Manchester United are being unfairly treated in the Premier League in terms of penalty awards, new statistics suggest.
United were not awarded a penalty yesterday after the VAR alerted referee Stuart Attwell’s attention to a Calum Hudson-Odoi handball, which the referee waved away after watching the video.
Luke Shaw then claimed in a post match interview that he had overheard Attewell say awarding the spot kick would ‘cause a lot of talk’, which most people took to mean that Manchester United penalties are the subject of controversy.
Although United moved to claw back Shaw’s words, sending out a statement that he had been mistaken, the whole incident has been linked to comments made by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in January.
Klopp claimed ‘Man Utd had more penalties in two years than me in five-and-a-half years’. But this was not in fact remotely true.
However, there is a perception that the German’s statement has sown a seed of hesitation in referees’ minds when making penalty decisions in relation to United, which Shaw appeared to confirm yesterday.
It would appear that Shaw, who will not be charged by the FA for his comments, has a point, as The Daily Express has uncovered statistics (produced by Stretford Paddock) that seem to confirm that it is indeed the case.
‘Before, United had amassed 11 penalties in 25 games – averaging one every 204 minutes,’ The Express notes.
‘But they’ve only been given two penalties in 16 games since, meaning they now average one every 720 minutes instead.
In his own post-match comments, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer complained that there were also inflammatory remarks on Chelsea’s official website that suggested more penalties should be awarded against Harry Maguire, another move designed to influence referees in regard to penalties for and against United.
‘You can read what they’re saying about Harry Maguire, putting pressure on referees to give penalties against us,’ Solskjaer said.
And in regards to Shaw’s comments, the boss added ‘we’ve seen a manager, was it Frank [Lampard] that started it? There’s loads of talk about us getting penalties when there is no doubt whatsoever.
‘And now, today, we should have had a penalty. That’s as clear as it is.’