Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has disputed five penalties Manchester United have been awarded this season after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp complained about the amount of spot-kicks they’ve received.
Klopp didn’t hold back when discussing the amount of penalties United have received this season.
Since the Premier League resumed last summer, United have won more spot-kicks than any other team in the division with 18.
Liverpool, however, have only been awarded six, leading to Klopp’s criticism.
But writing in his column for the Daily Mail, Clattenburg explained why he believes United have been given the benefit of the doubt more often than not.
He identified five penalties United have been given and disputed them, claiming players have been able to invite contact from defenders.
He used penalties against Aston Villa, Newcastle and RB Leipzig this season as examples of times United have been clever and manipulated defenders into launching into tackles.
“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,” Clattenburg said. “Even if it does ignore similar suspicions about some of his stars.
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“I have watched United closely this season and analysed each of their 11 penalty awards.
“There are as many as five where I believe contact was invited or even initiated by the United player.
“Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood are the players involved. They are, in many ways, being clever.
“Once there is contact and the penalty is awarded, VAR will rarely overturn the decision.
“Notice, too, that more players are going down in what referees call the 'dead zone' in the penalty area, a position from which they have little chance of scoring.
“Rashford did it against Newcastle when he was heading out of the area and took the chance to go to ground under a loose leg from Jamal Lewis.”
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