United just de­fend when they play us, says man­ager

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Football - By Ian Whit­tell at Old Traf­ford

Jurgen Klopp in­sisted that Manch­ester United adopt a de­fen­sive at­ti­tude to play­ing Liver­pool in an ar­gu­ment that left ri­val man­ager Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer unim­pressed.

The Liver­pool man­ager saw his un­beaten lead­ers held to a 1-1 draw be­fore declar­ing: “Why should it frus­trate me? I am not the per­son to be frus­trated, it is just a fact when we come here, last year, this year, the year be­fore, they just de­fend.

“No ex­cuses, we ex­pected to do bet­ter but you can­not play against each team like this, like they did. We don’t have to say it is a com­pli­ment, it is just we are a good team and it is nor­mal peo­ple think how can they stop us.

“In the first half, we stopped our­selves but United de­fended re­ally well and they had the speed. So no crit­i­cism of United.”

Sol­sk­jaer had lit­tle sym­pa­thy. “We set the team up to at­tack and be ag­gres­sive and cre­ate chances and we did that,” he said.

One thing that clearly did frus­trate the Liver­pool man­ager was the way in which ref­eree Martin Atkin­son al­lowed play to con­tinue in the build-up to Mar­cus Rash­ford’s open­ing goal, de­spite Vic­tor Lin­de­lof ap­pear­ing to have made con­tact with Divock Origi in win­ning the ball. Klopp claimed that the of­fi­cial only let the play con­tinue because he be­lieved VAR would cor­rect any mis­take he made – some­thing the sys­tem is not de­signed to al­low un­less the er­ror is clear and ob­vi­ous.

“I calmed every­body down on the bench because I saw im­me­di­ately Mr Atkin­son, he im­me­di­ately showed VAR,” said Klopp. “He was check­ing and I was 100 per cent sure that VAR would over­rule it, but ob­vi­ously you have a prob­lem.

“So the ref let the game run because he has VAR but the VAR says it was not clear, so he could say it was not a foul. It is a clear VAR is­sue with how we deal with it in the mo­ment. I am not an­gry, I saw it as a clear foul. I’m sure Mr Atkin­son, if there was not VAR in­volved, would have given it but [he didn’t] because VAR was in­volved.”

United were good value for the point, even if Sol­sk­jaer is now pre­sid­ing over his team’s worst start to a league sea­son since 1986-87.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed we can’t sit here and talk about a win but, of course, the per­for­mance is very pos­i­tive,” said Sol­sk­jaer.

Frus­tra­tion: Jurgen Klopp says United go on the de­fen­sive against Liver­pool

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