Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Liverpool at Villa Park in Birmingham on Saturday. Photo: AP Photo/Rui Vieira

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola accused Sadio Mane of diving after the Liverpool forward’s match-winning display against Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Mane scored the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time at Villa Park on Saturday, but only after being booked for simulation in the first half.

Guardiola’s City remained six points behind leaders Liverpool with a comeback win of their own, beating Southampton courtesy a late Kyle Walker goal.

When asked whether he was aware of Liverpool’s dramatic win, Guardiola told the BBC: “It has happened many times, what Liverpool have done, in the last few years, it’s because (Mane) is a special talent.

“Sometimes he’s diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute.”

Mane has been in the spotlight in recent weeks after earning two penalties - against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur last month - with Liverpool converting each time to win both games.

City visit Anfield next Sunday, where they have failed to win in the league since 2003.

“If it’s one time, two times, ‘we were lucky, we were lucky’, but it happened in the last two seasons many, many times - they have a special character to do that,” Guardiola said of Liverpool’s ability to score late goals.

“We look at ourselves, we know which team we face, I think they have won 10 and drawn one. Next week we go to Anfield to try to play them.”

Meanwhile, Frank Lampard believes the Premier League are setting a dangerous precedent with the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) after technology intervened to give Watford a late penalty in Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Vicarage Road.

Lampard’s Chelsea endured some nervy moments in the closing stages after Gerard Deulofeu converted an 80th-minute penalty for the hosts.

Deulofeu went down under slight contact from Chelsea’s Jorginho and after initially pointing for a goal kick, referee Anthony Taylor was advised by the VAR to overturn his decision.

“We’re not in a great place with it,” he said. “I know (using screens) is a bit contentious, I know it could mean every fan might call for it and there might pressure on the referees.

“But if we are overturning decisions because one referee somewhere else thinks it was more of a penalty than the referee on the pitch, then I think we are in a really dangerous place. You’re going to be tossing a coin every week.”

Reuters