Rico tipped over a Kevin De Bruyne strike and Raheem Sterling curled one wide as City, dominant in the London sunshine, threatened to go two clear before 10 minutes had been played.
Clearly dissatisfied, the 70-year-old told Sky Sports he would "probably play the (under) 23s on Wednesday at Man City and then get ready for Burnley", and it appears local authorities have taken those comments at face value.
Mendy has angered Guardiola on several occasions already this season; he was fined for repeatedly being late to training and meetings at the start of the campaign and was banned from the first-team set-up for a week after turning up more than three hours late for a recovery session while he was suffering from a foot injury in September.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on the pressure to win: "It will not be a problem".
Champions City can return to the top of the table with victory over the Bluebirds after Liverpool leapfrogged them on Sunday.
Pochettino called on his side to treat their seven remaining Premier League fixtures as a "mini-league", starting with the first game at their new stadium, against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night.
Pep Guardiola awaits Sergio Aguero injury diagnosis, Latest Football News
With Aguero's track record of sustaining muscle injuries, those of a City persuasion can be excused a few jitters amid hope that it was a safety-first measure on the Argentine striker's part.
"There's no complaints about our mentality, what happened last season and this season again", Guardiola said. "Hopefully next Saturday or Tuesday but we will see the evolution in the next few days". I'm not his father, ' Guardiola said.
"What Bernardo has done this season is a outcome of the way he accepts his role", said Guardiola after another starring role at Craven Cottage.
It may be an easy game on paper but Pep Guardiola won't let his Citizens rest on their laurels and it's hard to make a case for taking on the hosts, even at only [1.08].
"Tomorrow he is going to help us, he is going to score goals and fight and create spaces for the other ones".
"We wanted it, we get used to the situation, step by step, a bit better". Maybe in the second half we didn't play at the top of our game but we won the game and that's the most important thing. Every single game is a final.