Sterling found the target in the eighth minute and was a constant threat all afternoon in what was a hard-fought encounter at the Etihad.
And though City weren’t always at their fluent best against an obdurate Magpies side, the City manager hailed Sterling for continually carrying the fight to Newcastle and helping secure the three points.
“Yeah, he made a fantastic goal and fought a lot,” said the City manager.
“Especially in second half, he was clever, he moves the way we need to be stable. The wingers make stability in the team and he did it well.”
Though DeAndre Yedlin levelled for the visitors after Sterling's opener, Kyle Walker’s spectacular second half shot secured a third win from four league games for City and was just the tonic going into the international break, leaving the Blues just two points off top spot in the table.
“The game, the goal we conceded we defended very bad but in general we didn’t concede many chances,” Pep added.
“We conceded few set-pieces, free kicks. Our performance was good, especially in second half, where we didn’t let them run and created chances.
“We have 10 points from 12. We played Arsenal away, so it’s a good result and we are delighted for the guys.”
“The last game, Phil Foden was not in the squad. It was so sad for Phil, and I am sad for Leroy now but we have a squad, with six strikers.
“That’s why we decide this game he won’t be there. He needs to work hard now and make sure he is there.”