Liverpool’s penalty record has been a hot topic of debate in recent days.
Jurgen Klopp was the man who added fuel to the fire after the Reds were defeated 1-0 by Southampton on Monday evening.
The Premier League champions had two penalty shouts waved away by both the referee and VAR, leading to some rather interesting comments from Klopp after the final whistle.
“I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half-years,” Klopp said. “I’ve no idea if that’s my fault, or how that can happen.”
It was a response that was always going to stir the pot and predictably, Liverpool and United fans have been squabbling about the opposing club’s penalty record over the past two days or so.
You kind of have to admire this level of pettiness to be honest…
Mane & Salah winning soft penalties
There’s no denying that the falls from both players in the numerous clips featured in the video are ridiculously theatrical.
If we’re being honest, the majority of them are dives and it would be interesting to see whether the decisions would have been overturned had VAR been in place at the time.
However, after seeing the penalty awarded to United against Aston Villa for Douglas Luiz’s ‘foul’ on Paul Pogba, it’s probably safe to assume that the technology would have stuck with the on-field call.
The penalty won by the Frenchman was the Red Devils’ 41st in the Premier League since Klopp arrived at Anfield in 2015, with Liverpool being handed only 30 by referees in that time.
Why are United’s penalty numbers far higher? There’s no real definitive answer, but one thing we can say for certain is that both clubs have earned their fair share of soft penalties over the past five years.