Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had a little nibble back after Jurgen Klopp pointed to the amount of penalty kicks Manchester United have been awarded compared to his Liverpool side.
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Grab. Your. Popcorn.
Ahead of their huge clash against Manchester United at Anfield on Jan. 17, and following their 1-0 defeat at Southampton, Klopp stirred the pot and clearly put this fact in the back of the minds of the referees.
Liverpool and Man United are currently on the same points total at the summit of the Premier League table, but Klopp’s side are only ahead on goal difference and could be overtaken by United before their clash at Anfield.
Solskjaer brushes off the comments from Klopp
“I don’t count how many penalties they [Liverpool and Spurs] have, so if they want to spend time on worrying about when we get fouled in the box, I don’t spend time on that,” Solskjaer said.
Asked if Klopp’s comments could potentially influence referees and led to Manchester United not being given a penalty kick, here was Solskjaer’s response as he referenced Frank Lampard saying something similar before Chelsea beat them in the FA Cup semifinal last season.
“I felt it worked in the semi because Frank spoke about it and we had a nailed-on penalty that we should have had that we didn’t get, so maybe it’s a way of influencing referees,” Solskjaer said. “I don’t know, but I don’t worry about that. Anthony [Martial] came on and he should have had a penalty.”
Solskjaer takes the high road…
Klopp is correct with the raw data, but this is such a random stat to bring up. But Klopp’s motive isn’t random.
Since he took charge of Liverpool in October 2015, his team have won 30 penalties in the Premier League. Since the start of the 2018-19 Premier League season at Manchester United, the Red Devils have won 32 penalties.
Solskjaer’s comments were smart, as he is clearly used to these kind of comments. He could have hit back even harder at Klopp, but he took the high road.
That said, the referee for Liverpool – Manchester United will be watched very closely as soon as a United player is tackled in and around the box.