Liverpool’s rivalry with Manchester United has been given a fresh spark in the past few days with Jurgen Klopp and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer engaging in a war of words.
In the aftermath of Liverpool ‘s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Southampton, Klopp was furious with some of the officiating in the game and referenced the high amount of penalties United have been awarded in recent seasons.
Responding to those comments, Solskjaer rolled back the years to Rafael Benitez’s infamous ‘facts’ speech during his spell at Anfield.
That has raised the stakes ahead of next week’s crucial Premier League clash between the two title rivals, with Liverpool currently above United on goal difference at the top of the standings.
Last night, United were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by local rivals Manchester City, who emerged as 2-0 victors, with Solskjaer suffering his fourth semi-final defeat in charge of the Old Trafford club.
Goals from John Stones and Fernandinho put the tie to bed, with City advancing to April’s final to face off against Tottenham and Jose Mourinho.
In the match, there was one particular moment that got Liverpool fans on social media talking after a dive from Anthony Martial went unpunished.
It was clear that the France international was looking to earn another spot-kick for United and, while he did not get that, he also avoided a booking for simulation.
Plenty believed this was evidence of United trying to raise their penalty count higher and took to social channels to air their thoughts.
Klopp and Mourinho have both been vocal about the number of spot-kicks awarded to United in recent months – and have sent message on the subject.
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After defeat to Southampton, Klopp said: “Manchester United had more penalties in two years than me in five and a half years – but (we have) no excuses for tonight. Is that my fault? I am not sure how that can happen.”
While Mourinho remarked at the end of last season: “Bruno [Fernandes] came in, was fit, played very well, improved the United team and also proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world, because he had about 20 to score.”