Leroy Sane set the tone early on with a fantastic run down the left and his cross was tapped home by Sterling for his 18th goal of the season.
However, Kyle Walker ended the match clutching his right thigh and Guardiola cited the injury as evidence of the demands of this time of the season.
"Please, referees, they have to protect players", the Catalan coach proclaimed. "We were lucky against Tottenham and against Newcastle".
"You play 90 minutes, 90 minutes, 90 minutes and then go to your worldwide team and play two 90 minutes that don't count for anything in terms of points". The board knows what I expect as well. That is not basketball or tennis where you can play every day or every two days - here the players need recovery.
"This kind of thing I can give my opinion, but do you believe I am going to get them to change something?" "You can play every three, four or five days but not play every two days".
With the festive period, which began on December 22, coming to a close on Thursday after Tottenham's clash with London rivals West Ham, Sportsmail takes a look at the injuries that the top-flight clubs are now dealing with as a result of this time frame...
"I think they have the best players in the league, nearly in every position".
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The same was true of the returning David Silva, who had been absent due to complications involving the health of his pregnant wife.
"Hopefully he will be back as soon as possible", Guardiola said.
"We are very happy David is back", he said.
He said: "He's free to stay or leave, it depends".
'Of course it is really important, with the problems I have with the squad, if I have more players available for the next match.
"It doesn't matter if we drop a lot of points because he is not here. Some days he will be here, some he will be out, it depends how his family is".
Of Gabriel Jesus, who has a knee injury, Guardiola said: "Gabriel will be out four to six weeks, maybe a bit longer".
Despite the fact that City managed to break the Premier League records for most consecutive victories, Guardiola stated that the only aim now is to break their own record.
Pep Guardiola is confident Manchester City will bounce back from the disappointment of seeing their Premier League winning streak come to an end at Crystal Palace.