Jason McAteer believes Liverpool’s ability to score late goals this season has got under Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s skin.
Guardiola took a shot at Liverpool last weekend when he accused Sadio Mane of finding ways to score late goals, even resorting to diving inside the penalty box.
Liverpool have scored a number of late winners this season and currently have a six-point lead of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.
McAteer feels the Reds have got under the skin of the Manchester City manager, which led to the attack from Guardiola on Jurgen Klopp’s side.
He believes the Spaniard did not think Liverpool would be able to keep up with Manchester City this season after running them close in the title race last term.
But the fact that Liverpool are again competing for the league and scoring late winners has irked the Manchester City manager believes McAteer, and he feels Guardiola is annoyed at constantly chasing the Merseyside giants this season.
Asked why Guardiola accused Liverpool players of diving, McAteer said on LFC TV after the win over Genk: “[It is] because they have got to his head, simple as that. Liverpool have got under his skin.
“When you are winning titles you have got momentum, everything sort of goes with you, you play well, you get last-minute winners, when you shouldn’t really and when you don’t play well you are still taking three points.
“And Guardiola knows that Liverpool are doing that.
“The mentality has changed. It was all about City last season and now it has changed, now they are chasing us.
“Liverpool fell short by a point, they gave it a right good go, but you have to give it to City, they are quality outfit who got it over the line, so you have got to hold your hands up and say that’s fantastic.
“But Liverpool have just not gone away.
“Maybe Guardiola thought we took the title, next season will be different, we’ll strengthen again and Liverpool didn’t strengthen.
“And he might have thought, they can’t keep this up, but they have. They are just there all the time, in his face.
“Any time he looks at the score he sees last-minute winners.”
Manchester City will look to cut down Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table to three points by beating them at Anfield on Sunday.