Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has said he will not change his style of play despite Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s “diving” accusation.
Guardiola made the claim last weekend after Referee booked Mane for going down in the penalty area following a challenge by Aston Villa’s Frederic Guilbert.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp jumped to his defence and Guardiola subsequently rowed back on the comments. He said they were part of a longer speech in which he praised the forward. Guardiola added it was “far away from my intention to say Sadio is this type of player because I admire him a lot”.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday clash, Mane said he was unmoved by Guardiola’s initial criticism. The forward believes if there is contact he has a right to go down.
Mane offered a sarcastic response to the City boss ahead of the two sides meeting at Anfield this Sunday. He said: “If it could be a penalty for sure I will ‘dive’ again.
“If the ‘dive’ will give me a penalty then I will do it! Why not? But what Jurgen said is correct. I do not dive.
“There was contact (at Villa) for sure. Maybe it was not a penalty and he didn’t give it, and he gave me a yellow card. To be honest I don’t have any problem about it.
“It’s what I want to keep doing. If I get a penalty, yeah it’s a penalty. If no penalty, no penalty, but (it) will never change the way I’m playing or the way I’m doing my things.
“The only thing I can say I will be for sure ready for the team, to give everything possible, and to help my team.
“I think it’s a bit clever from him to get the attention of the referee but I will just play my football like I’m always doing. I don’t pay attention to what he’s saying because it’s part of football.
“No it doesn’t make anything (motivation-wise) for me. Even though I saw him commenting about it, what he said, for me, I think it’s positive.”