Manchester City edged an exciting contest as they beat Newcastle United 4-3 at St James’ Park on Friday evening, with a goal from Joao Cancelo and a hattrick from Ferran Torres sealing the win for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Despite a dominant start, Emil Krafth headed Steve Bruce’s side in front from a corner, before Cancelo’s deflected strike brought City level.
Torres put the Citizens in front with a superb flick from Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick but it would be 2-2 just before half-time, as Joelinton smashed a penalty past City debutant Scott Carson.
Another penalty in the second half put the hosts back ahead, as Joe Willock scored the rebound after Carson had saved his initial shot but a quickfire double from Torres sealed his hattrick and was enough to seal the win for Guardiola’s side.
Although City produced some superb attacking play at St James’ Park, one man who was barely involved and struggled throughout the game was Raheem Sterling.
As per SofaScore, the England international would earn a disappointing 6.3/10 rating for his performance, which was the worst of any City player to feature in the game.
Despite Guardiola’s side having nearly all of the possession on Friday evening, Sterling was seemingly doing his best to lose it, as he would concede possession on 20 occasions during the game, which was the most of any City player.
The former Liverpool man had no shots, would complete just two out of six of his dribbles and managed just one key pass during the game, which is below his Premier League average of 2.3 shots, 2.2 dribbles and 1.2 key passes per game this season.
The “special” 26-year-old was regularly pushed off the ball and didn’t look up for the game, as he won just 4/14 of his duels at St James’ Park, which is a disappointment for someone who should be pushing for a starting spot ahead of the Champions League final later this month.
Certainly, when you consider the excellent performance from Torres, as well as the impressive recent displays of Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez, it now seems extremely unlikely that Sterling will start the game against Chelsea, and he has likely blown his last chance to impress Guardiola before the final.
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