Pep Guardiola slammed Sadio Mane’s “diving” ahead of Manchester City’s title clash with Premier League leaders Liverpool next weekend.
Mane scored a last-gasp winner in the Reds’ 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Saturday, ensuring Liverpool remain six points clear of Man City at the top of the table.
The Senegal international also picked up a booking for diving at Villa Park, and Guardiola, speaking after City’s 2-1 win over Southampton, took a swipe at the forward.
“It’s happened a lot for Liverpool in the last years [scoring late on]. It’s because he’s a special talent,” Guardiola said of Mane on the BBC.
“Sometimes he’s diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute. He’s a talent.
“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.
“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.”
Man City went behind against Southampton at the Etihad, with James Ward-Prowse putting the visitors ahead in 13 minutes.
Guardiola’s side fought back in the second half through Sergio Aguero before Kyle Walker bagged the winner four minutes before the end.
The Man City boss added: “We did everything, it was so difficult to attack when they defend with 11 players.
“We did everything we could and in the end our intensity and our players paid off. We made a good comeback. Everyone plays the way we want to play.
“They are top quality players, they are fast players, it was our job to try and beat Southampton and we did. It is not about what Southampton do or play but it is about how we reacted to that.
“Today we have to do everything. We have to take the rhythm that we needed forward in every sense of the world from how we pick the ball out of the net to how we take throw ins or corners.”