Tag Archives: Raheem Sterling

Sterling’s first strike keeps Arsenal behind till ‘end of the match’

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The Belgium midfielder, who came off the bench in the win at Everton in midweek, tried to pick out Ilkay Gundogan but his errant pass betrayed a little rustiness.

Manchester City moved a step closer to the Premier League title as Raheem Sterling’s early goal gave the runaway leaders a 1-0 win against Arsenal on Sunday.

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Pep Guardiola’s side made it 18 successive victories in all competitions thanks to Sterling’s second-minute header at the Emirates Stadium.

With 13 games left, City are 10 points clear of second-placed Leicester, who had closed the gap to seven with a 2-1 win at Aston Villa earlier on Sunday.

City have equalled the club record of 11 successive away victories in all competitions, set from May to November 2017.

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They are the first top-flight team to win their opening 11 league matches in a calendar year.

Storming towards a third title in four seasons, City have won 13 consecutive league matches and are unbeaten in 25 games in all competitions since a defeat at Tottenham in November.

Incredibly, that was the last time they trailed in any league fixture.

Guardiola’s men weren’t even at their best on their return to north London, but they still had enough in the locker to hand Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal a third defeat in their last four league games.

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“It was hard like we expected it would be. We suffered a lot. It’s difficult to play against Arsenal and Mikel. That’s why I give the players incredible credit for this victory,” Guardiola said.

“People look at our run of wins and think it’s so easy. I didn’t expect it. I’m more than grateful for these players for what they’re doing, but winning these games 1-0 is what we need to do.

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“The last 10-15 minutes was brilliant. We know what we want to do. We want to make a big step.”

Borussia Monchengladbach have the next chance to stop City’s incredible winning streak in the Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday.

If anyone would have the secret to stopping City’s march to the title, it might have been Gunners boss Arteta.

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The Spaniard served as Guardiola’s City assistant before taking charge of Arsenal last season.

But Arteta had to make changes as several of his players were fatigued after their midweek Europa League draw against Benfica.

“When we conceded the first goal it put us in a difficult situation. It was tough. With the formation and the players they use they are really comfortable,” Arteta said.

“After that the team reacted really well, were on top of the game and created chances but we lacked the quality in those situations to score the goal.”

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Ruthless City

City ruthlessly pounced on the uncertainty in Arsenal’s reshuffled line-up as they took the lead after just 80 seconds.

Ruben Dias played a superb long pass to Riyad Mahrez and the Algeria winger lofted a cross into the six-yard box, where Sterling defied his diminutive stature as he rose above Rob Holding to head into the far corner.

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Sterling’s 13th club goal of the season was his sixth in his last nine appearances.

He should have had another moments later when Kevin De Bruyne’s pass split the Arsenal defence, but this time Sterling delayed his shot and Bernd Leno was able to save at the forward’s feet.

Mahrez was tormenting Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney and he danced past him for a shot that deflected wide.

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City’s De Bruyne was making his first start for over a month after a hamstring injury.

The Belgium midfielder, who came off the bench in the win at Everton in midweek, tried to pick out Ilkay Gundogan but his errant pass betrayed a little rustiness.

City nearly conceded against the run of play when Tierney’s volley forced a good save from Ederson.

They regained their momentum at the start of the second half and De Bruyne was just wide with an audacious chip from the edge of the area.

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Leno had to save well from Gundogan’s 20-yard drive before De Bruyne’s volley whistled wide.

Joao Cancelo nearly gifted Arsenal an equaliser when his high backpass was volleyed straight to Mohamed Elneny by Ederson, but the midfielder blazed just wide.

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Sterling insists he should be scoring more as he hunts down Giggs’ records

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Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has admitted to being 15 goals shy of where he would like to be this season.

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He’s already broken the 20-goal mark for the third consecutive campaign but that is not enough these days.

Scoring every other game is not deemed prolific enough, and Sterling wants to push those numbers further in pursuit of entering the pantheon of world-class goalscoring wingers. Given his trajectory over recent years, it is a target that is eminently attainable.

He looks at the standards set by the likes of Luis Figo, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Ryan Giggs. Surpassing their records is certainly achievable for someone still only 25.

