Jurgen Klopp has ridiculed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s claim that his comments have had a negative impact on Manchester United’s penalty count this campaign.
Back in January the Liverpool boss complained at the number of penalties United were awarded last season, on the back of seeing his team denied two penalties against Southampton.
‘We cannot change, I hear now that Man United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years,’ Klopp said at the time. ‘I’ve no idea if that’s my fault, or how that can happen.’
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Solskjaer responded last month, before Bruno Fernandes blazed a last minute penalty over the bar, costing the club a point against Aston Villa, and said Klopp had unduly influenced referees.
Responding ahead of their trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, Klopp laughed off Solskjaer’s suggestion and pointed out that the Red devils still continue to be awarded more penalties than his team.
He said: ‘I think when Ole said it, or in between when I said it and Ole said what he said they had five penalties and we had two. We all know, come on, that we can’t influence referees with things like that.
‘Having the amount of penalties United had before was quite exceptional. They are good, they go in the box they have these kind of situations.
‘But we have them as well and got not even a similar amount of penalties. It’s just facts. Nothing else, it’s done.’
Fortunately for Klopp, he hasn’t had to rely on penalties this campaign given how prolific his forward line, and Mohamed Salah in particular, have been so far.
‘We’re not just relying on our goalscoring skills,’ said Klopp about a team that has scored 30 goals in the last nine games.
‘It’s more a coincidence we’ve scored that often, in a row – scoring so many is quite strange and we’ve done that. I love winning games 1-0 as well. I would love to keep a clean sheet.
‘Goals are good for confidence but relying on that is the first step in wrong direction. It’s perfectly fine to win 1-0 and keep a clean sheet.’