Klopp hits back at Pep
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hit back at Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola after he accused Sadio Mane of being a diver.
Mane, the Liverpool and Senegal forward, was booked at Aston Villa on Saturday for simulation, before scoring a header in stoppage-time to secure a 2-1 win for the Reds.
Guardiola, speaking after City’s comeback win against Southampton on Saturday, reacted by saying “sometimes Mane’s diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute”.
But his words did not go well with Klopp, who said: “I’m not really in a Man City mood at the moment.
“Sadio is not a diver. There was a situation in the Aston Villa game where he got a contact and went down. Maybe it wasn’t a penalty but there was contact – it’s not like jumping over a leg and acting like he hit you.”
It is not the first time Mane has been scrutinised for going down too easily this season.
The former Southampton forward won late penalties for Liverpool in narrow victories over Leicester and Tottenham last month.
But Klopp, speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League group game against Belgian side Genk, maintained that Mane is not a cheat.
“All the other penalties were penalties because he was in that situation and stayed there,” added Klopp.
“Do I like that he says this about one of my players? I’m not even 100 per cent sure if he spoke about Sadio [Mane] or us in general. I didn’t hear Sadio’s name.
“I don’t know how he could have known about any incident in the game so quickly after [their game against Southampton].
“I’m 100 sure if something like this would happen for Man City they would want to have a penalty because somebody kicked a player in the box and it’s a penalty.”
“I’m absolutely not in the mood to talk about Manchester City. I really want to talk about Genk or us, but not about the game on Sunday.”