Klopp: I Couldn't Respect Guardiola More

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Klopp: I Couldn't Respect Guardiola More

Jurgen Klopp insists he could not hold Pep Guardiola in higher esteem despite the Manchester City manager's recent comments about Liverpool "diving".

Sadio Mane scored a late winner for the Reds in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League win at Aston Villa but was earlier shown a yellow card for simulation, having previously been criticised after winning a contentious late spot-kick against Leicester City.

Guardiola seemed to take a swipe at the Senegal forward by telling BBC Sport "sometimes he is diving", prompting Klopp to defend his player and hit back at City by saying he wouldn't mention their "tactical fouls".

The issue has dominated much of the build-up to Sunday's huge showdown between the top two at Anfield, but Klopp has sought to move on by underlining his respect for his opposite number.

"I am in the same situation as him: we constantly get asked questions and sometimes we say at that second what is in our minds without thinking about anything else," Klopp told Sky Sports .

"He explained it well, he said when he speaks to his kids it's like this, was it a penalty or not – that's a discussion they had at home.

"I am completely fine with that. I couldn't have more respect for Pep Guardiola, I've known him for so long. It's still a big thing to be his contender.

"To me, he's the best manager in the world and we have the chance to win against his team, which is very difficult but it's possible. We've had a few good results against them so from my side there is nothing but respect."

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