Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fuming after Man Utd draw
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to hide his frustration following his side’s 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
On an afternoon of few chances, the Norwegian felt his team were denied the best of them, when first-half penalty shouts fell on deaf ears.
The visitors felt they should have been awarded a spot-kick just minutes into the game, when Callum Hudson-Odoi appeared to handle the ball in the box.
Referee Stuart Attwell waved away initial protests before confirming his decision after checking the incident on a pitchside monitor.
Luke Shaw grabbed post-match headlines after suggesting he overheard the match official outlining his reasons for not awarding the penalty.
He said: “I don’t know why they stopped it, if it’s not going be a pen.
“The ref told H [Harry Maguire]: ‘If I say it’s a pen there’s going to cause a lot of talk about it after.’”
Solskjaer then suggested ‘outside influences’ are impacting the decisions United are getting, citing former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard and even the Blues’ official website.
“I don’t want to cause controversy but that’s not right, is it? It’s all these outside influences, VAR talk from [Chelsea] about Harry – that’s cheeky putting it on their website, that’s influencing referees,” he said.
“You can read what they’re saying about Harry Maguire, putting pressure on referees to give penalties against us. We’ve seen a manager, was it Frank 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.”
Following the first meeting last year, ex-Chelsea boss Lampard made reference to the amount of penalties the Red Devils had been awarded.
“Without a doubt, I’m interested to see what everyone else says,” he said, following October’s draw. “I spoke to the lads about how many penalties they get here, over the last two seasons they’re miles ahead in Europe.”
And that wasn’t the only time a Premier League boss took aim at the officiating in Manchester United games, with Jurgen Klopp making reference to it during a January interview.
He said: “I heard that Man United had more penalties in 2 years since Ole has been there than I had in my five-and-a-half years. I have no idea if it’s my fault. I don’t know how that can happen.”
Solskjaer’s frustration is rooted in a semblance of fact as well. Before Klopp’s dig, United were awarded a penalty every 204 minutes, with that dropping to one every 720 minutes in the matches since.
While his comments have drawn ire from all corners, it does show he has taken a leaf out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s book who openly admitted he tried to put pressure on refs, during his legendary spell at the club.