'Go to Opta' - Mourinho wades into Rashford debate amid claims he gave penalty advice

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Jose Mourinho Marcus Rashford Manchester United 2017-18
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After the Manchester United forward suggested his former manager gave him advice on how to win more penalties, the Spurs boss has responded

Jose Mourinho has suggested he is not responsible for the high number of penalties being awarded to Manchester United.

United forward Marcus Rashford revealed the club's increase in favourable penalty decisions seemed to coincide with advice handed down by Mourinho during his spell as manager at Old Trafford.

Amid the debate over United penalties that was recently reignited by comments from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, Rashford told the Football Writers' Association : "There's been times when we have not got penalties. 

"I remember when Jose was manager, there were five or six times I can remember where I should've had a penalty. Jose ended up saying to me if you're not savvy about the way you do it then you're not going to get it.

"After that we started to get a few – in terms of development, you have to learn it and understand it."

Mourinho was asked about Rashford's comments when he faced the media on Friday ahead of Tottenham's away Premier League game against Sheffield United on Sunday.

The Spurs boss claimed he did not want to make headlines ahead of the huge clash between Liverpool and United on the same day his team are at Bramall Lane, but he suggested Opta statistics would come out in his favour on the topic.

"Look, first of all, Liverpool versus Manchester United is a big match that doesn't need me to make it bigger, " Mourinho said.

"Or it doesn't need me to do any headlines before such a big match that I know means so much for both clubs and supporters' population, so I'll leave comments for later not for now.

"If you feel the need to write something about it, do it in a very simple way. Stats, go to Opta, stats, go to my history as a manager in my more or less 10 Premier League seasons. Compare numbers and take your conclusions."

Opta statistics show United won seven penalties in all competitions under Mourinho in 2016-17 and six in the following campaign (four and three respectively in the league).

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Mourinho's United were then awarded six in 24 games before he was fired in the 2018-19 season, the spot-kick rate rising to nine in 29 when Solskjaer took charge - initially on an interim basis.

United have continued to be awarded more penalties under Solskjaer since he became permanent boss. They had an astonishing 22 in the 2019-20 season, 14 of which came in the Premier League.

This season, United have already racked up six Premier League spot-kicks in 17 matches and 11 in all competitions.

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