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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wonders if Jurgen Klopp is trying to influence officials with penalty jibe

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has responded to Jurgen Klopp’s issue with Manchester United’s penalty record, suggesting that the Liverpool manager could be attempting to influence referees ahead of the teams’ Premier League meeting on January 17.

After falling to a 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday evening, Jurgen Klopp lamented the decisions that went against his Liverpool team and took aim at the contrasting fortune of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United side when it came to the awarding of penalties.

Speaking in his post-match interview on Sky Sports, Klopp said: “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. But it’s no excuse for the performance. We cannot change it, we have to respect the decisions.”

The stats do back up Klopp’s claim as Liverpool have been awarded 30 spot-kicks in the Premier League since the German took over at Anfield while United have been given 32 Premier League penalties since the beginning of the 2018/19 season.

Throughout Klopp’s reign, United have been awarded a total of 41 penalties in the Premier League but Solskjaer insisted he does not focus on that subject or other managers’ opinions of it.

“That’s a fact? Probably,” said Solskjaer. “That’s probably going to be my answer, that’s a fact that we’ve got more than them. I don’t count how many penalties they’ve had, so if they want to spend time on worrying about when we get fouled in the box… I don’t spend time on that.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer, whose team can move top of the Premier League if they win their game in hand, did offer a suggestion for why Klopp made his comments earlier this week.

The Red Devils boss wondered if Klopp was attempting to influence officials, with Solskjaer revealing that he believes Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was successful when he said something similar about United over the summer.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“I can’t talk on behalf of other managers, why they say things like this,” Solskjaer said. “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 the referees. I don’t know. But I don’t worry about that. When they foul our players it’s a penalty when it’s inside the box.”

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