The City and England winger produced a match-winning performance from the bench to finally break the deadlock on what had been a frustrating night for the Premier League Champions against Dinamo Zagreb.
The 24-year-old then turned provider, laying off for Phil Foden to secure the points in injury time, scooping the Man of the Match award for a 35-minute cameo – and the footballing world were impressed…
David Anderson: “Sterling scored his 11th goal for club and country this season midway through the second half to make it five wins on the bounce for City and put them in control of their Champions League group.
“He has an impressive tally of 41 goals for City and England since the start of last season and is blossoming into the world-class talent Guardiola always knew he would become.
“If that were not enough, Sterling set up Phil Foden to bag their second in stoppage time.
“Sterling rescued City on a night when their other creative players misfired in front of goal to show he can make up for the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne.
“He helped City to a fifth straight win and they are in control of their Champions League group going into their double-header against newbies Atalanta, who have lost their two games.”
Rob Dawson: “When Pep Guardiola needed a goal he turned to Sterling and it worked.
“The England winger has got nine already this season and is well on course to better the 25 he bagged last season.
"His goal here was a goalscorer's finish, making sure he was in the right position to tap in Mahrez's cross from close range.
“[He] made the breakthrough off the bench with a goal and an assist, showing again why he has become of the game's top players.”
Kevin Garside: “If City are to do themselves justice and finally colonise Europe you imagine the dextrous feet of Sterling will be at the heart of the transformation, his club experience in beautiful accord with his increasing influence on the national team.
“Imagine the summer that awaits Sterling, pregnant as it is with the prospect of club and international validation.”
View from the opposition
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Timothy Castagne: “It [the games against City] will be difficult, but anything can happen in football.
“We have to go out and give it our all, as we did [against Shakhtar Donetsk].
"It will be much more difficult but we always play better against big teams.”
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Sean Lunt: “The Cityzens are at the top of the game, and they intend to remain there as long as possible.
“That requires a forward-thinking strategy, particularly when it comes to replacing players and keeping the squad fresh.
“Silva is leaving Manchester City next summer and, while the squad is full of talent, his departure will leave a big hole in the side.
“Guardiola will have to find a replacement and Ødegaard is the man he wants. In fact, he has asked those in charge at the club to sign the Norwegian midfielder.
“El Desmarque say Ødegaard would have a market value of over €60m, although [Florentino] Pérez would not sell below €80m were he to agree to a sale in the first place.”