Marcus Rashford has credited former manager Jose Mourinho for teaching Manchester United to be ‘savvy’ when it comes to winning penalties.
United’s penalty record has been in the headlines in recent weeks, with Jurgen Klopp having commented on the number of spot-kicks awarded to their rivals after Liverpool saw two appeals turned down during their 1-0 defeat at Southampton earlier this month.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side set a new record for most penalties awarded in a campaign during 2019/20 (14), whilst the Red Devils have already been awarded 11 penalties in all competitions so far this season.
Klopp’s comments were dismissed by Solskjaer, however, who suggested the Liverpool boss may have been attempting to ‘influence’ referees, the two sides meeting in a huge top-of-the-table clash at Anfield this weekend.
Rashford has now given his verdict on his side’s leading numbers of penalties and has credited former Man Utd boss Mourinho for advice he gave his forward players regarding movement around the penalty area.
Mark Clattenburg: “Klopp sounds like a hypocrite if he is suggesting United's players are looking to win penalties. The likes of Mo Salah and Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics.” #MUFC pic.twitter.com/gnETIrEPd6
— United Update (@UnitedsUpdate) January 14, 2021
“There have been times when we have probably not got penalties,” he said after receiving the FWA tribute award.
“I remember when Jose was manager, there were five or six times where I should have had a penalty and he ended up saying to me, ‘If you are not savvy about the way you do it, then you are not going to get it’.
“After that, we started to get a few penalties. It was something you have to learn and understand.
“When you are making runs in behind or dribbling with the ball and you see a challenge coming, you don’t want to get tackled because you are looking at an opportunity to score a goal.
“It is just a case of us wanting to score goals and the teams wanting to defend goals — penalties can happen.”