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'Maybe I was wrong' - Guardiola backtracks on Mane 'diving' comments

19:18 GMT 05/11/2019
Pep Guardiola Manchester City
The Manchester City boss admitted that it wasn't his intention to criticize the Liverpool winger

Pep Guardiola admitted that he may have been wrong to hint that Sadio Mane was a diver as he admitted that Liverpool's late-game heroics come down to skill, not luck.

Guardiola appeared to call out the Senegal winger this weekend after Liverpool scored a pair of late goals to stun Aston Villa and remain unbeaten in the Premier League.

The Manchester City boss labelled Mane as a "talent", but said that "sometimes" the Liverpool winger is a player that dives.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp fired back, insisting that Mane is not a diver while saying that he would not get into discussing Manchester City's own controversial tactical fouls.

And, with the two Premier League heavyweights set to face off this weekend, Guardiola was able to respond to Klopp's response, and he did so by backtracking a bit on his earlier comments.

“My son and my daughter always when Liverpool win in the last minutes say Liverpool are lucky. I tell them not," he said on Tuesday.

“What Liverpool has done this season and last season many times is because they have this incredible quality to fight until the end.

“That’s why I said to my players - not just my son and daughter- that it is not lucky. Sometimes at 94 against Leicester with the penalty, it was like ‘wow’. That was the intention for my comment but it was far from my intention to say that Sadio Mane is that type of player.

“Even with that, the ref and the VAR said penalty. Maybe I was wrong to think it wasn’t a penalty.“

Asked for his thoughts on what Klopp had to say, though, Guardiola said that he wasn't even aware of Klopp's comments.

“I don’t know. I didn’t listen to what he said," the Spanish manager added.

Liverpool are set to host Manchester City this Sunday in a match that could go a long way towards deciding the Premier League champions.

The Reds currently maintain a six-point lead atop the league, having dropped points just once this season.

Before that, though, Liverpool will face Genk in the Champions League while Manchester City visit Atalanta.