Raheem Sterling And Leroy Sane Are Purring At Manchester City

By starting both Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane against Premier League champions Chelsea, you can tell Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has a lot of confidence in the young pair.

They rewarded their manager with yet another fine performance as City walked away from Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 win and in truth they bossed the encounter.

The duo were clearly told to stay wide and to stay up and that pinned Chelsea’s defence back. They’d press their opposition at every opportunity and that caused mistakes within the Blues ranks too.

By staying out on the wings that allows more space inside for Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. Those two are magicians and Sane and Sterling offer them space and an out-ball at all times. Opposing defenders get confused and have no idea who to mark.

By having the widemen pressing further forward for the majority of the game, Pep can then have his wing-backs running directly through the middle. That again can terrorise opponents, who simply don’t expect that to happen. Sterling and Sane will then help striker Gabriel Jesus to press and double up on the central defenders and Chelsea simply weren’t as efficient with the ball as they are used to, mainly down to City’s imposing tactics.

Sterling in particular was dangerous with the ball at his feet yesterday. He linked up well with the midfield maestros Silva and De Bruyne with some neat exchanges at the edge of the box throughout the game. The English international also provided some terrific balls into the box and he probably deserved to grab an assist on his return to London.

The former Liverpool attacker has aided his club’s cause with five Premier League goals in his six appearances. He has joined the action from the bench in Man City’s two Champions League matches and he popped up with a goal in the tie against Shakhtar Donetsk.

I’ve stated for a while that the twenty-two year old needed to score more and he’s now adding that to his game. He’s playing with confidence and looks to be comfortable in this City side. I also think Sterling is becoming more disciplined within the team’s structure, which will delight Pep!

I think Raheem needs to start providing more for his teammates. Against Chelsea he was direct and he did provide great opportunities, if he can do that in every game then I’m sure the assists, like the goals, will come thick and fast.

Twenty-one year old Leroy Sane has been used more sparingly so far this term but he’s made the most of the chances that he has been given. In his seven domestic league outings Sane has only had three starts but he has contributed with three goals and two assists.

Leroy’s brace against Liverpool showed he’s a player who can make an impact on the big occasion. The attacking winger also grabbed both goals in the ‘Citizens’ League Cup win over West Bromwich Albion. He’s a player who is intelligent and picks the best times to run in behind defences.

His game time will no doubt go up in the next few weeks as Sergio Aguero recovers from his car accident.

The German has an 86% passing success rate, and that kind of stat will keep you in Guardiola’s good books:

“It’s a guy who is improving the simple things. Don’t lose the ball.

“He scores a lot of goals, has great chances, gives assists, he’s a young player. He is so important for us.”

His form so far this term has helped him win a recall for the German national team.

Sane now needs to consistently go through the season playing in this kind of exciting form.

Both players may have wondered about their game time this term and if their boss truly fancied them but those doubts should now be eased as Pep Guardiola obviously trusts them when they are in form. They have played their part as Man City have impressed both domestically and in Europe in this campaign.

Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane could play huge roles if City are going to challenge for the biggest honours this season but both will need to continue to improve as they have done at the beginning of this season.

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