Pep Guardiola admitted Raheem Sterling should have avoided antagonising Manchester United in the final moments of Manchester City’s 3-1 derby win on Sunday.
City moved back to the top of the Premier League with victory over their rivals as David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan got on the scoresheet.
But a late flashpoint saw Juan Mata take issue with Sterling as he showboated in the final seconds, keeping the ball in the corner and performing stepovers as United players rushed towards him.
And while Guardiola was pleased with City’s other tactics that saw Sterling, Leroy Sane and Phil Foden trade passes around their opponents, he acknowledged the England international was in the wrong.
“I like a lot the way [Sterling] played,” said Guardiola, who appeared to voice his displeasure with his player on the pitch at full-time. “The best way is to keep the ball and he did it with Leroy and Phil.
“In that situation with two or three minutes left to go, they controlled it absolutely. It is better than just defending.
“But [Sterling] made some movements with the legs that we can avoid. But he’s young and he is going to improve.”