‘Maybe a way of influencing referees’ – Solskjaer hits back at Jurgen Klopp over Man United penalty jibe

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has this evening replied to Jurgen Klopp, after the German highlighted the frequency with which the Red Devils have been awarded penalties over recent seasons, on the back of his side’s defeat to Southampton.

‘Maybe a way of influencing referees’ – Solskjaer hits back at Jurgen Klopp over Man United penalty jibe

Ings makes the difference

The champions made the trip to St. Mary’s on Monday, for their latest Premier League outing.

Liverpool headed into proceedings in search of a bounce-back result, following respective draws with West Brom and Newcastle over the last couple of weeks.

This had allowed Manchester United to join Klopp’s men at the summit of the English top-flight, making a 3-point haul versus Southampton of paramount importance.

When all was said and done in the southeast, however, the woes of the Merseysiders only deepened.

A disappointing display eventually saw Liverpool downed by a goal to nil, with the identity of the game’s only scorer – former Red Danny Ings – having served to rub further salt into the wounds of the visitors:

‘If they want to spend time worrying…’

On the back of proceedings coming to a close, though, the major talking point surrounding the action at St. Mary’s came in the form of a pair of Liverpool penalty claims.

The Reds counted themselves unlucky not to be awarded at least one opportunity to level things up from 12 yards, after seeing a Gini Wijnaldum effort strike the arm of Jack Stephens, and then Sadio Mane felled by Kyle Walker-Peters.

In turn, speaking in his post-match interview, Jurgen Klopp was inevitably drawn on his side’s spot-kick shouts falling on deaf ears.

It was not the German’s direct response to the subject which went on to grab the headlines, however.

Instead, it was Klopp’s insistence on highlighting the penalty record of title rivals Manchester United over recent seasons, with the Liverpool boss having jibed:

‘I hear now that Manchester 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.’

‘Maybe a way of influencing referees’ – Solskjaer hits back at Jurgen Klopp over Man United penalty jibe

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 04: ( THE SUN OUT,THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT ) Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp manager of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary’s Stadium on January 04, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

As such, speaking during a press conference of his own ahead of Manchester United’s League Cup semi-final meeting with Man City in 24 hours’ time, it came as little surprise when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was drawn on Klopp’s comments.

And the United boss, after assuring that he pays little heed to such digs, went on to suggest that his opposite number on the Liverpool bench may be trying his hand at ‘influencing referees’:

‘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, I don’t spend time on that.’

‘I can’t talk on behalf of other managers, why they say things like this. Obviously I felt it worked last year in the semi in the FA Cup 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. 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.’

Quotes via Goal

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Manchester United FC 17 10 36
2 Leicester City FC 18 12 35
3 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 18 16 33
5 Manchester City FC 16 12 32
6 Everton FC 17 7 32
7 Chelsea FC 18 12 29
8 Southampton FC 18 5 29
9 West Ham United FC 18 4 29
10 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
11 Arsenal FC 18 1 24
12 Leeds United 18 -4 23
13 Crystal Palace FC 18 -7 23
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 19 -8 22
15 Newcastle United FC 17 -9 19
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 19 -7 17
17 Burnley FC 17 -13 16
18 Fulham FC 17 -11 12
19 West Bromwich Albion 18 -27 11
20 Sheffield United FC 19 -22 5
Premier League 20/21
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 5