Pep Guardiola: “Raheem Sterling could have come clean, but so could James Milner”

Pep Guardiola: “Raheem Sterling could have come clean, but so could James Milner”

Pep Guardiola has defended Raheem Sterling for not coming clean about the controversial penalty against Shakhtar referring to a similar incident against Liverpool last season.

Liverpool fans were baffled as to why Guardiola would bring up the incident that occurred when City met Liverpool last season in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The City boss showed that he is apparently not over the incident where James Milner inadvertently played the ball through to Leroy Sane to score only for the goal to be disallowed for offside, an incorrect decision.

Manchester City were awarded a controversial penalty against Shakhtar when Sterling appeared to be brought down by defender Mykola Matviyenko only for replays to show that the England international caught his foot on the grass and not the defender.

When asked after the game if Sterling should have come clean, Guardiola made a point.

“Yeah he could do that. But last season (James) Milner could have admitted it was his pass for our offside goal,” Guardiola said, according to Metro.

However the City boss did defend Sterling who he believes was unaware that it was not a foul.

“We realised it was not a penalty,” he admitted. “He didn’t want to concede a goal. He could do that (argue the decision). We don’t like to score goals in that situation but he didn’t realise.

“He wanted to make a chip and touched the grass. Referees must be helped. They want to make a good performance but the game is quick and players are more skilled.

“It takes three or four seconds to make a decision – penalty or no penalty.”

City won the game easily and it is unlikely the penalty decision would have proved decisive. Guardiola’s side have won three of their four Champions League games so far and top the group by three points ahead of French side Lyon.

They face Manchester United in the derby on Sunday as they look to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League.