Raheem Sterling says Juan Mata told him to 'show respect' in Manchester derby

Raheem Sterling & Juan Mata

There aren't many players in better form right now that Manchester City's Raheem Sterling.

The English winger already has seven goals and six assists to his name in the Premier League, the highest goal involvement of any player.

His improvement under the guidance of Pep Guardiola has been quite extraordinary and the fact he's still only 23 is quite scary for City's rivals.

However, Sterling still manages to attract negative press wherever he goes and it's hard to understand why.

He's a model professional, charitable and one of England's finest, but he just can't seem to do any right in the eyes of the media.

Sterling was recently scrutinised for not admitting to the referee that he kicked the ground for City's penalty against Shakhtar Donetsk.

And the former Liverpool man was even demonised by his own manager for 'showboating' in the recent 3-1 against Manchester United.

Juan Mata was also livid with Sterling's actions and the Englishman has now revealed what the Spanish playmaker said to him during their confrontation.

“He [Guardiola] doesn’t want us to disrespect anyone. I was surprised," Sterling explained in an interview with The Times.

Sterling & Mata clash

"I was keeping the ball in the corner. I can understand if we had lost the ball, and they’d gone down the other end, but I am trying to waste time, attract a foul.

"I wasn’t trying to take the mickey out of them that they have lost. That’s not my thing.

"Juan Mata just said, ‘show a little bit of respect.’ I wasn’t trying to disrespect them.

"I wouldn’t. I was just trying to keep the ball in the corner and entertain the fans at the same time.”

Guardiola & Sterling

It's easy to understand both sides of the argument. Mata was clearly frustrated with the scoreline and felt Sterling actions unnecessary.

While the Englishman clearly thought he was doing what's best for his team and entertaining the fans.

After all, football is all about entertainment.

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