Plenty of plaudits for Raheem Sterling in this morning’s media round-up, plus we hear from Nikita Parris ahead of the big game against Arsenal.
First up, we begin with analysis of yesterday’s win over Bournemouth. City put three past the Cherries, with Sterling – who netted one – receiving high praise from the UK’s media outlets in today’s back pages.
We kick-off with the Evening Standard’s view on Raheem’s performance at the Etihad.
James Robson writes: “When Guardiola needed life to be sparked into a City performance that looked like it was flat-lining, it was no surprise to see Sterling produce the goods.
“The England winger has put himself on the level of City's biggest stars since working with Guardiola – and while Leroy Sane earned the plaudits and the Man-of-the-Match award – it was Sterling who turned this match.
“While City's passing was sloppy and laboured, it was some good old fashioned wing play from the 23-year-old that shook Bournemouth.
“Howe's team were oozing confidence as the second half kicked off, with even Guardiola admitting his team talk at the break had done little to wake City from their slumber.
“But from the moment Sterling ran at the visitors, they were stopped in their tracks.
“A mazy run had Bournemouth shirts chasing shadows before a deflected effort hit the post. And moments later he was the quickest to react in the box to fire City back in front from close range.
“From then on there was no looking back.”
Our boss, Pep Guardiola, also had a number of kind words for the 23-year-old after the match.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Pep said: "In the first half Raheem was not involved and in the second half he changed the game.
"I'm very pleased because we needed to win that. Sometimes people, when you win three or four against a side, people start to think how easy it is.
"In the first half it was flat, a lack of rhythm. We are good when we're playing one way, the other way everyone can beat us.
"But in the second half the action from Raheem and Fabian Delph helped us to take our rhythm, and the second half was much better."
While the Manchester Evening News awarded Raheem an eight for his performance in their post-match ratings.
Stuart Brennan scribes: “Quiet first half was followed by a great dribble that deserved a goal, and then another Johnny-on-the-spot moment to restore the Blues' lead.”
Finally, as Nick Cushing’s side prepare to take on Arsenal in the FA Women’s Super League, we hear from the league’s all-time top goalscorer – and our striker – Nikita Parris.
In an in-depth interview with the Telegraph, Nikita shares her story of why she started her academy, plus talks about her friendship with fellow Blue: Raheem Sterling.
“You have to sacrifice time with your family, your time as a teenager,” she told Katie Whyatt. “You don’t experience life like any other, outside of football. When you go to uni, you can’t live the uni lifestyle. But I’ve never, ever thought about quitting football.
“I knew from a young age what I wanted to do, but that’s not the case for everyone. Some go through different paths to reach their destination. My academy is all about ensuring they see the opportunities – aged seven, 15, 20. It doesn’t really matter as long as they realise what they’re capable of. I think I had a lot of friends that didn’t decide to do the right thing early. You’re going to have that in inner-city areas – but through me, they realised there’s a way forward.”
On Sterling, she said: “He’s lovely. I’d say we’ve both got a similar personality: fun-loving, love a joke and a laugh. He’s got good banter – well, it’s all right, but it’s not as good as mine.”