Ster­ling shines for City

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

AS Pep Guardi­ola’s Manch­ester City ad­vance upon the Cham­pi­ons League group phase, pre­vi­ously ma­ligned winger Ra­heem Ster­ling ap­pears to have been re­born.

Ster­ling, 21, joined City from Liver­pool in a frac­tious £44 mil­lion ($57.8 mil­lion) move last year, but flat­tered to de­ceive and ul­ti­mately lost his place in the start­ing XI.

He was also de­rided for some in­sipid Eng­land dis­plays at Euro 2016, but he is thriv­ing un­der Guardi­ola and in­spired City to a 5-0 win at Steaua Bucharest in their Cham­pi­ons League play-off round first leg.

“Ob­vi­ously he’s been crit­i­cised a lot in the last year, but the way he’s re­spond­ing is great,” said team­mate Kevin De Bruyne ahead of to­day’s re­turn leg against Steaua.

“He’s a great player. I don’t care what peo­ple say about him af­ter last year or the Eu­ros. These things hap­pen. Foot­ballers have ups and downs.

“Hope­fully he can con­tinue this for us now, be­cause he is very dan­ger­ous.”

Ster­ling set the tone for City in last week’s first leg in Bucharest, win­ning an early penalty – which Ser­gio Aguero squan­dered – and lay­ing on goals for David Silva and Aguero, who scored a hat-trick.

He won a penalty as City beat Sun­der­land 2-1 on the Premier League sea­son’s open­ing day and im­pressed again in last week’s 4-1 win at Stoke City, un­selfishly set­ting up a late goal for Nolito.

Ster­ling’s re­turn to form has not es­caped the at­ten­tion of new Eng­land man­ager Sam Al­lardyce.

“Peo­ple say in foot­ball that when you have the dip, it’s how well do you over­come it?” Al­lardyce told re­porters on Au­gust 23.

“When you do over­come it, you end up be­ing a much bet­ter player and gen­er­ally your ca­reer lasts a lot longer af­ter get­ting through that pe­riod.

“So if he’s through that pe­riod and his tal­ent be­gins to blos­som again ... He’s a ter­rific tal­ent.” –

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