Defending champions Liverpool are waiting to host Man Utd this weekend in a fixture that could give a pretty solid reflection of the current outline of both sides.
If the Red Devils manage to win at Anfield, the outcome will not only end the Reds lengthy unbeaten run at home, but will also attest to United’s credibility as a serious title challengers.
Despite the Premier League record champions consistent results in the league since the start of last year, many still believe the only reason Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are sitting at the top is because they have been fortunate with refereeing decisions.
In his post-match interview following Liverpool’s defeat at Southampton, disappointed Jurgen Klopp stated “Man Utd had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years”.
Unless the German just wanted to mention a random stat after dropping points in a third straight league game, he did imply that their fierce rivals have been getting much more favourable decisions from the match officials.
However, if an interesting view of the league table from Twitter user @utdthms is taken into account, it seems that irrespective of the amount of penalties Man Utd have been awarded this season, their league standing more or less remains unaffected.
Current premier league table without penalties: ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/YTMvxwBkcc
— Masinho (@utdthms) January 13, 2021
The league leaders, who have currently accumulated 36 points in their first 17 games, will only lose three points if the penalties are taken out of the picture. Victories against West Brom and Aston Villa, and a loss at home to Arsenal were the only fixtures tangibly influenced by a spot-kick.
Interestingly, it is Liverpool’s league position that has seen a tremendous influence via penalties, as without these goal-scoring opportunities, Klopp’s men, who are currently just behind Man Utd, would find themselves dropping down closer to the mid-table.