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Mane: Pep’s diving criticism won’t change my game

Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Sadio Mane of Liverpool runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield on December 29, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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Sadio Mane is known off the field for being one heck of a good guy. On the field he’s pretty content to play his game and let the judges say as they please.

Criticized by Man City boss Pep Guardiola as a special talent when it comes to diving -- a claim refuted by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp -- Mane didn’t bat an eye at the description.

[ RECAPS: Atalanta-Man City | Red Star-Spurs ]

In fact, he went on a little bit of a bizarre ramble.

“If it could be a penalty for sure I will ‘dive’ again,” he said, via The Liverpool Echo. “If the dive will give me a penalty then I will do it to get it back. Why not? But what Jurgen said is correct. I do not dive.”

Huh?

He’d later expand on the thought. Best we can gather, Mane says he’s just playing the game. If he thinks he can no longer get a scoring chance and also win a penalty, he’s not going to hesitate to hit the deck if there was any contact whatsoever.

“For sure it can happen in football and we have seen many people, some diving and get penalties, some got a penalty and the referee didn’t give it. That’s football. You have to deal with it. It’s what I want to keep doing. If I get a penalty, yeah it’s a penalty. If no penalty, no penalty, but [it will] never anything wrong or change the way I’m playing or the way I’m doing my things.”

Sunday’s match between City and Liverpool at Anfield is going to have many subplots, especially with Ederson joining a long line of injured players for the visitors (Rodri, Aymeric Laporte, David Silva, Oleksandr Zinchenko).

A potential Mane goal celebration would be one to monitor at Anfield.

Follow @NicholasMendola