I don't think he went off the pitch - Otamendi backs Sterling after red card

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The England winger received a second booking from Mike Dean for his celebrations, a decision that his team-mate believes was harsh

Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi has echoed Pep Guardiola's bemusement over Raheem Sterling's sending off in Saturday's 2-1 win over Bournemouth, insisting the winger was not to blame.

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City looked to be heading to a second successive 1-1 draw after Gabriel Jesus cancelled out Charlie Daniels' wonderful opener in the first half, with both sides kept out from then until the latter stages.

Sterling popped up and scored City's winner in the seventh minute of stoppage time, with his effort taking a big deflection off Andrew Surman and sparking huge celebrations.

Raheem Sterling Manchester City Bournemouth 26082017

But those celebrations ultimately brought about Sterling's dismissal for a second yellow card, with referee Mike Dean seemingly of the opinion that the England winger left the pitch of play and incited the fans' encroachment, but Otamendi thinks his team-mate did little wrong.

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Speaking to City's website after the match, the Argentina international said: "With all the adrenaline in that situation, it's difficult to stay in control.

"But I don't think he went off the pitch, it's more that the fans came to him. And again, it's difficult to control those situations.

"But the referee came to his decision and we must accept that."

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