Angry Guardiola on Sterling red: “Maybe we should play without fans”

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Pep Guardiola has questioned why Raheem Sterling was sent off after scoring a 97th-minute winner at Bournemouth on Saturday.

[ MORE: Sterling wins it late on ]

Sterling, who had already been booked for a tackle a few minutes earlier, was shown a second yellow card by referee Mike Dean after he celebrated with Manchester City’s jubilant traveling fans who spilled onto the pitch to get close to Sterling and his teammates.

Speaking after the 2-1 win at Bournemouth, Guardiola was bemused as to why Sterling was sent off as he will now be suspended for the game against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium after the international break.

“Yeah, like Kyle Walker for the second yellow card the last game. So we missed Kyle Walker 50 minutes plus 90. For the second yellow card maybe someone can call me and explain because I don’t understand why,” Guardiola told Sky Sports after the game. “He went there to celebrate and came back, so I don’t know what happened. I would like to know because Rash (Sterling) against Liverpool he will not be able to play and we will miss Kyle Walker 90 minutes plus 50 and the fault doesn’t exist.”

When told Sterling was booked for celebrating with the fans who had come onto the pitch, Guardiola, who celebrated wildly in the away dugout, simply shook his head.

“Then we don’t invite the fans,” Guardiola said. “If you cannot celebrate in the 90th minute with the fans, tell me the reason why. Maybe we should not play with the fans. When Bournemouth score in the 90th minute they go to celebrate with the fans. It is what it is.”

He has a point. Sterling ran towards the fans but they had already broken through the police barrier and most of City’s players were in with the fans hugging and celebrating. Quite why Sterling was singled out was bizarre.

The Sterling sending off aside, Guardiola’s men battled back from falling behind after Charlie Daniels‘ stunning strike put Bournemouth ahead early on.

Guradiola admitted he was happy with the way his team reacted to falling behind and gave his assessment on their start to the season which has yielded seven points from three games.

“Decent. I prefer nine points but the Premier League is tough and every game is tough, home and away,” Guardiola said. “Today was quite equal, we dominate, but Bournemouth is a tough team but in terms against Everton maybe we deserved a win but today we have points we deserved.”

With just five days to go until the end of the summer transfer window, Guardiola also said “we will see” when asked if City will be signing any more players after already splashing $280 million, the most in the PL, this summer.

This wasn’t a vintage Man City display but the grit and determination was reminiscent of a championship-winning side.