2019-08-11 by W.M.
Pep Guardiola hails Raheem Sterling for leading Man City improvement and gives verdict on VAR
Pep Guardiola heaped praise on Raheem Sterling for taking his pre-season form into the opening Premier League victory of Manchester City’s season as they thrashed West Ham United 5-0, with the England forward opening his account with a hat-trick.
Sterling scored five goals in as many games for City in pre-season including the opener in last weekend’s Community Shield triumph, and he was at his clinical best to score three second-half goals as City sent out a loud statement to go top of the Premier League – above expected title rivals Liverpool following their 4-1 win over Norwich City on Friday night.
City manager Guardiola was keen to highlight how much of an impact his wide players provide, given the goalscoring threat of Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez adds to the strike-force of Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero that last season made them the top goalscorers in the Premier League.
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“He (Sterling) is a guy that, you know when you have a team and a striker who scores a goal, but the people who play outside him as a winger can score goals, your team is going to score a lot of goals,” Guardiola said.
“Today Raheem scored and Bernardo’s going to score and it was an incredible performance today from Riyad Mahrez, an incredible level. So it’s good. I think in all of the pre-season games (Sterling) scored goals from the beginning, so every single game he scored a goal. But in the first half, he can do better.”