Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum has called Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s diving accusations ‘strange’, ahead of the crucial meeting between the title rivals this weekend.
Liverpool host the defending Premier League champions at Anfield on Sunday in a fixture which could have huge implications on this season’s title race, Jurgen Klopp’s side currently sitting six-points ahead of their rivals following an unbeaten start to the new season.
Guardiola has stoked the fire ahead of the meeting with comments regarding Sadio Mane, the Man City boss seemingly accusing the Liverpool forward of ‘diving’ to win late penalties in recent victories over Leicester and Tottenham.
Mane was booked for simulation during last weekend’s win at Aston Villa and while Guardiola has since clarified his comments, Reds midfielder Wijnaldum has said that the Spaniard’s claims are ‘a little bit strange’.
“I heard what he said,” Wijnaldum told reporters according to Goal.com. “He gave his opinion about us and the way he thinks. Nothing bad in that. That is his opinion. In his opinion Sadio is a diver. What can you say about that?
“I didn’t see the Villa one back [when Mane was booked for diving], so it’s difficult to give my opinion on that, but I can’t remember Sadio doing it before. Now we have VAR as well, so…
“How many players of ours have had a yellow card for diving? Sadio was the first, I think? So to say that we are divers, I think it’s a little bit strange. That’s my opinion.”
Liverpool can take a significant step towards an elusive league title with victory on Sunday, knowing a win would move the club nine points clear of Guardiola’s side.