Liverpool forward Sadio Mane replied Pep Guardiola’s criticism of him following the Manchester City boss comment on his game and he promised to keep on diving.
Liverpool will entertain Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday and the clash is many dominated by Guardiola’s comment after he admitted that Mane sometimes dives.
The Reds manager Jurgen Klopp was dejected with Guardiola’s comment before the Champions League match against Genk and after the game, Mane spoke after the 2-1 victory over the Belgian side on Tuesday.
Mane earned a penalty for Liverpool against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur and he was penalized against Aston Villa for try to play on the referee’s intelligence.
When asked about Guardiola — who has subsequently offered an apology of sorts — Mane gave a wry smile.
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It was, he felt, a ploy from City's manager to put him in the mind of this weekend's match official, Michael Oliver, but the 27-year-old says the scrutiny will not make any difference to how he performs.
It's a bit clever from him to get the attention of the referee,' said Mane, whose form in 2019 has been outstanding.
'I will just play my football like I'm always doing. I don't pay attention to what he's saying.
'Does it give me extra motivation? No. Even though I saw him commenting about it, what he said, for me, I think it's positive.
'I will be ready to give everything possible and to help my team. If it could be a penalty, for sure I will dive again.
'If the dive will give me a penalty, then I will do it to get it back! Why not? But what Jurgen said is correct. I do not dive. At Aston Villa, there was contact. Maybe it was not a penalty and the referee (Jon Moss) didn't give it. He gave me a yellow card.' I don't have any problem with it. We have seen many people, some diving and get penalties, some (deserved) a penalty and the referee didn't give it.
'That's football. You have to deal with it. It's what I want to keep doing.
'If I get a penalty, yeah, it's a penalty. If no penalty, no penalty — but I won't change the way I play.'
Mane will have a key role to play and added: 'It will be really important. It's a big game and everybody's excited.'