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Guardiola salutes Sterling’s ‘amazing’ cup final performance

Guardiola salutes Sterling’s ‘amazing’ cup final performance
Pep Guardiola believes Raheem Sterling’s Carabao Cup final display set the tone for Manchester City’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

The winger, who has been in and out of the starting XI in recent weeks, was one of City’s most impressive performers as Aymeric Laporte scored the only goal of the game to seal a fourth consecutive League Cup triumph at Wembley Stadium.

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Ahead of the game, Guardiola had backed Sterling to deliver as he reiterated his faith in the 26-year-old, and the boss certainly felt he delivered as one of the driving forces of City's victory. 

“Amazing [performance],” Guardiola said at his post-match press conference.

“He showed the opponent we came here to win the game in the first actions. He was incredibly aggressive.

“[Serge] Aurier is a fast defender and they are incredibly good at defending the shot and the blocks. [Hugo] Lloris made some incredible saves but he was brilliant.

“We have no doubts of that, the mentality is great, he trained well and he made an incredible performance.

“He deserves it, he created a lot of chances and made a couple of assists for Ilkay [Gundogan].

“All the players were brilliant.”

City completely dominated proceedings at Wembley, where Zack Steffen had only one save to make.

But for Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld’s crucial blocks from Sterling and Phil Foden efforts, City would have build a commanding lead much earlier in the game and Guardiola was impressed with what he saw from his team.

“[It was] more than well deserved,” he added.

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“We were out to play and play with an incredible level and quality. I am so delighted for the guys and have a thought for those who couldn’t play.

Fernandinho and Sergio [Aguero], they are the players with the most cups and fourth time in a row is nice because we beat Arsenal and [Manchester] United away and Spurs to win it.

“It was more than deserved. It was a good night to share with our people.”

And, with 2,000 City supporters amongst the 8,000 fans at Wembley, the boss paid tribute to the backing his players received.

“We missed them,” he said. “All the clubs.

“It wasn’t full but they represented all the people. To share it with them, it sounds better. They made some good noise so it’s better of course.

“The reason why we do that is for them.”

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