Sadio Mane: Liverpool forward responds to fresh diving accusations

Sadio Mane showed flashes of danger but couldn't break Napoli down
Image: Sadio Mane was accused of diving during Liverpool's draw with Napoli

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has responded to fresh diving accusations, insisting he is not the type of player to "steal something from the game".

The Senegal international was accused of going down too easily in the box during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Mane has won a number of penalties this season and earlier this month, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said the 27-year-old has a tendency to dive "sometimes".

Image: Pep Guardiola accused Mane of diving 'sometimes' earlier this month

When asked about the incident in the Napoli match, Mane told the Liverpool Echo: "Yes, I think it was a penalty. I was not diving like usual eh?

"Like I always said, I am not a kind of player who will always dive to steal something from the game. I could be lucky sometimes and get a penalty, but he didn't give it for me, and it wasn't a dive."

'Tiredness is in the head'

Mane also responded to suggestions that Liverpool's front three could face burnout with a busy festive period fast approaching.

Apart from Carabao Cup games, Mane and Roberto Firmino have played in every match so far, while Mohamed Salah has missed just two due to injury.

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Liverpool play nine games in 26 days in December - including two FIFA Club World Cup matches in Qatar - but Mane dismissed suggestions his team-mates could become fatigued.

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"Honestly, I think it is all in the head," Mane added. "The tiredness is in the head, so as long as the body recovers well I think it is not difficult for us to play every single game.

"If the team needs us and the coach needs us, I think we will be able to play and help the team."

Mane is Liverpool's top scorer this season with 12 goals in 19 appearances. Since moving to the club from Southampton in 2016, he has scored 71 goals in 142 games.

Liverpool will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the Premier League season on Saturday when they host Brighton at Anfield.

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