Our winning mentality will keep driving us on, says City hero Sterling
Man City 1-0 Feyenoord
Match-winner Raheem Sterling admitted that winning ugly is sometimes a necessity as Manchester City recorded a late 1-0 Champions League victory over Feyenoord at the Etihad Stadium.
Sterling fired home an 88th minute winner to earn the Premier League leaders maximum points as Pep Guardiola’s men completed a double over their Dutch Group F opponents this season after a comfortable 4-0 victory at Feyenoord in September.
He said: “What we’ve shown this season — no matter what competition it is, if it’s Champions League, Premier League, cup games — we’ve got the mentality that we want to win, and even if it’s sometimes ugly, we just try to make sure we get the three points and the win.”
The goal was England midfielder Sterling’s 11th of the season in all competitions and he said he was impressed by the Dutch side’s battling qualities.
He added: “It’s always good to score but the most important thing is to win.
“They kept really solid. I think today at times we were a bit slow on the ball. I think we could have played a bit quicker.
“There was some good play at the end but credit to them, they dug in deep and kept in the game for as long as possible.”
The first serious chance of the game fell to Feyenoord after 19 minutes when Steven Berghuis had an effort deflected wide.
City started to look more dangerous after a couple of uncertain moments from Feyenoord’s former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones, who spilled a Kyle Walker cross and almost let in Bernardo Silva with a poor clearance.
City’s goalkeeper Ederson had a bigger scare after losing control on the edge of his area but Jean-Paul Boetius could not capitalise.
The hosts showed greater urgency after the restart, but Sergio Aguero miscued a volley and Kevin de Bruyne thumped a shot wide.
De Bruyne showed his fallibility — although some might argue his cunning — when he bundled over Berghuis outside the City area. The yellow card he was shown ruled him out of the final group game away to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Yaya Toure, making just his fifth appearance of the season, tried to take control of the game with some driving runs, just like in his pomp. Unlike old times, however, he missed the target from a free-kick.
Toure made way for Foden with 16 minutes remaining, both players receiving a good ovation.
Foden looked sharp but the final word went to Sterling as he raced on to a Gundogan pass and lifted over Jones for a late winner.