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Jurgen Klopp aims dig at Man City tactical fouls after Sadio Mane criticism

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Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola say there's 'too much football' for English clubs
Image: Jurgen Klopp aimed a subtle dig at Manchester City's 'tactical fouls'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp aimed a passing dig at Manchester City's tactical fouling having also hit back at Pep Guardiola's criticism of Sadio Mane.

After fielding questions about Guardiola's comments on Mane, Klopp could not resist a subtle barb towards City ahead of their huge Premier League clash on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Despite insisting he did not want to talk about the game, he said: "I am not too sure if I want to put oil on the fire. I am not interested in these kind of things.

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"I promise not to mention tactical fouls [an accusation levelled at City on numerous occasions by other managers]. That is maybe already too much, but that is the only thing I say about it!"

Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manuel Pellegrini have referenced City's 'tactical fouling' in the past seven months, and they are in fact top of the fouls committed table in the opposition half. However, City's style does mean they spend more time in the opposition half.

Fouls committed in opposition half (19/20)

Team Fouls in opp half Percentage of overall fouls
1. Man City 77 69%
2. Everton 76 59%
3. Leicester 72 59%
4. Man Utd 72 62%
5. Brighton 71 58%

When questioned about the timing of Guardiola's comments Klopp said: "I have no clue. Do I get asked as well as much about Man City? I don't know.

"I don't understand these types of things. My brain is not big enough to think about another team as well. I have enough to do to think about us and deal with all these things. Tomorrow we play Genk and that deserves all my attention and gets it. After that we can speak about Manchester City."

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Klopp insists Sadio Mane is 'not a diver'

Klopp: Mane is not a diver

Mane, the Liverpool and Senegal forward, was booked at Aston Villa on Saturday for simulation, before scoring a header in stoppage-time to secure a 2-1 win for the Reds.

Guardiola, speaking after City's comeback win against Southampton on Saturday, reacted by saying "sometimes Mane's diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute".

Image: Guardiola accused Mane of diving after Man City beat Southampton

But his words did not go down well with Klopp, who said: "I'm not really in a Man City mood at the moment.

"Do I like that he says this about one of my players? I'm not even 100 per cent sure if he spoke about Sadio [Mane] or us in general. I didn't hear Sadio's name.

"I don't know how he could have known about any incident in the game so quickly after [their game against Southampton].

Pep Guardiola, manager of Manchester City reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium
Image: Pep Guardiola's City have been accused of tactical fouling by other Premier League managers

"Sadio is not a diver. There was a situation in the Aston Villa game where he got a contact and went down. Maybe it wasn't a penalty but there was contact - it's not like jumping over a leg and acting like he hit you."

It is not the first time Mane has been scrutinised for going down too easily this season.

The former Southampton forward won late penalties for Liverpool in narrow victories over Leicester and Tottenham last month.

But Klopp, speaking ahead of Tuesday's Champions League group game at home to Belgian side Genk, maintained that Mane is not a cheat.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's 2-1 win at Aston Villa

"All the other penalties were penalties because he was in that situation and stayed there," added Klopp.

"I'm 100 sure if something like this would happen for Man City, they would want to have a penalty because somebody kicked a player in the box and it's a penalty.

"I'm absolutely not in the mood to talk about Manchester City. I really want to talk about Genk or us, but not about the game on Sunday."

Watch Liverpool vs Man City on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; Kick-off 4.30pm

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