Guardiola gives showboating Sterling a tongue-lashing, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Guardiola gives showboating Sterling a tongue-lashing

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola's delight at his team's 3-1 derby win over Manchester United did not stop him from delivering a strong message to winger Raheem Sterling over his showboating at the end of the game.

With City 3-1 up in the final minutes, Sterling had the ball deep in the United half on the left wing but, rather than take the ball to the corner flag or keep possession, the England forward produced some fancy-footwork stepovers.

The antics angered United's Spanish midfielder Juan Mata, who appeared to believe that Sterling was taunting his team and, at the final whistle, Guardiola's first move was to confront Sterling on the field about the episode, reported Reuters.

"He made some movements with the legs, we can avoid it but he is young, he can improve," said Guardiola when asked about his conversation with the 23-year-old.

Such is unbeaten City's dominance at the moment that Guardiola felt the need to make a point of being critical about elements of his team's performance that he thinks ought to be improved.

Despite being clearly superior to their local rivals, the Spaniard was unhappy with his side's first-half display.

"The first half was not so good, we played like we didn't want to lose the ball, but without the intention to attack," he said.

"I felt when I watched my players, (they were) a team that feel the pressure. They wanted to do well in the derby. We were stable, we scored one goal, the first 15 minutes were good and after that we didn't press so well.

"We deserved the victory. The first half we played a little bit with fear, but football is a game and we didn't want to lose the ball. We didn't want to attack and they defended well.

"In the second half, the game was a bit (more) open. So we have to find more space, but we made a good performance against a top, top team."

Goals early in each half at the Etihad from David Silva and Sergio Aguero left City in a commanding position before an Anthony Martial penalty gave visitors United hope of a comeback.

But Ilkay Guendogan put the result beyond doubt four minutes from time with a third goal that crowned a sublime 44-pass move.

While City's forwards hogged the limelight, former England striker Alan Shearer singled out midfielder Fernandinho for praise.

Shearer wrote in his column for The Sun: "David Silva scored and, along with Bernardo Silva, played some tremendous stuff from attacking midfield positions.

"But Fernandinho bossed the whole pitch. He controlled the game, won the ball back, broke it up when United did manage to get the ball and was strong in the tackle.

"But it's not only that, it's his array of passing. You watch his passing into the front men and wow. He fizzes it in to them, the wingers and the strikers."