Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp bemoaned the lack of penalties his Liverpool side are given, after a 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday, especially in comparison to how many spot-kicks Manchester United are awarded.
Klopp was infuriated that Sadio Mane was twice denied a penalty against the Saints, when he clearly felt the Senegal forward was fouled.
Amid a lengthy comment on how his side should have been given a penalty, Klopp said: ‘I heard now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than me in five-and-a-half years. I have no idea if that’s my fault or… I don’t know how that can happen.’
The German boss is not quite right, but he is not far off, with United being awarded penalties on a far more regular basis than Liverpool.
Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as Manchester United manager in December 2018, United have been awarded 42 penalties, in all competitions.
Klopp took charge at Anfield more than three years earlier, in October 2015, and his side have been given 46 penalties in that time, just four more than United under Solskjaer.
For a more direct comparison, Liverpool have been awarded 20 penalties in all competitions since Solskjaer has taken charge at Old Trafford, less than half of the Red Devils’ 42.
Leicester have been given 10 pens in the Premier League this campaign, with United on six and Liverpool five.
Klopp told Sky Sports after the loss to Southampton: ‘The best situations were pretty much when Sadio had the ball and then… if anyone will ever say about Sadio Mane again that he is a diver then it is the biggest joke in the world.
‘This boy tries to stay on his feet obviously with all his effort but I think there were two situations where other teams would get a penalty for it, let me say it like this. And then the handball, I don’t know who would explain that to me.
‘So that doesn’t make our performance any better, and should not take anything away from Southampton, but in these situations we were… unfortunate, at least.’
He continued in the press conference: ‘I turned around in the situation [with Mane], we had a really good view of it and it looked like a clear penalty.
‘I turned around to the fourth official and asked if it would be checked, he said: “We’ve checked it already, no penalty”. That’s 100% the truth, and now somebody wants to tell me how quick they had it in all these different angles, but that’s 100%: “We checked it already, no pen”.
‘There were moments in the last year, I think a penalty against Leicester, and people were like, “Sadio Mane is going down easy”. If this boy went down easy we would have this type of penalty, and last game a stonewall penalty.
‘But what [referee] Andre Marriner did with Sadio Mane tonight, I’m not sure that’s okay to be honest. The boy tried absolutely everything [to stay up], there were a few great challenges with Walker-Peters, but a lot of situations that should have been free-kicks as well. ‘The last situation where he goes down, you see that back, in the box he hits him with his left foot and that’s another penalty. We cannot change that.
‘I heard now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than me in five-and-a-half years. I have no idea if that’s my fault or… I don’t know how that can happen.’