The eulogisers were out in full force to discuss the extent of Sergio Aguero’s talent and legacy after he scored a hat-trick against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, but his performance owed a great debt to the instincts of Raheem Sterling.
Sterling continued to enhance his reputation with another big game performance against the Gunners. With the score tied at 1-1, the England international took up an excellent position on the left and played a delightful one-two with Ilkay Gundogan before laying the ball on a plate for Aguero to tap into an empty goal.
And he continued to enjoy himself down the left side of City’s attack in the second-half, as he shimmied towards the byline and played an excellent driven cross into Aguero which trickled over the line via a combination of rib cage and elbow.
According to commentator Martin Tyler, Sterling’s contribution helped him reach a landmark 100 goal involvements, as per Sky Sports. He said…
‘Interestingly, his second assist of the game made him the seventh youngest player in Premier League history to register 100 goal involvements in the competition, getting to that figure at a younger age than Harry Kane and Alan Shearer.’
Sitting in a top seven which includes the likes of Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Cristiano Ronaldo, who reached 100 goal involvements aged 22, 22 and 23 respectively, Sterling is in esteemed company.
The player who looked frightened by both the prospect of underachievement and the media vultures who willed him to fail after swapping Liverpool for Man City has become a distant memory under Pep Guardiola’s leadership.
Dribbles down blind alleys and abject finishing have been replaced by intelligent positioning and a cool head in front of goal, and the statistic provided by Tyler merely offers tangible evidence to vindicate that claim.
100 goal involvements and counting; this is just the beginning for 24-year-old Sterling under Guardiola’s leadership.