(Reuters) - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola accused Sadio Mane of diving after the Liverpool forward’s match-winning display against Aston Villa in the Premier League.
Mane scored the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time at Villa Park on Saturday, but only after being booked for simulation in the first half.
Guardiola’s City remained six points behind leaders Liverpool with a comeback win of their own, beating Southampton courtesy a late Kyle Walker goal.
When asked whether he was aware of Liverpool’s dramatic win, Guardiola 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.”
Mane has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after earning two penalties - against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur last month - with Liverpool converting each time to win both games.
City visit Anfield next Sunday, where they have failed to win in the league since 2003.
“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,” Guardiola said of Liverpool’s ability to score late goals.
“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.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis