• Man City beat Newcastle 4-0 in the league on Sunday
  • Foden and Grealish did not come off the bench at St. James' Park
  • City have 44 points after 18 league games

Pep Guardiola has hinted that Phil Foden and Jack Grealish were not rested but purposely left as unused substitutes in Manchester City's 4-0 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.

When Guardiola was questioned on the rotation of his team, the Etihad boss made it clear the team rotation was not the reason behind his selections at St. James Park against Newcastle.

Five days prior to the Newcastle game, Grealish and Foden were pictured on a night out after Manchester City's 7-0 win over Leeds at home.

"I decided this team because they deserved to play, these guys, not the others. At Christmas, I pay a lot of attention to behavior on and off the pitch. 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 focused," Guardiola said in an interview with BBC, ESPN reported.

Manchester City staff were left "unhappy" with the state in which Grealish and Foden reported the next day for a recovery session, reported The Telegraph. Even though Guardiola was in Barcelona for Sergio Aguero's retirement press conference, the Spanish boss was informed of the situation around Grealish and Foden.

The report has further claimed that Guardiola was left "distinctly unimpressed" when the news was passed on to him. Following that, both Grealish and Foden were not played against Newcastle and the duo was warned over their conduct.

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus started in their place, with the former scoring City's fourth goal in their 4-0 victory.

Fernandinho was mobbed by his Manchester City teammates after scoring his side's second goal against West Ham
Man City have now won eight league games in a row this season AFP / Oli SCARFF

The recent win was Man City's 34th league win of 2021 – a new record for the most top-flight wins by a team in a calendar year. It was also the Etihad side's eighth consecutive victory in the 2021-22 Premier League.

After 18 matches, Guardiola's side is at the top of the league table with 44 points, three clear of second-placed Liverpool FC and six more than third-placed Chelsea.