Ster­ling ef­fort keeps Man City un­beaten

Fiji Sun - - Sport -

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

Ra­heem Ster­ling.

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