Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has aimed a jibe at rival coach Pep Guardiola over Manchester City’s tactical fouling, as he hit back over the Spaniard’s criticism of Sadio Mane.
Speaking after his side’s win over Southampton on Saturday, Guardiola made a sly comment about Liverpool, who sealed a late win over Aston Villa ahead of next weekend’s showdown between the title rivals at Anfield.
Sadio Mane scored the Reds’ winning goal in stoppage-time, having been booked for simulation earlier in the game, and Guardiola said: “Sometimes Mane is diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute”.
His words did not go down well with Klopp, who said, “I’m not really in a Man City mood at the moment”, during his press conference on Monday ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League clash against Genk.
But the German couldn’t resist responding to the City boss with a subtle dig of his own.
After insisting he did not want to talk about Sunday’s game against City, Klopp said: “I am not too sure if I want to put oil on the fire. I am not interested in these kind of things.
“I promise not to mention tactical fouls [which City have been accused of doing from opposing managers throughout the season].
“That is maybe already too much, but that is the only thing I say about it!”
When questioned about Guardiola’s comments Klopp added: “I have no clue. Do I get asked as well as much about Man City? I don’t know.
“I don’t understand these types of things. My brain is not big enough to think about another team as well. I have enough to do to think about us and deal with all these things.
“Tomorrow we play Genk and that deserves all my attention and gets it. After that we can speak about Manchester City.”
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In defence of Mane and his apparent reputation for going to ground too easily, Klopp also responded to Guardiola: “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].
“But Sadio is not a diver.”
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