Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has attempted to clarify his comments about Sadio Mane where he appeared to call the Liverpool forward a ‘diver’.
Following the Red’s dramatic late win over Aston Villa on Saturday, Guardiola made the provoking remark having seen Mane booked for simulation during the first-half, before going on to net a stoppage time winner to keep Liverpool six points clear at the top of the Premier League.
In recent matches, Mane has won crucial late penalties against Leicester and Tottenham.
“It has happened many times, what Liverpool have done, in the last few years, it’s because [Mane] is a special talent,” Guardiola said.
“Sometimes he’s diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute. He’s a talent.”
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An irritated Jurgen Klopp responded to Guardiola by defending the Senegal forward before having a jibe of his own by mentioning City’s tactical fouls.
Since then, Guardiola has backtracked and revealed he has nothing but admiration for Mane.
“It was far from my intention to say that Sadio Mane is that type of player because I admire him a lot,” Guardiola said ahead of his side facing Atalanta in the Champions League in Milan.
“For Jurgen it was a penalty, for the referee it was a penalty and VAR it was a penalty. Maybe I was wrong, or not, to think it was [maybe not] a penalty.
“Jurgen knows Sadio better than me and I have an incredible respect [for that]. When [Klopp] says he is not like this then it is not like this.
“It was a praise to Liverpool to say it was not just because of one action. [Their late goals] happened many times at Anfield and away because they push and push. That is why it is nice to face them and to try to compete with them.”
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