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PREMIER LEAGUE

Klopp responds to Guardiola: "Mané is not a diver'"

The Liverpool manager defended his player following accusations by the Manchester City coach to the BBC in which he claimed Liverpool players "sometimes dive".

Pep Guardiola's comments to the BBC about Liverpool players diving to win matches late on in their games have caused a reaction on Merseyside. Whether it's mind games intended to put the Premier League leaders off-kilter ahead of Sunday's top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City at Anfield is anyone's guess but Guardiola's comments were surprising to say the least. "Sometimes it is diving, sometimes it is this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute," he told Match of the Day cameras in the Flash Zone after his City side had beat Crystal Palace 2-1 to provisionally trim Liverpool's lead to three points, before Klopp's team left it late to win at Aston Villa with a stoppage-time header from Sadio Mané.

Earlier in the Villa game, Mané went down in the box after Frederic Guilbert accidently stood on his toes. The Liverpool player was booked and jeered by the home fans for the rest of the match. "I don't know how quickly he could have known about the incident during the game there, but I can say, Sadio is not a diver. There was contact and he went down, maybe it was not a penalty but there was contact - it's not like jumping over a leg..."