Sterling effort keeps Man City unbeaten
London: Manchester City continued their 100 per cent start to the season with a 3-1 victory over West Ham that took them to the top of the Premier League. City scored first when Raheem Sterling finished off a superb team move and Fernandinho headed in a second from Kevin de Bruyne’s freekick. West Ham pulled a goal back in the second half when Michail Antonio nodded in Arthur Masuaku’s cross. Sterling added his second late on when he stroked home from a tight angle. The season may be in its infancy but already the title contenders have put down a few markers with three games gone.
Pep Guardiola’s side before the international break, and they responded with a determined display.
A blistering start - underpinned by the attacking triumvirate of Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Nolito - yielded a slick goal finished off by Sterling.
It was not just the polished passing and intense pressing which caught the eye. City’s second goal ensured four of their nine Premier League goals this season have come from set-pieces.
That they could not convert their firsthalf dom-goals inance into more will be mildly concerning to Guardiola as they allowed West Ham back into the contest after the break. However, a steely response to see out the victory when put under pressure, before Sterling calmly passed the ball into the net in injury time, will have pleased the City boss. Last season Sterling did little to justify the £49m City paid Liverpool for him in July 2015, while Euro 2016 with England proved to be a nadir in a difficult 12 months. Inevitably it led to questions about whether his burgeoning talent would ever be realised at City, and more pertinently in the short term whether h e would feature in Guardiola’s imme-plans. diate The Catalan’s ruthless streak as goalkeeper Joe Hart and midfielder Yaya Toure are findout ing - has come to the fore early in his tenure. Sterling, though, has been rejuvenated by Guardiola and his two goals put the gloss on another impressive display. With three assists so far in this campaign, he has had a hand in five goals in four games. By contrast, he was involved in just four goals in his last 17 appearances under Guardiola’s predecessor Manuel Pellegrini. If Sterling’s form can be sustained over the course of the 2016-17 season, he will emerge as a key component in City’s quest for silverware.-BBC Sports