Mark Clattenburg accuses Jurgen Klopp of hypocrisy over penalty claims
"He sounds like a hypocrite"
Mark Clattenburg has accused Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp of hypocrisy over claims that Manchester United have had more penalties in two years than his Liverpool team have got in five years.
The former Premier League referee described Klopp's rhetoric as being "straight out of Sir Alex Ferguson's playbook."
He said Klopp's comments were "mind games - attempt to influence referee Paul Tierney and get inside his head before a huge match between Liverpool and United this Sunday."
"Klopp was correct when he said United have won more penalties in two years than Liverpool have in his five and a half at Anfield. He was smart, because his comments could not get him into trouble with the authorities." Clattenburg wrote in his Daily Mail column.
"There is no conspiracy on the part of referees and officials. Was Klopp insinuating there is? Or was he suggesting United have players who are encouraged to dive?
"If he was highlighting the ease with which some United players go down in the penalty area then, yes, I believe he was making a valid point. Even if it does ignore similar suspicions about some of his stars."
Clattenburg acknowledged that at least five penalties of the last 11 penalties United have been awarded have come from the attacking player inviting contact, but emphasised that Klopp shouldn't pretend his players don't do the same thing.
"That is exactly what Sadio Mané did when going down too easily under Kyle Walker-Peters' challenge during last Monday's 1-0 defeat at Southampton," he wrote.
"The ball was running out of play and, in a different position with the chance to score, I believe Mane would have ridden the challenge."
"He sounds like a hypocrite if he is suggesting United's players are looking to win penalties. The likes of Mo Salah and Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics."
With Manchester United top of the league going into their clash with arch rivals Liverpool, Klopp is getting "edgy", Clattenburg says.
"Not since Fergie have we seen such a blatant attempt to influence a referee ahead of a big game. Klopp wasn't doing this last season when Liverpool were winning every week," he wrote.
Clattenburg then made a revelation that will confirm the hunches of many a football fan, admitting that while Klopp is "wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left."
"I am the only referee to give three penalties to the opposition at Old Trafford, and that was for Liverpool, of all teams, in 2014.
"But David Moyes was manager — I'm not sure that would have happened when Fergie was there!" he added.