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Guardiola explains factor that makes Sterling ‘excellent’ and praises unsung teammate

Pep Guardiola reminded that although Manchester City can make it look easy at times, it is not – before explaining what makes Raheem Sterling tick after his hat-trick against Norwich.

Man City remain in control of the Premier League title race after a 4-0 win at Carrow Road. Sterling scored a perfect hat-trick, with Phil Foden being the other man on the scoresheet.

Guardiola’s side are on a roll and look on course to retain the Premier League title. But despite the scoreline, they had to work for their win over Norwich.

The manager told Match of the Day: “Important is the way we played. Our behaviour and concentration was good. All the time it looks easy but it is difficult to do our job and we did it again.

“We start with the front foot the second half and it helped us a lot to score in the first minutes. We created a lot of chances today. Norwich were in their best moment of the season.

“Our fans came here five or six hours by car or train and I am very happy we could win for them.”

Guardiola made note of how Sterling’s confidence will be impacted by his hat-trick. Although described as perfect due to it being with his right foot, head and left foot, the latter goal came after a missed penalty.

Perhaps that was because of overthinking; indeed, Guardiola thinks Sterling shines as an instinctive striker – and did so in Norfolk.

He said: “For his confidence it will be massive. The first goal is brilliant; when Raheem executes without thinking he is excellent.

“I am so happy for him because strikers need to score for confidence for the next games. The second goal was a good cross, Ruben (Dias) was brilliant and was there but in general he (Sterling) was active and made good touches.”

Guardiola gushes over Man City captain

One man who wasn’t on the scoresheet but played a major part was captain Fernandinho.

He played all 90 minutes in defensive midfield, making just his sixth start of the Premier League season.

Of the 36-year-old, Guardiola said: “What a captain we have. I said many times all the things going to happen to him he deserves it.

“We need everyone so cannot play all competitions with just 11 players. We don’t have…


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