Liverpool v Man United
Jurgen Klopp has added an extra spice to the Liverpool v Man United clash if it even needed one. How will his comments impact the game? Photo: VI-Images/Getty Images

There’s never a need to add extra buildup to a Liverpool v Man United clash. It’s one of the biggest games in the footballing world, probably just behind the El Classico clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Therefore Jurgen Klopp’s recent comments about United getting penalties seem unnecessary, but the German knows what he’s doing. And he got Bruno Fernandes to bite.

Klopp is taking a page from the great Sir Alex Ferguson’s book by stating United have had more penalties in two years than his Liverpool side over five years. He’s not wrong either. Since the beginning of the 2018/19 season Manchester United have won 34 penalties while their opponents on Sunday have had only 17 during the same timeframe. This season it’s been more equal though as United has six to Liverpool’s five.

But why mention it?

Klopp is a smart manager. You don’t win what he has without being one of the absolute best in the game. He’s also aware that referees are humans who are not cut off from the media, therefore will more than likely read his comments. Klopp’s direct hope is that Paul Tierney, Sunday’s official, is doing just that and will remember during Sunday’s clash. Thus influencing any big decisions he may need to make.

Now I’m aware Klopp is saying he’s not copying the great Sir Alex Ferguson, but I’m here to tell you the Maury lie detector test has determined that was a lie. There’s nothing wrong with it either. The best managers use it to their advantage in the big games and let’s not kid ourselves this is a big game.

United go into the game three points ahead of their fierce rivals and given the current injury struggles at Anfield could realistically leave six clear. There’s still a lot of time left in the season but having that sort of gap breeds confidence. It also puts pressure on the chasing teams.

So in turn Klopp is talking facts, in the hopes it puts pressure on the man in charge to try stop the gap furthering. And let’s not kid ourselves they are facts. Double the amount of penalties over a two and a half-season span is quite a lot. Something tells me though that if Liverpool had been playing Leicester on Sunday, Klopp wouldn’t have mentioned their ten penalties so far this season, the most of any Premier League team.

It’s not Leicester though, with all due respect to Brendan Rodgers’s side. It’s Liverpool v Man United and the rivalry is unmatched. Therefore you gain an advantage by any means necessary. I applaud Klopp, but just do us all a favor Jurgen and own it. We all know what you are doing and it’s okay.

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