Read Pep Guardiola's glowing tribute to Rafa Benitez - and Newcastle's 'loyal' fans


GETTY Newcastle are yet to win in the Premier League this season

Reports suggested that Pep Guardiola had left the 22-year-old winger out because of a poor attitude in training, although the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach insisted afterward that the Germany international's omission was purely down to him rotating his attacking players.

Pep Guardiola praised Raheem Sterling for an intelligent display in Manchester City's 2-1 win over Newcastle United after another of his star wingers was left on the outside looking in.

But the victory only took them to third position on the Premier League standings with 10 points, and they are two points behind Chelsea and Liverpool.

Newcastle undermined their bid to stifle City during the opening stages by carelessly coughing up possession in risky areas.

"Another day it will maybe by Rash [Sterling] out or Riyad [Mahrez] or Bernardo [Silva] or Sergio [Aguero] or Gabriel [Jesus]", Guardiola said.

"The game was quite good and OK we have one trophy before the worldwide break and 10 points from 12". That is the reason why.

"Of course, Leroy was so important for us and hopefully this season he will be".

Speaking at his media briefing, Guardiola added: "Last game Phil Foden was not in the squad and it was so sad for Phil, and I'm so sad for Leroy now".

The Magpies totalled just 19% possession during the game and have been heavily criticised by pundits for the negative football played.

Newcastle United wanted to pick at-least a point in this match after losing their last home game, but they met a more determined Manchester City side who drew their last encounter. "For me, as a manager, I am really proud of my players".

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