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Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has responded to Jurgen Klopp’s comments about the number of penalties awarded to Manchester United.
Klopp made headlines recently after Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Southampton. His team had a penalty appeal when winger Sadio Mane fell to a challenge from Kyle Walker-Peters.
After the game, the German was furious, stating that “Man Utd had more penalties in two years than I did in five and a half years.”
Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has responded to this claim, believing the comments to be mind games ahead of Sunday’s big game between Liverpool and Man Utd at Anfield.
Writing for him Daily mailClattenburg said: “It was mind games, an attempt to sway referee Paul Tierney and get into his head before a great game between Liverpool and United this Sunday.”
The referee, who now works in China, went on to analyze the 11 penalties awarded to the Red Devils this season, stating that as many as five were cases in which their players easily fell into the box. He went on to say that he would not have awarded the penalties Manchester United received against Aston Villa, Newcastle United or RB Leipzig.
However, Clattenburg mentioned that Liverpool players are equally guilty of trying to win soft penalties.
“It sounds like a hypocrite if you are suggesting that United players are looking to win penalties. People like Mo Salah and Mane are equally capable of employing similar tactics.”
According to Clattenburg, Klopp’s comments are a sign that the former Borussia Dortmund manager is concerned about his team’s title defense, comparing him to Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
He’s clearly getting nervous though, because since Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson) we haven’t seen such a blatant attempt to sway a referee before a big game. Klopp was not doing this last season when Liverpool won every week. “
Clattenburg ended his article with a rather strange confession, mentioning that there was an “aura” about Man Utd that gave them favorable arbitration decisions when Ferguson was in charge.
“He (Klopp) doesn’t like to lose, he has never liked it. Gets irritable But he is wrong to suggest that there is an aura around United that sees them making favorable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has decreased tremendously since she left.