Danny Murphy has warned Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola that he could regret calling Liverpool winger Sadio Mane a diver ahead of Sunday’s clash between the sides at Anfield.
Senegal international Mane was accused of simulation by Guardiola following Liverpool’s dramatic 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, a victory secured by Mane moments after City beat Southampton.
Mane is in fine form with his latest goal his 10th of the season so far and, speaking to talkSPORT, Murphy reckons Guardiola’s comments could fire him up ahead of Sunday’s mammoth tie.
“I don’t think Pep went into [the press conference] with that in his head, I think he was just triggered by a question about the result at Villa Park and it’s just come out,” the pundit said.
“In hindsight he might look back on that and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t said that’. If I was him, the last thing I’d want to do is wind up the best player in the Premier League at the moment and before you play him next week.
“Mane is playing incredibly well and if it does spur him on a little bit more, than why take the risk? I think we should emphasis that Mane’s form from the start of the season until now is the reason why Liverpool are six points clear.
“In certain games he’s carried them through. He’s been phenomenal.”
Liverpool head into the weekend’s game six points clear of City at the top of the Premier League table.