Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has accused Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of showing ‘arrogance’ after he claimed his side were not getting fair treatment from referees over penalty decisions.
United have been awarded 22 penalties over the last two Premier League seasons. It’s a total that is far more than any other team in the competition.
Yet Solskjaer was fuming as his side were not given a spot-kick when Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle the ball in the box. The incident occured during the first half of Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Now former Reds striker Aldridge has suggested those public comments may come back to haunt him. The 62-year-old suggests referees are waking up to United’s tactic of playing for penalties.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a big mistake after Manchester United’s 0-0 draw at Chelsea on Sunday and it could come back to haunt him,” he told sundayworld.com.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when Solskjaer rocked up on the TV moaning about his side not getting a penalty when Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle the ball in the box.
“The arrogance oozing out of Solskjaer and United defender Luke Shaw in their post-match interviews was comical. It’s worse when you consider United have been awarded 22 penalties over the last couple of Premier League seasons. Plenty of those were controversial.
“Solskjaer was not moaning when Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood or Daniel James fell over under a gust of wind in the box and managed to get penalties out of it.
“We even saw Paul Pogba appearing to tell Shaw to take a dive to try and get a penalty a few weeks back. That is no surprise. The Frenchman is another player who likes to take a tumble at the first opportunity.
“The main reason Fernandes has scored so many goals at United is that he gets a penalty every other week. The Portuguese midfielder has scored 17 penalties in all competition for United since he arrived a year ago.
“It’s a crazy statistic and we have all been talking about it all season already. So Solskjaer should have kept his mouth shut. He’d have been better trying to cover up the reality that his side are getting lucky with spot-kicks.
“Take some of those dodgy penalties away from United and they would be a long way off second place. And maybe the move to raise awareness will give them a problem in the final few weeks of this season.”