Pep Guardiola might have had to wait to lift another Premier League title on Sunday, but he has told Raheem Sterling and other “sad” Manchester City stars to leave in the summer if they want to play every match.
The Catalan boss made eight changes to his Champions League team at Selhurst Park before Tuesday’s second leg with Paris-Saint Germain.
The champions-to-be still won 2-0 at Crystal Palace with a comfortable success.
As such, the Carabao Cup winners’ 19th consecutive away win means a home win over Chelsea on Saturday will now guarantee them becoming champions again.
But Guardiola chose his post-match press conference after the Palace win to give an insight into the stresses of maintaining unity in a squad of superstars where Raheem Sterling and Aymeric Laporte were among the £300million of talent in a second-string team.
Guardiola said: “Eight players didn’t play in Paris and they were sad. Happy for the team but they were sad for not playing.
“Imagine you want to do your job but a guy tells you that you can’t.
“The best way to answer me, prove me wrong and feel guilty, is on the grass. Today they did it.
“Raheem responded like he responded in the Carabao Cup final and Laporte was outstanding,” said Guardiola.
“I rotate the players a lot. When one guy wants to always play it’s not the right place to be.”
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