Pep Guardiola Accuses Sadio Mane Of Being A Diver
By Tom Sanders
Pep Guardiola has taken a swipe at Sadio Mane's 'diving' ahead of next Sunday's title clash against Liverpool.
Both Man City and Liverpool came from behind to scrape 2-1 wins in a pair of tense, nervy games on Saturday afternoon against Southampton and Aston Villa.
Mane scored Liverpool's winner at Villa Park in the fourth minute of stoppage time, but had been booked for diving earlier in the game- a fact that didn't escape the watchful eye of Guardiola.
Speaking after the game, Pep hit out at the Senegal international with a back-handed compliment, calling him a 'special talent' who did what it took to win.
Speaking about Mane's knack of scoring late goals, Guardiola said: "It's happened a lot for Liverpool in the last years, it's because (Mane) is a special talent.
"Sometimes he's diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute. He's a talent."
Although the remarks appeared to be delivered at least partly in jest, Guardiola's comments are sure to whip up a storm in Mersyside, where there has been no shortage of bad blood between the two sides in recent years.
"If it's one time, two times, 'we were lucky, we were lucky', but it happened in the last two seasons many, many times - they have a special character to do that," Guardiola said of Liverpool's late goals.
"We look at ourselves, we know which team we face, I think they have won 10 and drawn one. Next week we go to Anfield to try to play them."
City travel to Anfield next Sunday desperate to take three points from their rivals and close the six-point gap. They have't won in the league at Liverpool's ground sine 2003 and will be desperate to break the curse.