Jurgen Klopp defends Sadio Mane after Pep Guardiola's 'diving' claim
LONDON: Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has fired the head of Manchester City Pep Guardiola The accusation that Sadio Mane is a diver before next weekend's clash between Premier league title rivals.
Mane was hired after failing to win a penalty and then provided assistance before scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.
Guardiola, whose team also scored late to beat Southampton, said about Senegal's international: Sometimes he dives, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals at the last minute.
Klopp, preparing the European champions for his Champions League clash against Genk on Tuesday, rejected him and said Monday: I am not 100 percent sure if he talked about Sadio or us in general.
I didn't hear Sadio's name or know how we could have known so quickly about any incident in the game.
I can say that Sadio is not a diver. There was a situation in the Aston Villa game where he had contact and fell. Maybe it wasn't a penalty, but there was contact, it's not like he jumped over one leg and fell.
Klopp also refused to agree to talk about the clash of the table with City next Sunday, currently six points from his side in second place, with the tie at home with Genk to negotiate.
Liverpool is second in Group E with six points after three games, one behind Napoli.
I'm not in the mood today to talk about Man City, Klopp said.
When asked if he was banning the words Manchester City until after Tuesday's game, Klopp said: You can say the words Man City, you just can't think about that.
I don't have to tell you that City is Sunday, tomorrow is Genk.
I don't doubt my players at all. I would feel a little embarrassed if I had to say 'Don't think about Man City'.
Liverpool has earned a reputation for scoring late goals.
Saturday's victory at Villa Park led midfielder James Milner to post a jocular health warning, stating: If you suffer from anxiety or heart problems, it is not advisable to support LFC.
Klopp apologised for the emotional rollercoaster but stressed things usually worked out fine for the Premier league leaders.
All my family and friends tell me the same thing, they try to enjoy our games, but in their opinion it is more nervous and exciting, he said.
To be honest, (Villa) was not such an intense heart attack. We have to accept that if you're really good, you should win the game.
But I can imagine that it's really hard to follow and I'm sorry, he added. But at least in the end most of the time there is some relief.