Solskjaer complains about lack of penalties for Manchester United, hints Klopp is to blame for that
Solskjaer was incensed over referee Martin Atkinson’s refusal to award United a single spot-kick in their 2-1 win over West Ham United last weekend. This is despite Cristiano Ronaldo doing his utmost best to try and settle the hotly-contested philosophical debate over whether he or Bruno Fernandes would be the first choice to take the penalties for the team.
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Such sort of behaviour from the referees was unheard of – and possibly even deemed unacceptable – during Sir Alex Ferguson’s long reign at the club. Solskjaer, of course, was part of the team that enjoyed that golden period under Ferguson.
Indeed, just last season alone, United were awarded 11 penalties – only Leicester City had more, with 12.
But this season has been a different story for United, with no penalties awarded to Solskjaer’s team despite having played already five games so far.
And the Norwegian coach has hinted that the comments Klopp made last season in the aftermath of Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton has caused this travesty to happen.
Back then, Klopp, who was upset that the Reds did not get a penalty for a tackle on Sadio Mane in the box, had said: “United had more penalties in two years than me in five-and-a-half years... but no excuses for tonight.”
WATCH: Klopp compares Liverpool penalty record to Manchester United
Evidently unable to tolerate not having the favour of referees anymore, Solskjaer struck back with a thinly veiled jab at Klopp, although he did not explicitly name the Liverpool manager.
“We should have had three penalties in the last two games. 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,” Solskjaer said.
“I've seen a big, big difference since then on. But we have to just leave that up to the referees and hopefully they'll make the right calls soon.”
Looking ahead to United’s upcoming clash against Aston Villa tonight (SGT), Solskjaer referenced his side’s tendency to start games as slowly as Fred’s recovery speed, and joked that he would prefer to be “one goal down” in order jolt his team into action right from the get-go.
WATCH: Solskjaer hails Cristiano Ronaldo's impact on United
“I've sent a letter to the Premier League asking if we can start games 1-0 down, it'll make things so much easier for us,” Solskjaer mused.
“Joking apart, it's a big part of the game and we need to start better, we can't expect to come back and win games as we have done fantastically in the last 12, 14, 15 months but it's going to catch up with us.
“It's been looked at and talked about and hopefully we can see a response.”