2020/2021 Newcastle (A) 06/02/2021
2021/2022 Crystal Palace (A) 15/12/2021
2021/2022 Wolves (A) 15/01/2022
2021/2022 Leeds (A) 02/04/2022
2021/2022 Brighton (A) 24/04/2022
2022/2023 Fulham (A) 31/12/2022
2022/2023 Everton (A) 14/01/2023
2022/2023 Chelsea (A) 18/02/2023

Beckham's record was set in 265 matches in total, with a free-kick goal in each of his seasons at Man Utd, including five in 2000/01. Like Ward-Prowse, the majority, 11, came in away matches. 

Beckham's free-kick goals
Season   Opponent   Date
1996/1997 Southampton (A) 26/10/1996
1997/1998 Liverpool (A) 06/12/1997
1998/1999 Leicester (H) 15/08/1998
1998/1999 Everton (H) 21/03/1999
1998/1999 Aston Villa (H) 01/05/1999
1999/2000 Leicester (A) 18/03/2000
1999/2000 West Ham (H) 01/04/2000
1999/2000 Southampton (A) 22/04/2000
2000/2001 Ipswich (A) 22/08/2000
2000/2001 West Ham (A) 26/08/2000
2000/2001 Leeds (H) 21/10/2000
2000/2001 Coventry (A) 04/11/2000
2000/2001 Man City (A) 18/11/2000
2001/2002 Fulham (H) 19/08/2001
2001/2002 Blackburn (A) 22/08/2001
2001/2002 Southampton (A) 13/01/2002
2001/2002 Sunderland (H) 02/02/2002
2002/2003 Everton (A) 11/05/2003

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