Sorry Jurgen, you got it wrong (but only just)! United HAVEN’T yet had more penalties under Solskjaer as Liverpool under you, but they DO get them more often with VAR now scrutinising every foul
- Jurgen Klopp was furious Liverpool didn’t get a penalty for a foul on Sadio Mane
- Liverpool slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Southampton at St Mary’s on Monday night
- Klopp spoke of Manchester United’s penalty record in his post-match remarks
- Claimed United had more under Solskjaer than he;d had in over five years
The mind games have started early. There are 12 days until Liverpool lock horns with Manchester United but shots have already been fired from Jurgen Klopp.
In the aftermath of Liverpool’s dreadful 1-0 defeat by Southampton, Klopp was mystified as to how his side weren’t awarded a penalty when Sadio Mane went tumbling under pressure from Kyle Walker-Peters in the second half.
And as the Liverpool boss launched a defence of Mane, he couldn’t help but turn his attention to his team’s ultimate rivals who are now breathing down his neck.
Jurgen Klopp was dismayed that Liverpool didn’t get a penalty in their Southampton defeat
Sadio Mane was brought down under a challenge from Kyle Walker-Peters inside the area
An angle from the TV cameras show Mane going down under the challenge of Walker-Peters
‘I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years,’ Klopp said. ‘I’ve no idea if that’s my fault, or how that can happen.’
Technically, Klopp is actually incorrect. Liverpool have been awarded 30 penalties in 199 Premier League games overseen by the German since he took over in October 2015.
United, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have been awarded 27 in his 75 matches since he came in first as a caretaker manager in December 2018.
So Liverpool have had more – just. But under Klopp, Liverpool average a penalty once in every seven encounters. Solskjaer and United receive a penalty on average once in every three games.
It is, of course, worth noting that a lot of those spot-kicks for the Red Devils will have come in the era of VAR, so the incidents that led to them would have been scrutinised further.
For Klopp, around three years of his Liverpool reign has been without VAR. The technology was introduced to the Premier League in the 2019-20 season and has generally seen a rise in penalties being awarded.
Klopp bemoaned how many penalties rivals Manchester United get compared with Liverpool
United could be top of the Premier League by the time they face Liverpool on January 17
Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat by Southampton when former Anfield striker Danny Ings scored with a smart looping effort in just the second minute.
Klopp’s side never truly clicked into gear and they struggled to dismantle a defiant Southampton defence.
It means the Premier League holders are now winless in their last three matches, a run that compounds a miserable Christmas for Liverpool. They could slip to second when United play their game in hand, against Burnley, on January 12.
Attention is inevitably turning to Liverpool’s showdown with United at Anfield on January 17 as the two title contenders look to enforce an advantage at the summit of the Premier League standings.
Between now and then, Liverpool only face Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Friday while United have a gruelling schedule ahead of them.
Klopp and Solskjaer will lock horns once again on January 17 at Anfield in the Premier League
They meet Manchester City on Wednesday night in the EFL Cup before hosting Watford in the FA Cup on Saturday. Solskjaer’s men then meet Burnley the following Tuesday, where just a draw would take them top, before attention turns to Anfield.
Klopp admitted that, despite his belief Liverpool should have had a spot-kick, their overall standard of performance simply has to improve before they meet United.
‘You can only solve a problem if you know the problem, and we are not blind to our problems,’ Klopp said. ‘We have to fight and play through this, it’s up to us to change that.’
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