A victory would have been enough to see us regain the Premier League title and the omens looked encouraging when Sterling struck in the 44th minute to open the scoring.
And after a number of other City near misses, the visitors hit back after the break, first levelling through Hakim Ziyech before Marcos Alonso claimed an injury time winner.
“Yeah, it’s a difficult one to take,” Sterling acknowledged.
“We had chances to finish the game off and we didn't. We got punished, simple as that.
“It was good to get on the scoresheet and I thought it was the day we were going to get over the line.
“We didn’t finish our chances and against a team like Chelsea with the players they have they will punish you.”
City also saw a late appeal for a penalty overlooked by referee Anthony Taylor and VAR after Sterling was felled by a challenge from Chelsea substitute Kurt Zouma, much to the skipper's frustration.
“For me I couldn't get a shot off because he (Zouma) put his knee in the back of my hamstring. I don't know how it’s not a penalty and don't know how it’s not reviewed properly,” Sterling added.
“The ref said to me it had been checked and it wasn't a penalty. For me it was a sure penalty. I knew it was a penalty. I thought VAR was here to help but it wasn't meant to be.”
The title focus now switches to second-placed Manchester United who play three times before our next game at Newcastle on Friday.
If United lose any of those games – starting with tomorrow’s trip to Aston Villa - we will be confirmed as champions.
However, asked if he would be watching Sunday’s game at Villa Park, Sterling instead revealed that his priority would be on spending time with his family.
“I don’t want to watch that game. I want some family time, check results. But to watch the game is a difficult one, so I will try to chill,” Raheem revealed.