I will not change: Liverpools Sadio Man unrepentant about diving

Sadio Man has acknowledged Pep Guardiolas claim that he is a diver means the spotlight will be on him against Manchester City

Sadio Man has acknowledged Pep Guardiolas claim that he is a diver means the spotlight will be on him in Liverpools top-of-the-table showdown with Manchester City on Sunday but admitted he would dive again if it resulted in a penalty being awarded.

The Senegal forward was accused of sometimes diving by the City manager after Liverpools lastgasp victory against Aston Villa on Saturday a suggestion that led Jrgen Klopp to accuse his opposite number of being fixated on his team. Guardiola has since retracted his claim, but with Liverpool holding a six-point advantage over the champions, Man believes the City manager was attempting to raise the temperature before the biggest match of the season so far.

I think its a bit clever from him to get the attention of the referee but I will just play my football like Im always doing, he said. I dont pay attention to what hes saying because its part of football. It doesnt make anything for me. Even though I saw him commenting about it, what he said, for me, I think its positive

Sadio Man of Liverpool goes down under a challenge from Frdric Guilbert. Photograph: Simon Stacpoole/Offside via Getty Images

Asked if it sounded as if Guardiola was worried about facing a side who have won 10 of their first 11 Premier League fixtures, he said: Maybe. I dont know. You guys know more than me. The only thing I can say I will be for sure ready for the team, to give everything possible, and to help my team. If it could be a penalty for sure I will dive again. If the dive will give me a penalty then I will do it to get it back. Why not? But what Jrgen said is correct. I do not dive.

Man was booked for simulation against Villa on Sunday before scoring in stoppage time to maintain Liverpools lead at the top. That was the third time since the start of the 2015-16 season that the 27yearold has been cautioned for diving but he insisted the referee, Jonathan Moss, could easily have given the decision the other way.

There was contact, for sure, Man said. Maybe it was not a penalty and he didnt give it, and he gave me a yellow card. To be honest I dont have any problem about it. For sure, it can happen in football and we have seen many people, some diving and get penalties, some got a penalty and the referee didnt give it. Thats football. You have to deal with it.

[I will keep doing] like Im always doing. Its what I want to keep doing. If I get a penalty, yeah its a penalty. If no penalty, no penalty, but [it will never] change the way Im playing or the way Im doing my things.

Michael Oliver will take charge of the game on Sunday in an appointment that may please Liverpool supporters given they have never been beaten in the 18 previous matches he has officiated at Anfield. Klopps side have been awarded three penalties one more than City this season, including for the 94th-minute winner against Leicester, which was given by Chris Kavanagh for Marc Albrightons challenge on Man.

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Liverpool have not faced City since the 2-1 loss at the Etihad Stadium in January that was the last time they were defeated in the league a run of 28 matches. They have also gone 45 games unbeaten at Anfield since losing against Crystal Palace in April 2017, including the 0-0 draw with City last season in which Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty.

It will be very different because we learned a lot from our last games against City, Man said. I think I can say we play every kind of game this last two years so I dont think the game will have any effect on us to be nervous. But for sure its an extra motivation for us to play against them, especially at home, and to do everything possible to win the game. It will be really, really important for us to get a positive result and we will be ready, spot-on from the first second until the last.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/nov/06/liverpool-sadio-mane-diving

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