MX23RW : Tuesday, September 25 11:49:16

Pep Guardiola: 'Lionel Messi is not a diver'

Guardiola: 'Messi is not a diver'
© PA Photos
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola insists that Lionel Messi is not a diver.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has leapt to the defence of Lionel Messi after allegations that the Argentine is a diver.

The 24-year-old, who was booked for simulation during Barca's 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad last month, was denied a penalty kick following a challenge from Alberto Botia in last night's match with Sporting Gijon.

Many pundits suggested that Messi went down under the tackle too easily, but Guardiola has insisted that his player was fouled.

"I did not see it, but everyone should know that when Messi goes down it is because he has been fouled," the manager told reporters after the match. "The officials saw it better than me, you should know that."

Barca won the match 1-0 courtesy of an early goal from Adriano.

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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona54101651113
2Real Madrid5410123913
3AlavesAlaves531185310
4Celta Vigo522110828
5Atletico MadridAtletico52215418
6GironaGirona522178-18
7Sevilla521210647
8Espanyol52125417
9Real Sociedad52127707
10Getafe52124407
11EibarEibar521256-17
12Athletic Bilbao41307616
13Real Betis513135-26
14Villarreal512223-15
15Valencia504135-24
16Levante5113811-34
17Huesca5113613-74
18Real Valladolid503235-23
19Rayo Vallecano4103310-73
20Leganes5014410-61

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