Ole Gunnar Solskjær has claimed that Jürgen Klopp’s intervention regarding how many penalties Manchester United receive made a “big difference” to the number his team are awarded.
Liverpool’s manager said in early January that United in “two years” had won more penalties than his side had during his five and a half seasons in charge.
Solskjær, whose team host Aston Villa on Saturday, did not mention Klopp by name on Friday but said: “We just have to hope we get what we deserve. We should have had three pens in the last two games [versus West Ham, on Sunday and Wednesday]. There was a certain manager last year who was starting to worry about us getting penalties and after that it seems like the decisions are more difficult to give [to us].
“Surely I’ve seen a big, big difference since then on. But we just have to leave it up to the refs and hope that they will make the right calls very soon.”
After Klopp’s complaint United were awarded five penalties in 22 Premierliga games across the rest of last season, having won six in the previous 16 matches.
Managers are not supposed to comment on referees in the lead-up to a game but whether Solskjær’s stance will be viewed by the Football Association as an attempt to influence Saturday’s official, Mike Dean, is unclear.