With City having seen Liverpool take our crown last week, tonight’s Etihad encounter was a chance to lay down a marker looking forward to the 2020/21 season.
Sterling and his colleagues more than answered the challenge against the Merseysiders serving up a wonderful display with the winger winning a penalty, scoring a fine goal and seeing another effort go in off a deflection from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
And the City and England talisman believed the overwhelming manner of the victory – Liverpool’s heaviest loss of the campaign - was a timely reminder of City’s own enduring qualities.
“It was a test against the champions. We had a chance to make a point and I thought we did well today,” Sterling reflected.
“They (Liverpool) have been brilliant all year. We knew we had to start strong. We wanted to have a good game against them. I thought we started really well and credit to the boys.
“We knew we were behind. It has been disappointing at times this season. We lost games we should not have lost. We were disappointed.
“As the manager said, we came out here and tried to do our best. The next season starts today, and I think that we have done well.”
Another player to catch the eye was Phil Foden who continued his superb run of form following the resumption of Premier League action by scoring a stunning third goal just before the break.
“It’s a team that’s evolving, that’s changing all the time. Players like Phil, you can see the maturity he’s playing with,” Sterling added.
“He’s 20 and it’s like he’s been in the first team for years. He’s a credit to himself Every opportunity he gets he takes it. We’ve got some great players coming through.
“We know we've got the FA Cup, the Champions League, hopefully we can finish strong and these Premier League games will only help us.”