Pep Guardiola has questioned Burnley supporters who chanted that Raheem Sterling had “let his country down” while the player walked off the pitch injured.
Sterling was substituted in the 57th minute of Manchester City’s 2-1 victory over Burnley in the Premier League after a crunching challenge from Ben Mee, and was subjected to chants by a section of the home support as he walked round the pitch behind a goal.
It is thought those fans were criticising Sterling for his recent England performances but Guardiola, who hopes the attacker’s injury is just an impact knock, said he prefers supporters who sing about their own team.
“I don’t like that, he’s an English player. He’s a really nice guy trying to do his job. I like the supporters who support their team. But it’s not my business,” said the City manager.
Guardiola was pleased with his team’s performance at Turf Moor after a week that included a trip to Germany in the Champions League before an early Saturday kick-off, with City fighting back to win 2-1 after Sergio Aguero’s double eclipsed Dean Marney's early volley.
The Spaniard praised his side but admitted afterwards that he is still struggling to understand certain decisions made by English referees.
“I have to learn to control the second balls here, to avoid the fouls. I have to understand the referees because still I don’t understand,” Guardiola said. “Sometimes it’s a foul and sometimes no foul, the same foul sometimes is and sometimes is not.
“That’s why I have to understand. I’m not judging them [the referees], I have never in my life. But here it’s completely different to other countries. Sometimes Sagna gets fouled sometimes not. I need time to understand, I’m sorry.
“It was a tough week. We adapted quite well. Today was so important because now we have one long week to prepare for the Chelsea game, then Leicester, Watford and Arsenal. It’s so important, our win. It’s always complicated to control these kind of games but hopefully in the future we can do it better.”
The Burnley manager, Sean Dyche, also questioned a refereeing decision, saying that his side should have been awarded a penalty by Andre Marriner in the seventh minute when Nicolas Otamendi pulled back Jeff Hendrick.
"How it’s not a penalty, I’m still scratching my head,” said Dyche. “I don’t know where it lives in the Premier League at the moment, people falling all over the place and players not falling over the place, people getting hit and bumped and then you don’t get a penalty. How that’s not a penalty is bizarre.
“Their first goal was poor from our point of view. Two blips in a really good gameplan. But we went about it in the right way and it was a massively different performance from Monday night [against West Brom].”Reuse content