Clattenburg, Klopp enter round two as ex-ref recalls bizarre staring contest

Date published: Saturday 16th January 2021 3:46

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Mark Clattenburg has recalled how Jurgen Klopp once tried to “stare him out” as their war of words over the penalty debate continues.

Clattenburg called Klopp a “hypocrite” for pointing out that Manchester United have a better penalty record than Liverpool. The former referee claimed that Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah themselves look to earn spot kicks.

Liverpool boss Klopp responded on Friday. He said that he does not have the “skills” to entertain “mind games”. What’s more, he said that Clattenburg’s comments say more about the ex-official than they do about him.

But Clattenburg has now sent their spat into a second round.

He wrote in the Daily Mail: “Jurgen Klopp says he ‘does not have the skills for mind games’, after he responded on Friday to my column from Thursday’s Sportsmail.

“So that will be the same Klopp who stands and stares at the opposition warming up before the game? “He knows what he’s doing, he’s incredibly smart, it’s why he’s one of the best managers we’ve had in the Premier League.

“Klopp once tried to stare me out before a match. That’s fine, he has a presence and an aura that he uses for the benefit of his team.

“But the point I made on Thursday was that, by Klopp referencing the amount of penalties Manchester United have won in comparison to Liverpool, I believe he was trying to get inside the head of the referee ahead of Sunday’s huge game at Anfield.”

Clattenburg also believes that Klopp has become “prickly” because of his side’s recent form. The Reds have only won two of their past six Premier League outings.

And after Klopp insisted that he and Sir Alex Ferguson are not alike, the former official said that the pair have more in common than the German realises.

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Ex-Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann spoke out against Clattenburg, claiming that he had admitted bias towards United at Old Trafford.

Clattenburg said he felt “disappointed, if not surprised”.

He added: “The way they interpreted my column was to suggest I’d said there was a refereeing ‘bias’ towards United. I did not, because there isn’t and never has been.

“I never used the word ‘bias’ anywhere. There used to be an ‘aura’ around United when Ferguson was there, yes.

“But that does not exist anymore. In fact, there is more of an aura around Klopp and Liverpool than there is United and Old Trafford.”

READ MORE: Mane admits shock at seeing Thiago display deadly trait for Liverpool

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