Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Guardiola hails 'fantastic' Sterling after dominant Champions League outing

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Pep Guardiola was unsurprisingly satisfied with both Manchester City‘s 5-0 decimation of Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday, and the improved performance of Raheem Sterling.

Related: Cohesive City stamp down on Steaua to begin European excursion

The Spanish manager reportedly called Sterling over the summer in an effort to boost his confidence following his struggles and subsequent media grilling surrounding England‘s Euro 2016 campaign, and it appears to have worked.

The youngster impressed in last Saturday’s season-opening defeat of Sunderland, and again ravaged opponents in the midweek Champions League play-off in Romania.

“Until now, Raheem is playing really good but he’s only 20-years old so he has to learn a lot,” said Guardiola post-match.

“The best advice is to keep calm and focus on his training, his body and his personal life. Then when that happens he has a lot of quality – he’s fast and has good work ethic.”

It was an entertaining outing from City, with Sergio Aguero claiming a hat trick despite missing two penalties, and solitary strikes from David Silva and Nolito inflicting a humiliating loss on Steaua.

It means next week’s second leg appears to be a formality, with Guardiola now turning his attentions to Saturday’s trip to the Potteries.

“It was a great performance and great attitude from the players,” said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich handler. “We played really, really good, the result is amazing but it’s the way we played which means I’m so satisfied. It’s a big compliment for these fantastic players.

“All of the managers in the world want to create chances and to concede few, that’s what we all want – okay, we are there, so now rest and then focus on Stoke and the second game (on Aug. 24).”

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