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Fitness concerns over City's usual full backs meant pace merchant Navas was given the job against Arsenal's Chilean danger-man Alexis Sanchez - and Guardiola felt the Spaniard adapted well to a tough test.
"I want to congratulate Jesus Navas who was excellent against one of the best players in the world in Alexis Sanchez," Guardiola said of the winger’s display.
"I played him because Bacary Sagna was injured and Pablo Zabaleta were not ready and Jesus always deserves the best because he is an excellent guy and I was so happy with him."
“We played much better in the second half. After we scored the opening goal we forgot to play. The second half we started to complete more passes, creating more chances."
On the title race Guardiola added: "Today wasn’t the perfect performance but there are still a lot of games left. Chelsea lost yesterday and it was disappointing not to take all three points today."
Jesus Navas comes into the side, with Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure on the bench. Defender Vincent Kompany returns to the matchday squad following his recovery from injury.
You’d think the season was done and dusted the way media outlets are disregarding one of the Blues’ biggest games of the season… well, there’s unfinished business yet.
City have been held by Liverpool and Stoke in their last two Premier League matches and Sterling believes the Blues will have to improve in front of goal if they are to achieve their objectives.