Juergen Klopp hits back at Pep Guardiola’s ‘diving’ claims
Liverpool boss defends Mane, insisting that he's not a diver
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has taken a swipe at Pep Guardiola, after the Manchester City manager claimed that Reds forward Sadio Mane is a diver, ahead of their meeting in the English Premier League on Monday morning (Singapore time).
Mane was booked after failing to win a penalty and then provided an assist before scoring the winner in a last-gasp 2-1 victory at Aston Villa last Saturday.
When Guardiola was asked after their 2-1 win over Southampton if he was aware of the Reds' comeback victory, he told the BBC: "It has happened many times, what Liverpool have done, in the last few years. It's because (Mane) is a special talent.
"Sometimes he's diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute."
When asked about Guardiola's comments at last night's press conference for their Champions League match against Genk, Klopp replied: "I'm not in a Man City mood. I don't know how he could have known about any incident in our game so quickly after the game.
"Sadio is not a diver. There was a situation at the Aston Villa game where he got contact and went down... maybe it was not a penalty, but it was not like he was jumping over a leg and (acted) like he was hit.
"There was contact and all the other penalties were penalties because he was in that situation and stayed there.
"I'm 100 per cent sure if something like this happened for Man City, they would want a penalty because somebody kicked a player in the box and that's a penalty."
Victory over the defending champions at Anfield on Monday will extend the league leaders' advantage to nine points, but Klopp maintains that their focus should always be on their next game.
He added: "I don't have to tell the boys. The story the boys wrote in the last three years was only possible because we were always focused on the next game. No one has to tell the boys it's City on Sunday.
"We have big ambitions in this competition, it's an open group. They can still make the Europa League, so they still have targets. We need to respect them.
"We have to be 100 per cent tomorrow night and make life as uncomfortable as possible for Genk. We have to get these three points. That only works if you are 100 per cent focused on it."
There are no fresh injury worries for Klopp, with Joel Matip, Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne the only absentees.
Genk have won only once in three outings after their 4-1 loss to Liverpool in the reverse fixture two weeks ago.