Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling went into Sunday’s Premier League clash with West Ham having earned considerable praise for the encouraging start he had made to life under new boss Pep Guardiola.
We take a look at how how the 21-year-old fared in City’s 3-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Link-up play and goal threat
In an excellent first-half team performance from the hosts, Sterling was among an array of City players shining brightly as they put together numerous slick moves.
And it was he who opened the scoring at the end of one such attack in the seventh minute, arriving in exactly the right place to meet Nolito’s cut-back and register his first goal of the season with a composed finish.
Man of the match performance from Raheem Sterling. Very impressive.
— ibayoomisore (@ibayoomisore) August 28, 2016
Impressive start to season for Sterling. Looks different player
— What's in a name? (@Whatsinaname81) August 28, 2016
He was somewhat less effective for a lot of the second half as City’s intensity in general dropped, but then popped up with another cool strike in stoppage time to wrap up the win.
A notable feature of Guardiola’s City side, additional to the fine passing, has been the impressive work rate of his players, and it was evident at various times in Sterling’s display here.
sterling wins free-kicks isdaaaaala ð he's the master of it.
— yenkosi (@YeYe_ZA) August 28, 2016
Early on he did well to dispossess Michail Antonio in the West Ham half and start an attack, he tracked even further back at times to put his foot in, and he won a number of useful free-kicks on the right side â one of which led to Fernandinho heading City into a 2-0 lead.
Sterling: "Reborn? I keep hearing that word. The manager has been great…he has given us a lot more confidence." pic.twitter.com/Bkfr1QTjUy
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 28, 2016
Another very good shift this season from Sterling, who looks so much more confident under Guardiola â good news for both City and England.