Days during this lockdown have been spent banging balls at a net in the back garden of his Cheshire mansion with his children, waiting for an opportunity to challenge himself again.

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For him, running away to celebrate 35 times in a season enhances the odds of Manchester City lifting more silverware. The trophy haul under Pep Guardiola is currently six, a Champions League medal the only one missing to complete the set.

‘I would say probably I’m about 15 goals off where I want to be,’ he said. ‘Those are the targets, to try and create good numbers but at the same time not just have numbers to have numbers.

‘At the end of the day you want to have trophies to back up that season because 10 years from now you can score a lot of goals, but if I can’t look back on those goals as being important for my team and having a great value then those goals were pointless. It is one of those, to try and contribute as much as I can but at the end of the season have some medals to show for it.’

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The role of a winger has undoubtedly changed over time, and even been tweaked during Sterling’s spell under Guardiola. Now he is inverted from the left rather than attacking crosses off the right. City have attempted to attack teams in different ways, the classic Guardiola tap-in from a byline cutback not seen quite as often over the past year. Sterling relishes the left, a position that offers additional angles to score.

His luck in the final third has been out since December, however, and this could well have been a campaign that he flew past 30 club goals for the first time after such an astonishing start. He began with 14 goals in his first 16 appearances.

Sterling’s career total for club and country to date is 124 and his comparison to some of the greats is favourable. Giggs plundered 180, Figo 165, Beckham 146. The late George Best managed 260.

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More recently, and offering a clearer measure, Ribery – now in his twilight at Fiorentina – has 174 goals, while Robben amassed 247. Eden Hazard, four years Sterling’s senior, has 193 with a few good seasons left yet. The anomalies are clearly Cristiano Ronaldo, who has spent more than enough of his career out wide to be included, and Neymar.

It is little wonder commercial giants are falling over themselves to tie Sterling down to new deals, with a tussle continuing between Nike and Puma as to who secures the next boot contract. The laudable social responsibility Sterling owns is such an important element to those offers but the goals gave him the platform. And if he continues racking up the numbers, we could be witnessing the blossoming of one of history’s greatest ever wide men.


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Man City’s Raheem Sterling might be set to become the face of Puma’s global strategy

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German kit manufacturers Puma are closing in on a record-breaking £100m deal to sign Manchester City and England winger Raheem Sterling.

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The Premier League star’s present deal with Nike runs out in less than eight weeks (June 30) – and rival brands including Under Armour, Adidas and New Balance have been pursuing Sterling’s signature for more than two years.

If the deal is agreed, Sterling would become Puma’s highest-paid footballer and the face of their global advertising strategy.

The 25-year old has become a hugely sought-after commercial commodity thanks to his performances for club and country – and a series of articulate statements on racism within the game.

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a dramatic effect on the finances of all football-associated businesses but it’s thought the Puma deal is similar to the £100m ten-year deal offered by Nike’s subsidiary Air Jordan last year.

If the deal goes through, Sterling could collaborate on the development of a sportswear range with iconic American rapper Jay-Z, who doubles up as Puma’s creative director.

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The England winger is no stranger to the Puma brand, which already has a 10-year £650m deal as Man City’s kit suppliers.

City boss Pep Guardiola signed up last summer to their portfolio, which already includes Sterling’s team-mates Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Nike remain hopeful of finding a way to keep Sterling as the top player in their Premier League portfolio, but that scenario is looking increasingly unlikely.


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I am not like Sterling, he is like me – Traore.


Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore has rejected comparisons to Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, insisting that the England international should be compared to him instead.

Traore has enjoyed the most productive campaign of his career so far this term, scoring six goals and creating 10 more in 43 appearances across all competitions.


The 24-year-old’s increased effectiveness in the final third has seen him likened to other top wingers in the Premier League, but Traore believes that the comparisons should be the other way around.

When asked whether there was another player like him in the league, the Spanish speedster told Wolves’ official website: “[Wilfried] Zaha and [Raheem] Sterling maybe, but I am not like them, more like they are like me.”

Sterling has scored 20 goals and registered seven assists in 39 games this season, while Wilfried Zaha has scored three and created five in 30 games.

Meanwhile, only Neymar and Lionel Messi average more dribbles per game than Traore in European football this season.


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