Fri. Jan 15th, 2021

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp slammed by Mark Clattenburg for Man Utd comments – ‘Worried’

3 min read

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been slammed by Mark Clattenburg for his recent comments on Manchester United. The German took aim at the Red Devils, questioning their penalty record ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as manager. But former referee Clattenburg thinks his comments show signs the Reds are getting worried ahead of Sunday’s crunch Premier League showdown between the pair.

Liverpool manager Klopp recently criticised United’s record, saying after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton: “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.”

Solskjaer then gave a relaxed response, with the Norwegian saying: “I can’t talk on behalf of other managers, why they say things like this.

“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.

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

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“It was mind games — an attempt to influence referee Paul Tierney and get inside his head before a huge match between Liverpool and United this Sunday.

“Klopp was correct when he said United have won more penalties in two years than Liverpool have in his five and a half at Anfield.

“He was smart, because his comments could not get him into trouble with the authorities.

“But let’s be clear: there is no conspiracy on the part of referees and officials. Was Klopp insinuating there is? Or was he suggesting United have players who are encouraged to dive?

“If his intention was the former, then I’ve got no time for that. It simply is not true.

“But if he was highlighting the ease with which some United players go down in the penalty area then, yes, I believe he was making a valid point. Even if it does ignore similar suspicions about some of his stars.

“I have watched United closely this season and analysed each of their 11 penalty awards.

“There are as many as five where I believe contact was invited or even initiated by the United player.

“Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood are the players involved.

“They are, in many ways, being clever.”

Clattenburg thinks Klopp’s comments show he’s getting worried.

“First, he sounds like a hypocrite if he is suggesting United’s players are looking to win penalties. The likes of Mo Salah and Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics,” he said.

“He is clearly getting edgy, though, because not since Fergie have we seen such a blatant attempt to influence a referee ahead of a big game. Klopp wasn’t doing this last season when Liverpool were winning every week.

“He does not like losing, he never has. He gets prickly. But he is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.

“I am the only referee to give three penalties to the opposition at Old Trafford, and that was for Liverpool, of all teams, in 2014.

“But David Moyes was manager — I’m not sure that would have happened when Fergie was there!”

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