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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has accused Liverpool’s Sadio Mane of diving, ahead of next week’s clash between the Premier League’s top two.
Mane was booked for simulation before scoring an injury-time winner in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory at Aston Villa on Saturday.
City left it late themselves to edge past Southampton 2-1 and Guardiola told the BBC after the game: “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. He’s a talent.”
City travel to Anfield next Sunday trailing Jurgen Klopp’s men by six points in the Premier League title race.
Discussing Liverpool’s ability to win matches late on, Guardiola added: “If it’s one time, two times, ‘we were lucky, we were lucky,’ but it happened in the last two seasons many, many times — they have a special character to do that.
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“We look at ourselves, we know which team we face, I think they have won 10 and drawn one. Next week we go to Anfield to try to play them.”
Guardiola’s City trailed Southampton 1-0 before Sergio Aguero equalised 20 minutes from time and then Kyle Walker won it with three minutes remaining.
“We did everything, it was so difficult to attack when they defend with 11 players,” Guardiola said.