Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggests Jurgen Klopp is trying to influence referees with Man United penalty claims

George Flood
·2-min read
<p>Familiar sight: Bruno Fernandes dispatches another penalty for Manchester United against Aston Villa</p> (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Familiar sight: Bruno Fernandes dispatches another penalty for Manchester United against Aston Villa

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp’s comments over Manchester United’s penalty record, suggesting that rival managers may be trying to influence referees.

Klopp was frustrated after the Premier League leaders were denied two second-half spot-kicks during their 1-0 defeat at Southampton on Monday night, pointing to the fact that United - now level on points with their north-west rivals at the top-flight summit - have earned more penalties in the last two-and-a-half seasons than the German’s side have since he was appointed at Anfield in 2016.

“I've no idea if that's my fault, or how that can happen,” Klopp fumed after a damaging result at St Mary’s.

Solskjaer was inevitably quizzed about those comments before resurgent United face Manchester City in their one-legged Carabao Cup semi-final clash on Wednesday evening.

"And that's a fact, probably,” he said of Klopp’s claim.

"That's probably going to be my answer - that's a fact that we've got more than them.

"But maybe they should... well, we've had... I don't know how many penalties they've had. I don't count how many penalties they have.

"So, if they want to spend time on worrying about when we get fouled in the box then I don't spend time on that."

Solskjaer questioned if rival managers were actively attempting to influence officials with such public complaints, claiming that Frank Lampard’s comments regarding supposed favourable VAR decisions towards United before last season’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea led to the Red Devils being denied a clear penalty in their 3-1 defeat at Wembley.

"I can't talk on behalf of other managers, why they say things like this," Solskjaer added.

"Obviously I felt it worked last year in the semis in the FA Cup because Frank spoke about it and we had a nailed-on penalty we should have had that we didn't get.

"So maybe it's a way of influencing referees. I don't know, but I don't worry about that. When they foul our players it's a penalty. It's just when it's inside the box."

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