'Cunning the ref': Manchester City star awarded 'worst penalty ever'


Raheem Sterling apologised last night after inadvertently winning an unjust penalty by falling over having stubbed his toe in the turf during Manchester City's 6-0 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

'It's important - the striker lives for goals, ' Guardiola said.

David Silva had already prodded City into a 13th minute lead before they were awarded a comical penalty when Raheem Sterling tripped himself up as he bore down on goal under no challenge from a Shakhtar player.

"Yeah, we realised immediately it wasn't a penalty", he told a news conference.

Shakhtar had a right to feel aggrieved but they were otherwise outplayed for a second time in two weeks by City, who made victory certain through Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and two more Jesus strikes.

Guardiola added: 'I am a happy man. At 2-0, he had another clear option (which he missed) but he continued to fight and help us. "It was an incredible performance, the way we attacked and defended", Guardiola added.

"We are unfortunate not to have qualified but we are so close".

"We can not sustain a long season just with both of them, it's impossible". We need to keep and maintain that level.

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"We have reacted really well".

In Premier League history, only Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side of 2004-05 had conceded fewer goals by this stage of the season - two - and its eventual goals-against tally of 15 in that season represents the best-ever defensive mark.

"I don't like to score a goal in that situation".

Guardiola believes that with veterans Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi offering cover and competition for places, the Stokes-Laporte pairing will be a force for a long time.

"You know VAR and what it is - the referee must be helped because they don't want to make mistakes". They want to make a good performance but the game is quick and players are more skilled. It takes two, three 10 seconds to make a decision [with VAR].

"Some players play more but everybody is ready and has commitment to help the team".

But the City manager said that he had never instructed players to make a deliberate foul in his managerial career.

"Everyone saw it, but it is not because of the penalty we lost the game". "We are going to try (to beat United)".