Man Utd: Solskjaer delighted to kick off 2021 with win
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Jurgen Klopp following comments made by the Liverpool manager. Both teams are currently flying high at the top of the Premier League table. They’ve both amassed 33 points, with the Red Devils having a game in hand.
Speaking after Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday night, Klopp hit out at United for the amount of penalties they receive.
“We cannot change. I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years,” he said.
“I’ve no idea if that’s my fault or how that can happen.
“But it’s no excuse for the performance. We cannot change it, we have to respect the decisions.
“But we can change our performance. That’s our focus now.”
And Solskjaer, speaking ahead of United’s Carabao Cup showdown with Manchester City on Wednesday night, has now hit back.
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“And that’s a fact, probably! That’s probably going to be my answer,” he said.
“That’s a fact that we’ve got more than him, but maybe they should…I don’t know how many penalties they’ve had.
“I don’t count how many penalties they have, so if they want to spend time on worrying about when we get fouled in the box, I don’t spend time on that.
“I can’t talk on behalf of other managers, why they say things like this.
“Obviously I felt it worked last year in the semi-final in the FA Cup, because Frank spoke about it and we had a nailed-on penalty that we should have had that we didn’t get, so maybe it’s a way of influencing referees.
“I don’t know, but I don’t worry about that. When they foul our players it’s a penalty. It’s just when it’s inside the box.”
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Solskjaer is hoping United will be fresh for the match against City, adding: “Well, you have two teams who want to get to the final.
“We’ve had four days now after Villa so, hopefully, we’ve got more fresh legs.
“It’s a difficult season, but I think we’ll benefit from the rotation we’ve made.
“I thought it was going to be important anyway this season, having fresh legs. You could see that with City against Chelsea: the amount of fresh legs, intensity and sharpness, after the break, they had.
“It showed, and that was a quality game – physically, one of the more intense games there’s been in the league this season.
“I don’t think that’s a surprise there because they had a few extra days to prepare for that one.
“[These are] two teams that want to go through. I think the last game [December’s Manchester derby, which ended 0-0] showed two teams with respect for each other.
“They weren’t as much possession-based against Chelsea, they were more counter-attacking. They’ve got quick players on the break – of course, we have to be aware of that, as well as their possession game.”
Solskjaer also insists he can feel progress with his United side, adding: “I’ve seen progress and sometimes the results don’t show the whole picture of the game.
“Some of our counter-attacking goals in the wins that we’ve had have been brilliant.
“Away in the league, when we won, we could have scored four or five in a 10-15-minute period. The counter-attacks were just out of this world. But we’ve had less control of the ball and defended fantastically.”
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