“We can’t influence refs” – Klopp puts line through penalty debate with Solskjaer

Jurgen Klopp was quick to put a line through the penalty conjecture with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the Man United boss suggested the German’s previous comments influenced referees.

A battle of words is not uncommon between the manager of Liverpool and Man United but the recent talk has centred around spot-kicks, whether too many or too few.

After the Reds’ 1-0 defeat at Southampton back in January when Sadio Mane was denied what appeared a stonewall penalty, Klopp said: “United had more penalties in two years than me in five-and-a-half years…but no excuses for tonight.”

United were awarded 11 penalties last season in comparison to Liverpool’s six and in 2021/22 to date, each have been awarded just one.

And in September, Solskjaer, pointed to Klopp without actually saying his name, that such comments have seen referees treat his team differently.

“We should have had three penalties in the last two games,” the United boss said at the time. “A certain manager last year was starting to worry about us getting penalties last season and after that, it seems like the decisions are more difficult to give.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, May 13, 2021: Referee Anthony Taylor looks at the VAR monitor before disallowing a penalty for Liverpool during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I’ve seen a big, big difference since then on.”

And with the two to meet on Sunday, Klopp was asked about his view on those comments and the situation but the boss was eager to dismiss the issue and move on.

“Nothing really to say about that. In between what I said and what Ole said what he said, they had five penalties and we had two,” Klopp told reporters.

“We all know, come on, that we cannot influence refs with things like that.

“But having the amount of penalties that United had before that was quite exceptional. They’re good, they go in the box and they have these kind of situations.

“But we have them as well and got not even a similar amount of penalties. That’s just facts, who cares, it’s done and nothing else to say about it.”

Klopp considers the matter closed but Sunday could open fresh wounds for Solskjaer who seems intent on continuing to shine a light on it all.