Liverpool striker Sadio Mane has responded to comments by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola by saying by denying that he dives, then saying he would if he could earn a penalty.
Guardiola accused Mane of diving following Liverpool’s last-gasp victory at Aston Villa, as he gave a back-handed compliment to the Senegalese forward during an interview with the BBC.
“It has happened many times, what Liverpool have done, in the last few years, it’s because he is a special talent,” said the City supremo.
“Sometimes he’s diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute. He’s a talent.”
City head to Anfield to take on Liverpool on Sunday looking to close the six-point gap between the two sides in the Premier League title race.
And the Spanish boss ramped up the psychological warfare by planting seeds of doubt about Mane’s honesty on the pitch.
But Mane, who finished as the joint-top goalscorer in the Premier League last season, said he wouldn’t let Guardiola’s comments affect his play, and that if going to ground earned his team a penalty, he wouldn’t hesitate to do so.
“I think it’s a bit clever from him to get the attention of the referee, but I will just play my football like I’m always doing,” responded Mane.
“I don’t pay attention to what he’s saying because it’s part of football,” he added.
“If the ‘dive’ will give me a penalty then I will do it. Why not? But what coach Jurgen (Klopp) said is correct. I do not dive.”