Men's Team

Goater delighted by ‘brilliant’ Sterling’s Chelsea display

Goater delighted by ‘brilliant’ Sterling’s Chelsea display
Former City forward Shaun Goater has hailed Raheem Sterling's role in our crucial Premier League win over Chelsea.

The England international, who was voted Premier League Player of the Month for December earlier this week, continued his fine form in our 1-0 triumph at the Etihad Stadium.

Starting on the right flank, Sterling was a constant thorn in Chelsea’s side as we moved 13 points clear at the top of the table.

Speaking on Matchday Live following the victory, Goater praised the City winger’s decision making and overall influence on proceedings.

“He was really effective, (it was) a brilliant game from Raheem Sterling," Goater reflected.

“We saw a control in his game. When he receives the ball and walks sometimes, he’s analysing the situation.

“It’s almost like he’s figuring out the maths of how to get around and go in and out, and play some combination passes or drop the shoulder because he has a great change of space.

“He’s made some brilliant decisions today, combining with players, playing one-twos running in behind – what you want a wide player to do.”

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Fellow Matchday Live guest, David James, agreed with Goater’s assessment of Sterling’s performance.

The former City and England goalkeeper admitted he had been intrigued by the potential battle between the winger and Chelsea defender Malang Sarr ahead of kick-off, but believes Sterling was more than up to the challenge.

He said: “Sterling often had two players in front of him and he would just go through them like they weren't there.

“I know with (Marcos) Alonso on a booking that might make things easier, but I was concerned that (Malang) Sarr might have been a nemesis for Sterling.

“But there was one moment where he swivelled his hips and moved the ball and Sarr didn’t know which way to turn. (It was a) fantastic performance.”

WATCH: City 1-0 Chelsea: Highlights

Victory over Thomas Tuchel’s side extended our winning run in the Premier League to an incredible 12 matches, just six behind the record set by Guardiola’s men between August and December 2017.

But City will need to be at our best to continue that sequence, with a difficult trip to the south coast to face Southampton next on the agenda.

Looking ahead to the tie, James called for Guardiola’s men to use our statement win over Chelsea as a springboard to get a result at St. Mary’s.

“It’ll be a tough game. Southampton have found some form,” he declared.

“Winning today against Chelsea doesn’t mean the title is over – you still have to go to Southampton and beat them.

“(But) against Chelsea, City stepped up the gear, Saturday’s performance was as good as it was at Stamford Bridge (in September), they’re in a confident mood.

“Against Southampton, City might only win 1-0, but it’s enough. It keeps the run going and maintains the gap."

While Goater agreed with James that City face a difficult prospect in Saturday’s 17:30 (UK) kick-off, he believes Guardiola and the players will see it as an opportunity to push themselves further as a collective.

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“The most consecutive games we’ve won in the Premier League is 18 and in Pep’s mind I think he will be thinking we can challenge that.

“It’ll be a tough one, but we need to just come with the same intensity and quality that we came with today.

“That season (when we set the record), we were phenomenal, but the level we are at right now, why not?

“Southampton will be difficult game, it’s not saying whoever we play it’ll be an easy game, but it’s saying why not challenge yourself and see if you can match or better your records?

“It starts at Southampton, can we go and perform well and get the win.”

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