Bruno Fernandes hits back at Jürgen Klopp over Manchester United penalties

Bruno Fernandes has told Jürgen Klopp to continue to complain if he wishes about the number of penalties Manchester United win because the midfielder could not care less about the Liverpool manager’s view.

United travel to Anfield on Sunday as Premier League leaders and hope to hand the champions a first home defeat in the competition since April 2017. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjær became manager two years ago United have been awarded 42 penalties and Liverpool 19, and this season’s tally is 6-5 in United’s favour. Klopp recently stated that under Solskjær United had won more spot-kicks than Liverpool had across his five years in charge, although in fact his tally is 46.

Klopp’s comments followed similar ones from Tottenham’s José Mourinho and Chelsea’s Frank Lampard. Fernandes, as United’s penalty taker, has scored 14 out of 15.

“People can talk and say what they want,” he said. “But, for me and the team, the main point is continuing to do the right things and when we get a penalty, scoring. I don’t hear, I don’t care, honestly. You always see what people say but I really don’t care. I’m not focused on what they are saying.

“I played in Portugal and when you play for Sporting, Benfica and Porto are always talking about that kind of stuff – sometimes to put pressure on the referee, sometimes just to make some noise in the press. But, for me, the main point is when we have a penalty, if I go to take the ball to the penalty spot, I have to do my job.

“One thing I saw in the news the other day was that Raheem Sterling has missed his last three penalties [for Manchester City]. So, yes, it shows it’s not as easy to take a penalty as people say. You have to work on that, you have to be focused, you have to do your job. It’s clear like that. It doesn’t mean Raheem Sterling is not a good penalty taker because he missed three in a row. It can happen.

“It could maybe happen to me but the important thing is to score and not to listen to what people say because penalties are part of the game, for everyone.”

Solskjær has made the unusual statement for a United manager that it would be an “upset” if the record 20-times champions win at Anfield. He was, though, being cute given that he also said his team believed they could win anywhere.

“[For us] Against the champions, they’ve got an amazing record at Anfield in the league, they haven’t lost for many, many years, so it’s a great test for us: can we go there and cause an upset? Every team goes into every game thinking they’re going to win it and we know we can beat anyone anywhere on any given day.

“It’s a test and reality check of where we’re at. Won many, many tight games, scored goals in injury time, but not really set the world alight too many times and to win at Anfield you need to be at your best.”