Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reignites war of words with Jurgen Klopp over penalties claim
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reignited his war of words with Jurgen Klopp by blaming the Liverpool manager for Manchester United being awarded fewer penalties this year.
United have been denied four strong penalty claims in their past three matches against Young Boys in the Champions League and West Ham in the Premier League and Carabao Cup.
Klopp questioned the number of penalties United were awarded in the wake of Liverpool’s defeat at Southampton on January 4 and Solskjaer believes it is no coincidence his side have been awarded significantly fewer spot-kicks by referees since then.
United have had five penalties in 27 Premier League games since Klopp made his remarks – half as many as they were given in the 27 league matches before the German’s complaints.
“We just have to hope that we get what we deserve,” Solskjaer said ahead of United’s game against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime. “We should have had three penalties in the last two games.
“There was a certain manager last season who was starting to worry about us getting penalties and after that it seems like the decisions are more difficult to give.
“I’ve seen a big, big difference since then on. But we just have to leave it up to the refs and hopefully they’ll make the right calls very soon.”
Klopp was angered that Sadio Mane was denied a penalty in the Southampton game after going down under a challenge from Kyle Walker-Peters and responded by questioning why United won so many spot-kicks in contrast to his team.
“We cannot change. I hear now that Man United had more penalties in two years than I had in five and a half years. I’ve no idea if that’s my fault or how that can happen.”
Solskjaer hit back by accusing Klopp of trying to “influence referees” and the Norwegian’s concern now is that the Liverpool manager’s comments have succeeded in doing just that.
Solskjaer blamed French referee Francois Letexier’s inexperience for failing to award Cristiano Ronaldo a second half penalty in the 2-1 Champions League defeat to Young Boys in Switzerland last week and claimed the Portugal forward was denied two “stonewall” spot-kicks during Sunday’s 2-1 win at West Ham.
The United manager was also aggrieved Jesse Lingard was denied what he felt was a “clear” penalty in the 1-0 Carabao Cup loss to West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday, when the England forward was pulled down by Mark Noble.