Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims by Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes that he was “rubbing his hands together” watching the Red Devil’s laborious performance against Atalanta on Wednesday.
Manchester United square off against Liverpool on Sunday in a crunch Premier League encounter, and Scholes believes Klopp, whose side has been in irresistible form would have been delighted to see how Solksjaer’s men struggled against the Serie A side.
Manchester United eventually rallied to overturn a 2-goal deficit and win the game 3-2, but once again there were defensive cracks that underscored the Red Devils vulnerability despite seeing David De Gea return to his spectacular best.
Scholes, who lauded the Manchester United players for turning the game on its head however admitted that United may have suffered an embarrassing defeat if they were squaring off against the likes of Liverpool or Manchester City.
“If you do that against Manchester City or Liverpool, it would be 3-0 or 4-0 at half-time and you’d be out of the game and you’re not coming back,” Scholes told BT Sport.
“Yeah, it’s great watching, seeing the excitement, seeing the United way, all the smiles on their faces, all the goals, all the shooting, all the attacking, it’s brilliant, I know that. But that first half just stuck with me.”
“If it was that brilliant and that good, everyone’s smiling and everyone’s happy. Go and do that on Sunday against Liverpool and see what happens.”
“Imagine Jurgen Klopp at home watching that game in the first half. He’ll be rubbing his hands together.”
Ahead of the 4.30pm kick-off on Sunday, Klopp who was confronted with the Manchester United legend’s comments disagreed with the former England midfielder.
Klopp, in a sharp contrast to Scholes’s claim said he was very impressed with the way Manchester United fashioned out lots of chances during the game.
“I watched the game and there was not one second when I was rubbing my hands I can say that there was no need for it,” Klopp said during a press conference on Friday.
“If you watched the game you could see Atalanta caused United a fair few problems in the first half but even in that half United had three clear cut chances and a situation with the goalie.”
“The second half was a pure power presentation of United they went for it and with the quality they have they can cause any team problems, especially when you stop playing football which obviously Atalanta did a little bit.”
“So no, I was not rubbing my hands together I prepare the team for a tough game against an a really good opponent.”
“I don’t prepare them for three or four days, Battle of Britain all this kind of things. We are long enough together to know we prepare them for a football team and it’s a really good football team. It’s a home game for them and away game for us as well so that’s what we do.”
Liverpool visit Old Trafford as overwhelming favourites following an impressive run of form at home and abroad. In a stark contrast, Manchester United, yet to to face a traditional “top 6” side have faltered in recent weeks, with defeats to Aston Villa and Leicester City encapsulating a shoddy season by their conventionally high standards.