“I listen to now that Manchester United experienced extra penalties in two years than I had in five and a half many years,” Klopp claimed immediately after Liverpool’s defeat to Southampton on Monday night time, which still left the champions only over United at the top of the Premier League desk on target distinction.
And Klopp is not the only major-flight manager to have drawn notice to the subject more than the past couple of times.
Whilst pointing out that Son Heung-Min is savoring a prolific purpose-scoring year without the advantage of getting location-kicks, Jose Mourinho could not help but have a dig at United’s penalty taker and best scorer Bruno Fernandes.
“Some players score 10 aims a year on penalties and I’m not talking about Harry Kane, by the way,” the Tottenham supervisor said.
It is in all probability no coincidence that Mourinho and Klopp chose to spotlight the concern on the exact weekend that United demanded a contentious Fernandes penalty to conquer Aston Villa and kick-begin a prospective title obstacle.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unwilling to revisit that selection or involve himself in any thoughts games on Tuesday early morning when Klopp and Mourinho’s remarks ended up put to him.
“I don’t depend how several penalties they have, so if they want to devote time on stressing about when we get fouled in the box, I never spend time on that,” he mentioned.
He did, even so, go as considerably as to suggest that other managers may well be on the lookout to put stress on referees by drawing attention to United’s penalty document and recalled opinions by Frank Lampard prior to last season’s FA Cup semi-finals.
“Obviously I felt it worked very last 12 months in the semi in the FA Cup for the reason that Frank spoke about it and we had a nailed-on penalty that we should have experienced that we didn’t get,” Solskjaer stated, “so probably it is a way of influencing referees. I really do not know, but I really do not fret about that.”
But no matter whether Solskjaer is inclined to have interaction or not, do Klopp, Mourinho and Lampard have a point?
Of course and no. Klopp’s certain assert was wrong – Liverpool have gained much more penalties through his five many years in cost than United have all through Solskjaer’s two, as you would assume – but the figures are shockingly shut.
Even though Liverpool have been awarded 46 penalties all through Klopp’s 289 games in cost, United have been awarded 42 in 115 online games under Solskjaer.
Which is a tiny additional than a single penalty in each 3 online games for United, a very incredible amount of penalty-winning. All around 15 per cent of United’s plans since Solskjaer succeeded Mourinho have occur from the spot.
In that regard, Klopp has a place. It is undeniable that Solskjaer’s United have gained and transformed a great deal of penalties relative to their rivals about the last two several years.
In reality, they gained the most of any Leading League workforce in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons – being awarded a report 14 past time period on your own, a few far more than anyone else and two times as quite a few as Chelsea, who experienced the fourth-most.
But this year, any edge United had in excess of the rest of the league could be levelling off.
The Premier League has seen a remarkable maximize in penalties this year. With a very little considerably less than fifty percent of the campaign absent, there have been 68 place-kicks awarded when compared to 92 through the full of final period.
United are unquestionably even now benefitting. Their total of 6 is the 2nd-highest amid all Premier League golf equipment, level with Brighton. But crucially, a large amount of other folks are not at all far driving.
Chelsea, Fulham and Liverpool have received five place-kicks. Newcastle and Villa have won 4, and five other teams have won three. Leicester are the only facet way out in entrance, acquiring been awarded 10 – including a few in a person sport versus Manchester Town.
United are at present on course to earn 14 penalties this year – the same record quantity they accomplished last time period – but it would seem not likely that they will finish with significantly much more than their rivals yet again and their history will most likely be damaged.
Solskjaer has often set United’s knack for penalty-profitable down to their abundance of fleet-footed forwards like Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.
He may be correct, and if so a spike in location-kicks could be just about the corner, but the notion that their budding title challenge is benefitting from a good deal of penalty conclusions is now a false impression – almost certainly centered on the memory of the numerous that they gained previous time and those people awarded in other competitions.
United are nevertheless profitable penalties at an impressive amount in standard but the great news for Klopp, Mourinho and other folks is that so is every person else.
The bad news? Penalties alone do not reveal why Solskjaer’s aspect instantly search like potential contenders. This title obstacle has extra to it than that.