Mark Clattenburg has hit out at Jurgen Klopp – again – over his Manchester United penalty jibe as the pair continue their verbal to and fro.
The former Premier League referee accused the Liverpool boss of attempting to influence officials following his recent comments about the number of penalties that rivals Man Utd are awarded.
Klopp was quick to respond to Clattenburg’s accusations, dismissing the suggestion that he was playing Sir Alex Ferguson-esque mind games in an attempt to sway decisions in his side’s favour.
However, Clattenburg has responded to Klopp’s response, insisting the German knows exactly what he’s doing – and again comparing him to Ferguson.
“Jurgen Klopp says he ‘does not have the skills for mind games’,” Clattenburg wrote in his MailOnline Sport column. “So that will be the same Klopp who stands and stares at the opposition warming up before the game?! He knows what he’s doing, he’s incredibly smart, it’s why he’s one of the best managers we’ve had in the Premier League.
“Klopp once tried to stare me out before a match. That’s fine, he has a presence and an aura that he uses for the benefit of his team. “I also think he is getting prickly because of Liverpool’s recent form. I’ve seen it before with him, he’s not a good loser. Ferguson wasn’t, either. They are more alike than he perhaps realises.”
The war of words between the pair was sparked by Klopp’s comments after Liverpool‘s defeat to Southampton, the Reds boss stating: “I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years.”
This prompted Clattenburg to pen a lengthy Mail column on the topic, writing: “He sounds like a hypocrite if he is suggesting United’s players are looking to win penalties. The likes of Mo Salah and (Sadio) Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics.”
It is unclear whether Klopp and Clattenburg have actually spoken directly to one another, or if they are just communicating through press conferences and tabloid newspaper columns.