Danny Murphy believes Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola could live to regret ‘winding up’ Liverpool star Sadio Mane before facing the Liverpool star this weekend.
The Senegal international was booked for simulation against Aston Villa on Saturday before scoring a stoppage-time header to seal a 2-1 win.
Following his own side’s victory over Southampton, Guardiola reacted by saying: “Sometimes Mane’s diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute”.
The Spaniard’s comments have not gone down well with Jurgen Klopp, who questioned why Guardiola was speaking about one of his players and insisted Mane ‘is not a diver’.
And Murphy believes the City manager’s remarks may come back to haunt him when the Reds host their rivals at Anfield next Sunday, hailing Mane as ‘the best player in the Premier League’.
Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, the former Liverpool midfielder said: “I don’t think Pep went into [the press conference] with that in his head, I think he was just triggered by a question about the result at Villa Park and it’s just come out.
“In hindsight he might look back on that and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t said that’.
“If I was him, the last thing I’d want to do is wind up the best player in the Premier League at the moment and before you play him next week.
“Mane is playing incredibly well and if it does spur him on a little bit more, than why take the risk?
“I think we should emphasis that Mane’s form from the start of the season until now is the reason why Liverpool are six points clear.
“In certain games he’s carried them through. He’s been phenomenal.
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“And his fitness and his durability, by the way, considering he played the whole summer and he rarely misses a game. He deserves great credit.
“Of course he goes down a bit too easily and too regularly, but he’s not the only one.”
Watch a clip of Danny Murphy on talkSPORT in full above
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