Sterling reaches landmark figure for Manchester City with his opener vs Real Madrid last night

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In scoring the first goal for his side against Real Madrid, Sterling became the first Englishman since 1981 to reach 100 goals for the Citizens.

Against Real Madrid, City were without top scorer Sergio Aguero in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, but it was once more Sterling who underlined his growing influence by helping his side reach next week’s quarter-finals in Lisbon.

Sterling opened the scoring nine minutes into Friday’s last-16 second leg, finishing in a composed manner after Gabriel Jesus pounced on Raphael Varane’s blunder.

It put City 3-1 up on aggregate and took Sterling to a century of goals for the club.

Last year, he was deservedly named Footballer of the Year – earning 62 per cent of the vote of more than 400 members of the Football Writers’ Association. He was a key member of the City team that saw off the threat of Liverpool to claim a second straight league title, while he has also been a prominent voice in the campaigns against racism in the game.

See also  Man City has extended their Premier League lead to four points after thrashing Leeds United.

Sterling has come a long way since his first goal for City in a 2-0 win over Watford back in August 2015 when Manuel Pellegrini was still in charge.

He believes the difference between City and Madrid came down to effort.

“Just energy, passion. It’s one of those competitions which we want to do well in – we want to play football but if we run our socks off, the result will follow,” Sterling told BT Sport.

“The important thing today – we know how good they are and know how good we are – the difference was going to be who ran the most and who was willing to put the extra yard in. I thought we were brilliant today.

“That was part of the plan. To be on the front foot, aggression and be right on them. From our pressing we got two goals from it.

“With the players we’ve got, there’s no inferiority. We played really well. They’ve got some great players but the energy and performance we showed, we were brilliant.”

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