Jamie Redknapp believes Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has “genuine fear” of Liverpool after uncharacteristically calling out Sadio Mane for diving.
The 27-year-old Senegalese forward was booked in Liverpool’s stunning 2-1 victory over Aston Villa for simulation – a charge his manager Jurgen Klopp felt was dubious.
Pep fears Mane? Five key things to know…
- Pep Guardiola accused Sadio Mane of diving in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
- Mane was booked for simulation before playing an instrumental role in their comeback victory.
- Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp felt it was a wrong decision and dismissed Guardiola’s comment.
- Jamie Redknapp feels Guardiola has “genuine fear” of the Reds following his words.
- Mane has previously been criticised for his role in winning a late penalty for Liverpool against Leicester City.
At the time of Mane’s yellow card Liverpool were trailing Villa – after Trézéguet put them in front – but the Premier League leaders would mount a stunning late comeback.
Mane, with three minutes remaining, teed up Andy Robertson for the equaliser before netting the winner deep into stoppage time which maintained their six-point lead at the top of the table.
As the Reds were snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, so were Manchester City, who incredibly went behind to struggling Southampton at home before Sergio Aguero and Kyle Walker secured all three points.
It now sets up their mouthwatering showdown at Anfield next weekend nicely and Redknapp feels Guardiola, who accused Mane of going down easily, fears the Reds’ most in-form attacker.
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“Hearing Pep Guardiola mention Sadio Mane and diving was surprising,” he wrote in the Daily Mail.
“It is unusual to hear a manager say that about a rival player, but I don’t think it was Guardiola trying to wind up Mane ahead of this Sunday’s showdown at Anfield. It wasn’t an attempt at mind games, or a deliberate dig.
“I believe Guardiola genuinely fears the threat of Mane. The Manchester City manager has him on his mind.
“He knows the 27-year-old is now Liverpool’s most important player. He is Jurgen Klopp’s No 1 man, as proven on Saturday.”