Manchester City faced Leicester City in a thrilling, high-scoring boxing day fixture, where the Pep Guardiola managed team won 6-3. As City stood their ground despite a comeback from Leicester, Raheem Sterling issued a wake-up call to the champions. 

He said, “It was a game we needed to finish off. It was a good [first] 45 [minutes] but these are games we have got to put to bed. That is the challenge. We have got to keep that concentration and in the first 20 minutes of the second half we didn’t have that. We are disappointed to concede those goals but we kept the focus, kept trying to play and got the result we needed in the end.” 

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Describing Leicester’s surprising turnaround, Sterling said, “They countered us and we got punished. Every time they attacked, they created chances. But we are happy we got the win in the end and we want to keep that going. It is nine games [in a row] in the Premier League now.”

Notably, Sterling scored a brace in the match, with one goal off a penalty at the 25-minute mark. His late 87th-minute goal, along with teammate Aymeric Laporte, finding the net, helped City seal the victory against Leicester. 

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This marked the club’s ninth successive win and puts them six points clear at the top. Halfway through the season, City finds itself well ahead of Jurgen Klopp managed Liverpool. 

While Sterling noted that it was a “decent start”, he urged to “keep the focus and go into the new year with the same mentality.” According to him, all teammates need to “keep going”. 

This no-nonsense attitude is a reflection of how Guardiola leads the team. Recently, he issued a warning to Phil Foden and Jack Grealish, about their off-pitch antics. Expecting players to show complete focus in the Premier League fixtures, the Manchester City boss noted, “So we have to be focussed all the time because of distractions at Christmas time and everything that happens – you have to still be focussed”.