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Solskjaer accuses Klopp of trying to influence referees with penalty comment


Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has accused his Liverpool counterpart, Jurgen Klopp of trying to influence referees.

This comes after the German, ahead of the crucial clash with the Red Devils at Anfield next weekend, said that Man Utd have “had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years”.

Klopp’s comments were born out of frustration from the 1-0 loss against Southampton on Monday night as referee Adre Marriner ruled against a Kyle Walker-Peters challenge on Sadio Mane and Jack Stephens’ handball while blocking a Georginio Wijnaldum shot.

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Speaking ahead of the Carabao Cup semifinals against Manchester City on Tuesday night, Solskjaer responded to Klopp’s comments.

“I can’t talk on behalf of other managers, why they say things like this,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Monday.

“I felt it worked last year in the semi in the FA Cup because Frank [Lampard] 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. I don’t know, but I don’t worry about that. When they foul our players it’s a penalty.”

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The stats show that since Solskjaer took charge at Old Trafford in December 2018, United have been awarded 42 penalties in all competitions compared to Liverpool’s 19.

This season in the Premier League, United — level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table with a game in hand — have been awarded six penalties to Liverpool’s five while Leicester have won 10.

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“I don’t know how many penalties they [Liverpool] have had,” Solskjaer said.

“I don’t count how many penalties they have, so if they want to spend time worrying about when we get fouled in the box, I don’t spend time on that.”

A win for United against Burnley at Turf Moor on Jan. 12 will take them three points clear of Liverpool ahead of their clash.