Pep hints 'behaviour' led to him benching Grealish, Foden and Stones

‘When off the pitch is not proper they are not going to play’: Pep Guardiola suggests improper behaviour led to him benching Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and John Stones for Man City’s 4-0 win against Newcastle on Sunday

  • Pep Guardiola made three changes to his starting line-up for the Newcastle win
  • Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and John Stones all dropped to the City subs bench
  • And afterwards, Guardiola explained rotation wasn’t the main reason for the call 

Pep Guardiola has said he made three changes to Manchester City’s starting line-up in the 4-0 win over Newcastle because of the behaviour of his team.

Guardiola changed Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and John Stones for Gabriel Jesus, Joao Cancelo and Raheem Sterling. Only Stones came on the pitch, as a 70th minute replacement for Ruben Dias.

And speaking to 5Live, Guardiola explained the reasoning behind his calls.

Pep Guardiola suggested ‘behaviour’, not rotation, was behind his Newcastle starting line-up

Jack Grealish was one of three starts in City’s previous game who dropped to the bench

‘Not rotation, no,’ the City manager said. ‘I decided for this team because they deserved to play today, these guys and not the other ones.

‘At Christmas time I pay a lot of attention to behaviour on and off the pitch. And when off the pitch is not proper they are not going to play.

‘So we have to be focussed all the time because of distractions at Christmas time and everything that happens – you have to still be focussed.’ 

City weren’t hindered by the changes – goals from Dias, Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and Sterling sealed a commanding victory.

Phil Foden was another who was named as a substitute in the victory against Newcastle

Defender John Stones was also a sub in the 4-0 win for the top of the league side City

And they were further bolstered by Liverpool later drawing 2-2 away to Tottenham. 

It means Guardiola’s men are now three points clear at the summit of the Premier League standings. 

They return to Premier League action on Boxing Day, at home against Leicester. 

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