Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit out at Jurgen Klopp after claiming the Liverpool boss has had a major influence on their ability to win penalties.
Back in January, Klopp ranted about his side’s lack of penalty decisions that went in their favour compared to Man Utd. After Sadio Mane was denied a spot-kick against Southampton, 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.”
The Red Devils are yet to win a penalty this season, and many feel Cristiano Ronaldo should’ve been awarded a spot-kick during their league clash with West Ham last weekend.
And speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Solskjaer took aim at Klopp when insisting he has seen a “big difference” in calls since the German’s outburst.
“We just have to hope we get what we deserve,” said Solskjaer (via the Manchester Evening News). “We should have had three pens in the last two games.
“There was a certain manager who worried about us getting penalties last year and after that the decisions were different to give.
“I’ve seen a big difference since then on. Leave it to the refs and make the right calls very soon.”
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In more positive news, Solskjaer lauded the work of resurgent goalkeeper David de Gea. Entering the season, it was a toss-up as to who would start in goal between the Spaniard and Dean Henderson.
But after Henderson was struck down with Covid-19, De Gea was handed the gloves and has put in a series of outstanding displays.
Solskjaer said: “He did call me in the summer to end his summer holiday earlier and come back and start his pre-season before. He wanted to be ready, the best possible version of himself.
“Last season was a challenging one. He didn’t play as many games because Dean [Henderson] came in and did very well.
“David has really worked, focused, physically and mentally he’s better and when you feel you’ve done the work, personal best, a few physical tests, it gives you more confidence and motivation.
“He plays behind a strong back four but to play in front of David when he’s in this form is good for them.”
Solskjaer rails against clean sheet question
Man Utd have kept just one clean sheet in their last fifteen matches across all competitions. When that statistic was put to the Norwegian, Solskjaer insisted he is looking at how many goals they’re scoring, rather than shipping.
“It just shows the angle you’re looking at and thinking,” replied Solskjaer. “I’d rather score four or five or two and concede one than win 1-0.
“We’re still working on the cohesion with Raphael [Varane] coming in. Work in progress, we want to have clean sheets to build performances from as well. w
“We know we’re going to score goals. Hopefully I can answer at the weekend with a clean sheet but it is being moved on, of course.”