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Press praise for 'scintillating' Sterling

IN FORM: Raheem Sterling was singled out for praise after a comfortable win in Bucharest.

IN FORM: Raheem Sterling was singled out for praise after a comfortable win in Bucharest.

A five star performance in Bucharest has got media tongues wagging this morning, with Raheem Sterling the man making the headlines.

How Pep Guardiola’s City fared in their first European test was always going to be subject to a press debate and last night’s stellar performance has provided no shortage of column inches.

Sergio Aguero grabbed his eighth City hat-trick in a commanding 5-0 win, but it’s our No.7 who’s at the forefront of today’s reports.

“An utter menace” is how the Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan described the winger, as he named him Man of the Match in his player ratings.

Sterling’s impressive display saw him singled out for praise in the MEN’s match report, with Brennan also writing: “Sergio Aguero will claim the headlines after scoring a hat-trick and missing two penalties, but make no bones about it - Sterling was the architect of this win, City's biggest away triumph in Europe.

“He [Guardiola] made the point that Sterling is a “fighter” - and we are seeing that fight. He was City's best player against Sunderland on Saturday, and in the National Stadium in Bucharest he tore up Steaua with some scintillating wing play.”

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There's more of the same over at Goal, who describe the 21-year-old’s performance as ‘pristine’, with Sam Lee suggesting Pep may have pinpointed the position in which the England man can be most effective.

He writes: “The real Sterling, City fans will be increasingly hopeful, is the one we are seeing now.

“Sterling had been used in a variety of roles by Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool but it seems the right-hand side could become his home under Guardiola.

“Nobody would have seen it, but the Catalan was said to be impressed by the Englishman's performance there in a behind-closed-doors friendly against St Johnstone. He has played there ever since.”

There’s praise too of course, for the man responsible for the victory. Many a piece has been penned on what we can expect from Pep’s City, particularly in the Champions League and the verdict this morning is certainly one of approval.

Unsurprisingly it was the Blues attacking prowess that caught the eye of ESPN’s Jonathan Smith, who was impressed with the “utterly rampant" performance.

He said: “Guardiola started his reign with a win over Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday, and while there was plenty of innovation and intrigue about the way he set his side up, the Black Cats almost escaped with a point.

“The victory over Steaua was far more compelling as City's exciting attacking quintet of Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Nolito, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva pulled a crumbling defence to pieces.

“Steaua were pretty abject, but the way City carved them open will make a few of their Premier League and Champions League rivals sit up and take notice.”

That concludes today’s media round-up, but keep your eyes peeled on mancity.com later today, as we look at the talking points from last night.

Picture Special

Match Gallery: Steaua v City

Match Report

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Fernandinho has urged his City team-mates to respect Steaua Bucharest’s rich football history when the teams meet in the Champions League play-off tie.

The Romanian side have struggled to make an impact in Europe’s elite club competition in recent seasons, but were crowned winners in 1986 and have a bulging trophy cabinet thanks to sustained domestic success down the years.