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Media Watch: Sterling contender for PFA POTY

MEDIA WATCH: Sterling has been City's main man this season

MEDIA WATCH: Sterling has been City's main man this season

Manchester City’s 3- win over Watford means we have established a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, for now at least.

And unsurprisingly it’s Raheem Sterling grabbing the headlines after his impressive 13-minute hat-trick that helped see off Javi Gracia’s resolute side.

The BBC’s Ian Wright was unequivocal in his praise of Sterling, describing him as City’s most important player so far this campaign.

"Raheem Sterling has been Manchester City's main man this season and he was again here,” he said.

"Watford were very resolute in the first half but Sterling kept going, making those runs in behind defences that City like.

"He has got to be up there as one of the favourites to win player of the season along with Virgil van Dijk."

And former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas echoed Wright’s thoughts.

Speaking in his role as a BBC Match of the Day pundit, Jenas said: "There's a bigger discussion to have with Raheem Sterling.

"The numbers - 18 league goals last season, 15 already this season. He's their go-to man. Pep brought him off after 60 minutes for a reason.

"You see Leroy Sane get rested. You see Bernardo Silva get rested. Raheem - never. He's a main man within that team."

READ: Match Report | City 3-1 Watford

READ: Pep | More to come from Sterling

The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor also praised Sterling – and believes City have the momentum in the title race after a six-game winning run in the Premier League.

“When Raheem Sterling’s work was finished, the crowd was on its feet to acclaim him. He had scored his 16th, 17th and 18th goals of the season, all in the space of a 13-minute blitz, and played the starring role in a victory that strengthens Manchester City’s position at the top of the Premier League,” he writes. “No wonder their supporters gave him such an ovation when he was substituted shortly after securing the match-ball as a souvenir.

“The only surprise, perhaps, was that the person who had ordered his removal seemed a little reluctant to join in with the praise. “He can do better,” was Pep Guardiola’s verdict, repeated more than once. Sterling, according to his manager, had been a touch careless with some of his passes and not helped out enough in defence during the first half. Which was an unusual complaint given that one of the more telling statistics from the opening 45 minutes was that Watford had managed a grand total of six passes in the final third of the pitch.

“It must be hard trying to please a perfectionist but Sterling can still reflect on a satisfying day’s work and deep down Guardiola must be happy too, now his team are four points clear in the position that until recently Liverpool were occupying. This was City’s sixth league win in a row. They have all the momentum, albeit having played a game more than Liverpool, and it is difficult to imagine they will care too greatly that their latest victory, just like the previous one against West Ham, had a sizeable amount of controversy attached to it.”

Have you seen...

RAZZLE DAZZLE: Raheem Sterling gets City on the front foot

Taylor, as ever, well worth reading. 

TREBLE HIT: Raz fires home to seal his quickfire hat-trick

Highlights

Video

City v Watford: Extended highlights

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The Manchester Evening News’ Dan O’Toole says Sterling is very much in contention for the PFA Player of the Tear award.

“Sterling, with eight games remaining this season, has 15 to his name after his hat-trick against Watford and Virgil Van Dijk's grip on the Premier League's player of the season award might not be as strong as those at Anfield will have you know,” he writes.

“It was anguish-inducing, at times, watching City attempt to pierce Watford's resolutely stubborn backline in the first half on Saturday evening but it took Sterling and his decisiveness just 15 minutes to leave the game beyond doubt after the interval.

“The England international was a breath of energy after such a mentally fatiguing first half and proved once again his position among Pep Guardiola's most dependable attacking outlets.”

That’s all for today’s Media Watch – but stay with us throughout the day as we continue to bring you reaction from Saturday’s win!

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Guardiola: There’s even more to come from Sterling

Men's Team

Hat-trick hero hails crucial victory

RAZZLE DAZZLE: Raheem Sterling gets City on the front foot

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling said collective success was more important than individual glory after his 13-minute hat-trick helped the Blues to a convincing 3-1 victory over Watford at the Etihad Stadium.

Hat-trick hero Raheem Sterling reflects on crucial 3-1 win over Watford which sent the Blues four points clear at the top of the Premier League

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Sterling treble puts Blues four points clear